By Sam Hardwick
The Sagano Scenic Railway or Sagano Sightseeing Railway is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty between Arashiyama and Kameoka. The line uses superseded tracks from West Japan Railways' Sagano Line from Torokko Sagano in Arashiyama and passes several gorges offering a scenic view along the Hozugawa.
Torokko is derived from the English word "truck", a reference to the mining trains hauling ore in the past. The Sagano Romantic train is a specially designed sightseeing train which runs the 7.3km route from Saga to Kameoka through Arashiyama. These charming, old fashioned trains wind their way through the mountains at a relatively slow pace, with the journey taking 25 minutes. From the elevated position passengers can take in the beautiful scenery through the large open windows.
Fares: A one-way ticket costs ¥620 for adults and ¥310 for children
The train operates from 1 March through 29 December. It is closed on Wednesdays, unless it is a public or school holiday, or during the Spring and Autumn periods.
The Sagano Scenic Railway train runs once every hour from 9 am to 5 pm on the following timetable:
Torokko Saga Station 9:07 A.M. to 4:07 P.M. (Departs at 7 minutes past the hour)
Torokko Kameoka Station 9:35 A.M. to 4:35 P.M. (Departs at 35 minutes past the hour)
Reservations can be made at the ticket office, or at major JR Midoriguchi ticket offices and travel agencies in the Kyoto area, and is recommended in peak periods, which are generally the weekends, public holidays, and during the cherry blossom/ autumn leaves seasons.