Sagano Romantic Train Ticket: An Unforgettable Journey through Kyoto’s Scenic Beauty

Have you ever dreamed of a journey that takes you through stunning landscapes, offering a blend of nature and nostalgia? The Sagano Romantic Train, also known as the Sagano Scenic Railway, provides just that experience. This delightful train ride through Kyoto’s picturesque Arashiyama district is a must for anyone visiting Japan. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Sagano Romantic Train ticket, from booking details to the breathtaking sights you’ll encounter along the way. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, this journey promises a memorable adventure. So, let’s dive into the enchanting world of the Sagano Romantic Train!

What is the Sagano Romantic Train?

The Sagano Romantic Train, affectionately known as the “Sagano Torokko Train,” is a vintage train that runs along the Hozu River from Arashiyama to Kameoka. This scenic railway offers a 25-minute ride through some of Kyoto’s most beautiful natural landscapes, featuring lush forests, deep ravines, and sweeping river views. Operating since 1991, the train has become a beloved attraction for both locals and tourists, providing a nostalgic journey reminiscent of old-time rail travel.

Why is it Called the “Romantic Train”?

You might be wondering why it’s called the “Romantic Train.” Well, the name isn’t just for show. The Sagano Romantic Train captures the heart with its charming carriages and the serene beauty of the route it traverses. Couples often choose this ride for its intimate and picturesque setting, making it a popular date activity. The romance of the train isn’t just limited to couples; the awe-inspiring scenery has a universal appeal that resonates with travelers of all ages.

Booking Your Sagano Romantic Train Ticket

How to Purchase Tickets

Getting your hands on a Sagano Romantic Train ticket is straightforward, but it’s wise to plan ahead, especially during peak seasons. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to book your tickets:

  1. Online Booking: You can purchase tickets online through various travel websites or the official Sagano Scenic Railway website. Booking online ensures you secure your spot, especially if you’re traveling during popular seasons like autumn and spring.
  2. At the Station: Tickets can also be bought at Saga-Arashiyama Station, the starting point of the journey. There are ticket counters and machines available for on-the-spot purchases.
  3. Convenience Stores: Some convenience stores in Japan, such as Lawson and FamilyMart, offer ticket booking services. This can be a convenient option if you’re already in Japan and looking to book last minute.

Ticket Prices and Classes

The Sagano Romantic Train offers different classes to suit various preferences and budgets:

  • Standard Class: These tickets are the most affordable and offer comfortable seating with large windows for optimal viewing.
  • Premium Class: Known as “The Rich Car,” these seats provide an elevated experience with more spacious seating and better views. They tend to sell out quickly, so early booking is recommended.

Prices vary slightly depending on the class and season, but generally, tickets are reasonably priced, making this an accessible experience for most travelers.

Special Tips for Booking

  • Seasonal Demand: Autumn and spring are the most popular times to ride the train due to the stunning foliage and cherry blossoms, respectively. Book well in advance during these seasons.
  • Group Discounts: If you’re traveling with a group, inquire about group discounts which can make the experience more economical.
  • Time of Day: Early morning or late afternoon rides offer the best light for photography, enhancing the beauty of the scenery.

The Journey: What to Expect

The Route and Highlights

The Sagano Romantic Train journey spans approximately 7.3 kilometers, taking about 25 minutes from Saga-Arashiyama Station to Kameoka Torokko Station. Here are some highlights you’ll encounter along the way:

  • Hozu Gorge: One of the most striking features of the ride, this gorge offers dramatic views of the Hozu River flowing through steep, forested cliffs.
  • Cherry Blossoms and Autumn Leaves: Depending on the season, you’ll be treated to either the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms or the vibrant hues of autumn leaves.
  • Scenic Bridges: The train crosses several picturesque bridges, providing unique vantage points for photography.

The Train Experience

  • Open-Air Cars: Some carriages have open windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the journey. This is a fantastic option for those who want to feel the breeze and capture unobstructed photos.
  • Narration: The train offers a narrated tour in Japanese, providing historical and cultural insights about the areas you pass through. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, the enthusiasm of the narration adds to the experience.
  • Friendly Staff: The staff on the Sagano Romantic Train are known for their hospitality, often dressed in traditional attire, adding to the nostalgic atmosphere.

Exploring Arashiyama

Before or after your train journey, spend some time exploring the charming Arashiyama district. Here are some must-visit spots:

Bamboo Grove

A visit to Arashiyama isn’t complete without a stroll through the famous Bamboo Grove. The towering bamboo stalks create a magical, otherworldly atmosphere that’s perfect for a leisurely walk and some stunning photos.

Tenryu-ji Temple

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Kyoto’s most significant Zen temples. The beautiful gardens and historic buildings make it a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets.

Monkey Park Iwatayama

For a bit of adventure, hike up to Monkey Park Iwatayama. Here, you can observe wild monkeys in their natural habitat and enjoy panoramic views of Kyoto from the top.


How long does the Sagano Romantic Train ride take?

The train ride takes approximately 25 minutes one way.

Can I buy tickets on the day of travel?

Yes, you can buy tickets at the station on the day of travel, but it’s recommended to book in advance during peak seasons.

Are there restrooms on the train?

No, there are no restrooms on the train, but facilities are available at the stations.

Is the Sagano Romantic Train suitable for children?

Absolutely! Children will love the scenic views and the unique train experience.

Can I bring food and drinks on the train?

Yes, you can bring snacks and drinks, but please be mindful of cleanliness and dispose of any trash properly.


The Sagano Romantic Train offers a unique and enchanting way to experience the natural beauty of Kyoto. With its charming vintage carriages and breathtaking scenery, this train ride is a highlight for any traveler visiting Japan. Whether you’re capturing the vibrant colors of autumn or the delicate blossoms of spring, the journey is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to explore the surrounding Arashiyama district, which is brimming with cultural and natural attractions. Book your Sagano Romantic Train ticket today and embark on a journey through one of Japan’s most picturesque landscapes!