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KyotoSagano Romantic Train

Sagano Romantic Train | Kyoto's Scenic Time Machine

Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is nothing short of enchanting. With its ancient temples, serene landscapes, and traditional tea houses, the city effortlessly melds the old with the new. Among its most treasured attractions stands the Sagano Romantic Train. This scenic rail journey takes travelers alongside the captivating Hozugawa River, offering an unrivaled view of Kyoto's countryside. Stick with us as we guide you through ticketing options, point-of-interest details, and essential tidbits that promise a fulfilling adventure aboard this remarkable train.

Why Visit the Sagano Romantic Train?

Sagano Romantic Train
  • Nostalgic Journey: The Sagano Romantic Train isn’t just transportation; it’s a vintage ride through Kyoto's history. Experience a rail journey reminiscent of bygone eras with wooden interiors and artful designs.
  • Natural Panorama: Unmatched views of the Hozugawa River's ravines and the dense, picturesque forests of Arashiyama. This isn't just a scenic route; it's a visual spectacle, especially during cherry blossom and autumn seasons.
  • Unique Train Experience: With open carriages that let the environment in, feel the breeze, hear the birds, and immerse yourself in nature. It’s not just sightseeing; it's sensory enchantment.
  • Cultural Significance: Once a vital route for transporting goods, today it serves as a connection between Kyoto's urban life and its lush countryside, making it an essential cultural and historical journey.
  • Combine Adventures: Many opt to pair the train ride with a serene boat ride down the Hozugawa River, offering two unique perspectives of Kyoto's mesmerizing landscapes.

All Your Sagano Romantic Train Ticket Options

Sagano Romantic Train
Sagano Romantic Train

Guided Tours

Duration: 9 hr.

  • Enjoy a full-day guided expedition encompassing Fushimi Inari Taisha and Arashiyama's marvels, with convenient round-trip bus transfers from Osaka Umeda.
  • Wander through the vibrant vermilion archways, then soak in the tranquil symphonies of the Sagano Bamboo Forest.
  • Ascend to Kiyomizudera, the UNESCO-listed temple featuring a nail-free wooden deck, showcasing a majestic aerial view of Kyoto.
  • Indulge in a choice lunch: sumptuous buffet delights, savory beef shabu shabu etc.
    Note: These include a comprehensive day-long tour with expert English commentary. Entrance to Fushimi Inari Taisha and Kiyomizu-dera may be optional and may vary based on the ticket. 

Recommended Tours: 
Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train Day Tour from Osaka Umeda
Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train Day Tour from Osaka Namba
Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train Day Tour with Kyoto Station Pick-Up

What Is The Best Way To Buy Sagano Romantic Train Tickets? Book Online

The best way to get a hold of your Sagano Romantic Train ticket is to buy it online. You will be able to make advanced bookings and take advantage of amazing deals, along with many additional benefits.

Cancellation Policy: You can cancel all of the above tickets up to 48 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
Convenience: You can skip the long queues and book your ticket with just a click. You’ll also get 24/7  customer service on the phone, by email, or chat. 
Advanced Reservation: You can plan your trip in advance and avoid any disappointments like tickets selling out.
Discounts: By booking online, you can avail of some of the best discounts and book combo tickets and day tours that will allow you to visit popular attractions in Kyoto along with the Sagano Romantic Train.

Sagano Romantic Train Highlights

Sagano Romantic Train

Vintage Carriages

Relive the golden era in beautifully restored carriages. Feel every creak and hear tales whispered by the wooden beams.

Sagano Romantic Train

Hozugawa River's Ravines

Witness nature's artwork as the train skirts dramatic ravines. Nature sculpted it; you have a front-row seat.

Sagano Romantic Train

Arashiyama's Forest Canopy

A verdant umbrella, where every leaf tells a story. Nature’s theater is in full swing; don’t blink! You might just miss something. 

Sagano Romantic Train

Seasonal Scenery Changes

A chameleon landscape. Cherry blossoms? Golden autumn leaves? Every season drapes a new canvas that will make your jaw drop. When will you visit?

Sagano Romantic Train

Kameoka’s Panorama

Behold Kameoka’s sprawling beauty. A visual appetizer before the scenic main course. It sets the stage, leaving you hungry for more.

Sagano Romantic Train

Hozugawa River Boat Ride

From rails to water, continue the adventure. The river’s serenity pairs perfectly with the train's charm. A dynamic duo.

Sagano Romantic Train

Local Artisans at Stations

At each stop, discover crafts and delicacies by local artisans. A blend of tradition and creativity. Shop, savor, repeat.

Sagano Romantic Train

Train-themed Souvenirs

Collect memories. From intricate miniatures to themed postcards, let the journey linger long after you've disembarked. Your keepsake awaits.

Plan Your Visit - Sagano Romantic Train

Getting There and Routes
Food & Drinks
Nearby Attractions
Visitor Tips
Sagano Romantic Train
Sagano Romantic Train

Sagano Romantic Train Route

The train journey starts from Saga Torokko Station and ends at Kameoka Torokko Station. The entire ride offers you a picturesque view of the Hozugawa Ravine and takes approximately 25 minutes one way.

Reaching Saga Torokko Station (Starting Point)

  • By Train: The most direct way is to take the JR San-In Line (also known as the Sagano Line) from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station. Once at Saga-Arashiyama, the Saga Torokko Station is just adjacent.
  • By Bus: Kyoto City Buses and Kyoto Buses operate to and from Arashiyama. Depending on the bus route, it could take 30 minutes to an hour.

Alternative Routes: 

While the primary route is from Saga to Kameoka, you can also do the reverse, i.e., start your journey at Kameoka Torokko Station and end at Saga Torokko Station.

