Sagano Line 嵯峨野線
The JR Sagano Line is part of the much longer Sanin Main Line that runs from Kyoto Station all the way to Shimonoseki at the very south western tip of Honshu in Yamaguchi Prefecture via Fukui and Shimane prefectures.
The Sagano Line describes the portion of the Sanin Line from Kyoto Station to Sonobe. The Sagano Line is part of JR West's Urban Network and is largely a commuter line bringing workers to and from Kyoto city.
However, the Sagano Line is also useful for visitors to Kyoto as it connects to the tourist destinations of Nijo Castle, near Nijo Station, Uzumasa Station (or Hanazono) for Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Saga-Arashiyama Station for the Saga and Arashiyama districts, as well as Kameoka and further on the Sanin Line, Fukuchiyama.
In 1989, the Sanin Main Line was rerouted between Saga-Arashiyama Station and Umahori Station. The old section running along the scenic Hozu River became the Sagano Scenic Railway (Sagano Romantic Train or Sagano Torokko), popular with tourists enjoying Kyoto's autumn leaves.
JR Rail Passes are valid on the Sagano Line.
JR Sagano Line Stations
The JR Sagano Line presently has 15 stations between Kyoto Station and Sonobe Station: These are Kyoto Station, Tambaguchi, Nijo, Emmachi, Hanazono, Uzumasa, Saga-Arashiyama, Hozukyo, Umahori, Kameoka, Namikawa, Chiyokawa,Yagi, Yoshitomi and Sonobe Station.
Kyoto Station is the main point of access to the city by Tokaido shinkansen and highway bus, along with Kintetsu and JR trains from Nara (JR Nara Station & Kintetsu Nara Station), JR trains from Osaka Station and the Haruka Limited Express from Kansai International Airport.
Tambaguchi Station is convenient for visiting the old geisha district of Shimabara.
Uzumaza Station connects with the Arashiyama Line of the Randen tram (Keifuku Line) and is close to Toei Kyoto Studio Park.
Saga-Arashiyama Station is in the heart of Arashiyama and connects with Arashiyama Line of the Randen tram (Keifuku Line) and the Sagano Scenic Railway. From here you are close to numerous attractions including: Tenryuji Temple, Okochi Sanso Villa, Togetsukyo Bridge and the Bamboo Forest.
Hozukyo Station is a good place to alight if you wish to enjoy the scenic Katsura River valley on foot.
Umahori Station is just north of Kuwata Shrine in a largely residential area. Kameoka Station on the Sagano Scenic Railway is a brisk walk back west.
Kameoka is a small, pleasant town west of Kyoto, with a number of interesting, off-the-beaten track temples.
Namikawa Station is close to Oi Shrine.
Chiyokawa Station is located in a largely residential area west of the Katsura River, which is wide at this point before it narrows as it cuts through the hills to Arashiyama.
Yagi Station is 36 minutes from Kyoto Station.
Yoshitomi Station is 40 minutes from Kyoto Station.
Sonobe is a pleasant, semi-rural dormitory town of around 16,000 people.
Accommodation near Nijo Station in Kyoto
Nijo Castle is a convenient area to base yourself on a visit to Kyoto as you are close to both the JR Sagano Line and Kyoto subway, though most of Kyoto's attractions are to the east and north of the area.
Just across the road from Nijo Station is the international class ANA Hotel. Other options close to Nijo Castle include: the Kyoto Kokusai Hotel (formerly the Kyoto International Hotel), Kyoto Guesthouse Roujiya and Hoikawa Inn Hotel.