Sagano Romantic Train Kyoto Japan 嵯峨野観光鉄道 Travel Guide

Sagano Romantic Train 嵯峨野観光鉄道 – finally have time to blog about one of our favourite attractions in Kyoto. Sagano Romantic Train, or more known as Sagano Scenic Railway or Sagano Sightseeing Railway, is a sightseeing train that runs between Sago-Arashiyama and Kameoka.

It is not a train line on the complicated Japan railway map that connects a district to another, but more as an attraction that runs independently. Tourists can enjoy the beauty of Hozugawa River 保津川 in the colourful train built with wooden seats, while passing through few of the longest tunnels in Kyoto. The journey took about 25 minutes, 7.2 kilometres distance with 4 stops, namely Kameoka – Hozkukyo – Arashiyama – Saga.

To fully enjoy the breathtaking view, you can start your journey at either of the terminus, which is Kameoka and Saga Torokko Station.

How to go:

(1) From Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station:
If you came from Kyoto Station, board on JR Sagano and get off at JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. Buy tickets at Saga Torokko Station, which is beside it. Get on Sagano Romantic train to enjoy the beautiful view of Hozugawa River. You can get off at Arashiyama for a view of the bamboo forest, or stay in the train till the final station – Kameoka Torokko Station. You can then walk for 10 minutes to JR Umahori Station to go back Kyoto Station.

(2) From Kameoka Torokko Station to Saga Torokko Station:
If you came from Kyoto Station, board on JR Sagano line and get off at JR Umahori Station. From there, walk to Kameoka Torokko Station for about 10 minutes. Direction to Kameoka is pretty clear, with arrows showing the way. Pass by a wide, village opened field until you see トロッコ亀岡駅.

For us, we began at Kameoka Torokko Station トロッコ龜岡, stopped at Arashiyama torokko station and continued with a half day trip visiting some of the attractions in Arashiyama, including the bamboo forest, Nonomiya Shrine, TogetuKyo Bridge and Nonomiya Temple. NOTE: You can use ICOCA card when travel from Kyoto Station JR 京都駅 to Umahori JR 馬掘駅, but for the train ticket, you need to pay by cash. ICOCA card and JR pass is not accepted.

How much and Operation Months:

Ticket price for Sagano Romantic train is 620 yen per pax for adult, 310 yen per pax for children.

Sagano Romantic train operates from 1st March till 29th December, closed in the month of January, February and every Wednesday (*unless it is a public holiday, special golden week, summer vacation). We were lucky enough to catch the train in early of March. Just, tickets sold off quite fast especially during Sakura season and Autumn Foliage.

Where to buy ticket:

You can pre-purchase ticket 1 month before your departure date, which are available at the “green window”  (Midorinomadoguchi) in major West JR ticket offices, Kansai International Airport, JR Kyoto Station as well as some of the travel agencies in Japan. We got ours at the JR ticket office in Kansai Airport. The staff we met weren’t that friendly, and was restless when we tried to ask some questions. So we just passed this to her in the end:

3月4日 嵯峨野4号(09:35)トロッコ亀岡→トロッコ嵐山 2枚 2号車 偶数番号の座席

Meaning: 2 tickets from Kameoka – Arashiyama on 9.35AM, 4th March. Coach No. 2, even number seats. A sentence we grabbed from 小氣少年的部落客, a very useful Chinese blog for Japan travel information.

Which is the Best Coach:

Sagano Train is made up of 5 coaches. The first 4 coaches are with window, fully opened at both sides for the coach 5 – which they called as “The Legendary Coach”. It is the most popular coach, as you can have the best view in this coach with no blocking from windows. But you can only buy them on the departure day itself. No advance ticket can be bought. We reached Komeoka Torokko station before 8AM, waited for the ticket office to open and exchange our “Car No. 2” ticket with the “Car No. 5”. No extra charges imposed.

Sitting in Car No. 5 of Sagano Railway Train was very fun but since it was winter time, the wind was freezing cold. “COLD DIE US” throughout the journey but it was all worth. We get down at Arashiyama Torokko Station. Followed the crowd, went up the staircases and from there, be ready to drown in rows of bamboo trees!

How to go Sagano Romantic Train: JR Kyoto Station -> JR Umahori Station -> Walk for 10 minutes to reach Kameoka Torroko Station
Journey: 25 minutes, 7KM
Ticket Price: 620yen per person (310 yen for child)
Best Coach: Car No.5 which you can only buy ticket on the departure day

For more information, timetable, map, etc., visit Sagano Romantic Train website https://www.sagano-kanko.co.jp

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Kyoto-Osaka 6D5N Day 2 Itenarary: Arashiyama: Kyoto Station > Sagano Romantic Train 嵐山嵯峨野小火車 > Mikami Shrine御髮神社 > Arashiyama Bamboo Grove 嵐山竹林步道 > Tenryu-Ji Temple 天龍寺 > Nonomiya Shrine 野宮神社> Arashiyama Street 嵐山大街> 三忠豆腐 > Togetsukyo Bridge 渡月橋> Onsen Footbath > Keifuku Arashiyama > 北野滿天宮梅花祭 Baikasai Plum Festival > 拉麵小路 > ISETAN Kyoto Station > Kyoto HANA Hostel