Kyoto Travel Guide: Randen Tram 嵐電
The Randen Line operated by Keifuku Electric Railroad can be considered the last tram (streetcar) line in Kyoto.
The 7.2km Randen Arashiyama Main Line (aka Keifuku Line) runs from Shijo Omiya to Arashiyama in the western part of the city. The full list of stops on the Arashiyama Line are Shijo Omiya, Sai, Nishioji Sanjo, Yamanouchi, Randen Tenjingawa, Kaikonoyashiro, Uzumasa-Koryuji, Katabiranotsuji, Arisugawa, Kurumazaki Jinja, Rokuoin, Randen Saga and Arashiyama. The whole journey takes 22 minutes.
Arashiyama Line Stations
Sai Station is a short walk from Saiin Station on the Hankyu Line. Kyoto University of Foreign Studies is a 15 minute walk west. The area around the station has a number of restaurants, cafes and bars.
Nishioji Sanjo Station
Nishioji Sanjo Station is on the intersection of the north-south Nishioji and the east-west Sanjo.
Yamanouchi Station is in the western suburbs of Kyoto close to the minor Koenji Temple.
Randen Tenjingawa Station
Randen Tenjingawa Station is close to Uzumasa Tenjingawa Station on the Tozai Line of the Kyoto subway as well as JR Uzumasa Station on the Sagano Line. Close by is the campus of Kyoto Gakuen University and Ukyo Ward Office.
Kaikonoyashiro Station is close to Konoshima Shrine, which has connections with the textile industry in Nishijin and enshrines a tutelary deity of sericulture. The shrine contains a unique triangular torii.
Katabiranotsuji Station connects with the Randen Kitano Line.
Arisugawa Station is located in the western suburbs of Kyoto.
Kurumazaki Jinja Station
Kurumazaki Jinja Station is just north of Kurumazaki Shrine. The sub-shrine of Kurumazaki Shrine, Geino-jinja, is popular with Japanese entertainers.
Rokuoin Station is close to the Zen-sect Rokuoin Temple, known for its fall leaves.
Randen Saga Station
Randen Saga Station is close to some minor temples and shrines including Myorinji Temple and Sumikurainari Shrine.
Tenryuji, Anryuji and Nonomiya Shrine are all a short walk from Arashiyama Station on the Randen Arashiyama Main Line, which also has its own footbath in the station.
The 3.8km Kitano Line runs from Kitano Hakubaicho near Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Hirano Shrine to Katabiranotsuji Station on the Arashiyama Main Line in 11 minutes. The full list of stops on the Kitano Line are Kitano Hakubaicho, Tojiin, Ryoanji, Myoshinji, Omuro-Ninnaji, Urano, Narutaki, Tokiwa, Satsueisho-mae and Katabiranotsuji.
The flat fare is 200 yen for adults; 100 yen for children. A Randen All Day Ticket (Adults 500 yen; children 250 yen) is available from Shijo Omiya Station, Kitano Hakubaicho Station, Arashiyama Station or Katabiranotsuji Station and includes special promotions for temples, shrines and other attractions in Kyoto. The Surutto Kansai Card and the other main IC travel cards such as Suica and manaca can also be used on the Keifuku Electric Railway (Randen).
Shijo Omiya Station can be reached by #206 bus from Kyoto Station. The Tozai Line of Kyoto subway connects with Uzumasa Tenjingawa Station. Kitano-Hakubaicho can be reached by the #26, #50 and #205 buses from Kyoto Station.
Kitano Line Stations
Kitano Hakubaicho Station
Kitano Hakubaicho is the beginning of the Kitano Line and is close to a small Izumiya department store and supermarket as well as Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Hirano Shrine, the latter shrine famous for its cherry trees.
Tojiin is a short distance south of Tojiin Temple and Rokusho Shrine.
Ryoanji Station is still quite a walk from Ryoanji Temple, famous for its stone garden, to the north.
Myoshinji Station is close to the north west corner of Myoshinji Temple and its many sub-temples.
Omuro-Ninnaji Station is a short distance south of Ninnaji Temple, one of western Kyoto's most peaceful temples known for its massive front gate.
Urano Station is not far from the south west corner of the large Ninnaji Temple grounds.
Narutaki Station is located in a residential area of western Kyoto.
Tokiwa Station is convenient for Sagano High School.
Satsueisho-mae Station is a short walk west of Toei Kyoto Studio Park.
Katabiranotsuj Station is the connecting station to the Arashiyama Line.
Sightseeing Spots on the Randen Line
The Kitano Line is useful for visiting a number of temples in west Kyoto including the small Tojiin Temple near Ritsumeikan University Kinugasa campus, Ryoanji Temple, famous for its immaculate Zen stone garden, Myoshinji Temple and Ninnaji Temple. At Kitano Hakubaicho, the Raku 101 bus connects to the Keifuku Railway for Arashiyama.
The Arashiyama Main Line is convenient to visit Koryuji Temple and Eiga Mura both close to Uzumasa-Koryuji, Kurumazaki Shrine, and its sub-shrine, Geino-jinja, which is popular with Japanese entertainers. Rokuoin Temple is known for its garden which employs the borrowed scenery of Arashiyama. Tenryuji, Anryuji and Nonomiya Shrine are all a short walk from Arashiyama Station on the Randen Arashiyama Main Line.
Keifuku Railway also operates the Eizan Cable and Eizan Ropeway on Mt. Hiei to visit Enryakuji Temple. Parts of the route of the Randen tram are lined with cherry trees which are lovely in full bloom.