Sagano Romantic Train
  • Carriages with Character: The train boasts retro wooden carriages, ensuring an authentic and nostalgic experience for passengers. 
  • Observation Deck: Some carriages feature open windows or observation platforms, offering unobstructed views of the surrounding scenery.
  • Audio Commentary: The train provides an audio guide system (in Japanese), offering insights and historical context about the scenic spots.
  • Snack Cart: On certain trips, a snack cart is available offering a selection of light snacks and beverages, giving travelers a taste of local flavors.
  • Souvenir Shop: At the Saga Torokko Station, there's a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase mementos, ranging from crafts to snacks that represent the region.
  • Restroom Facilities: There are clean restroom facilities available at the stations for passenger convenience.
  • Wheelchair Accessibility: While the vintage nature of the train does pose some challenges, efforts have been made to assist passengers with mobility issues.
Sagano Romantic Train
  • Yoshimura Arashiyama:
    Cuisine: Traditional Japanese
    Menu Highlight: Soba noodles made from freshly ground buckwheat. 
  • Unagi Hirokawa:
    Cuisine: Japanese (Specializing in Eel dishes)
    Menu Highlight: Grilled eel over rice (Unadon) - this delicacy is a must-try in Arashiyama. 
  • Shoraian:
    Cuisine: Tofu-centric Kaiseki (traditional multi-course meal)
    Menu Highlight: Yudofu set - a hot pot dish with silky tofu and seasonal vegetables. 
  • Sagano Yu Cafe Style Resort:
    Cuisine: Cafe with a mix of Japanese and Western dishes
    Menu Highlight: Matcha Green Tea Parfait - a layered dessert with green tea ice cream, sweet azuki beans, mochi, and more.
Sagano Romantic Train
  • Ticket Holding: Ensure you have a valid ticket before boarding, and always keep it handy. Sometimes, staff may check tickets during the journey.
  • No Loud Conversations: Keep your voice down while on the train. The train journey is meant to be a serene experience, and loud conversations can disturb other passengers.
  • Photography Etiquette: While photography is allowed, make sure not to use flash inside the train. It can be distracting and may ruin the experience for others.
  • No Smoking: The entire train and its stations are non-smoking zones. Ensure you refrain from smoking, including e-cigarettes.
  • Seat Reservations: If you have a reserved seat, ensure you sit in the correct one. For those on non-reserved cars, it's a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Stay Clear of Doors: For safety, avoid standing or leaning close to the train doors, especially when they are in motion.
  • Respect the Natural Surroundings: The journey showcases nature's beauty, and it's vital to respect it. Do not pluck plants, feed wildlife, or leave anything behind.
Sagano Romantic Train
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove:
    Distance: Approx. 1.2 km from Saga-Arashiyama station.
    Description: An iconic, serene bamboo forest offering a unique walking ambiance.
  • Tenryu-ji Temple:
    Distance: Approx. 1 km from Saga-Arashiyama station.
    Description: A UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning Zen gardens.
  • Togetsukyo Bridge:
    Distance: Approx. 1.5 km from Saga-Arashiyama station.
    Description: Historic bridge spanning the Hozugawa River with captivating views.
  • Iwatayama Monkey Park:
    Distance: Approx. 1.8 km from Saga-Arashiyama station.
    Description: A mountaintop park home to playful macaque monkeys and panoramic Kyoto views.
Sagano Romantic Train
  • Seasonal Beauty: Plan your visit during cherry blossom season (spring) or autumn for the most picturesque views. The vivid blossoms or autumn foliage transform the landscape dramatically.
  • Reserve in Advance: Especially during peak seasons, it's advisable to book your tickets in advance to ensure a seat and avoid disappointment.
  • Left-side Views: If you can, grab a seat on the left side of the train for outbound trips from Saga to Kameoka. It offers the best views of the Hozugawa River and the surrounding landscape.
  • Combine with Hozugawa River Cruise: After your train journey, consider taking the Hozugawa River boat cruise for a different perspective of the scenic beauty.
  • Arrive Early: Reach the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This gives you time to explore the station, get snacks, and ensure you don’t miss the train.
  • Dress Accordingly: The open cars can be chilly, especially during autumn and spring mornings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sagano Romantic Train Tickets

What are the ticket options for the Sagano Romantic Train?

There's the Standard Ticket, and often bundled ticket options with other attractions or guided tours.

Can I buy tickets on the spot?

Yes, but it's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons to guarantee a spot.

Are there discounts for children or seniors?

Yes, children and seniors typically get discounted tickets. 

Do tickets sell out fast during cherry blossom season?

Yes! Cherry blossom season is peak time and tickets do sell out fast. Booking in advance is strongly recommended.

Can I cancel or reschedule my ticket?

You can cancel all of the above tickets up to 48 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Does the train operate during winter?

Trains do not operate in winter from late December through February.

How long should I spend on the Sagano Romantic Train?

The train journey itself is about 25 minutes one way. However, with sightseeing and exploration, allocate around 2-3 hours for a wholesome experience.

What's the best time of year to ride the Sagano Romantic Train?

Both spring (cherry blossoms) and autumn (colorful foliage) are incredibly popular and offer breathtaking views.

Is there a specific seat I should aim for the best views?

Both sides offer stunning views, but the right side (when heading from Saga to Kameoka) is often favored for its river vistas.

Is there any luggage storage at the stations?

There are limited storage options. Traveling light or using coin lockers at larger stations like Kyoto is advisable.

Is it worth visiting the Sagano Romantic Train?

Absolutely! The scenic vistas and serene beauty of the journey provide a unique experience, especially during cherry blossom and autumn foliage seasons.