Keep your eyes peeled for tengu goblins on a half-day hike near Kyoto.
If you fancy a change of pace after a few days of busy sightseeing in Kyoto city, an afternoon in the mountain villages of Kibune and Kurama is a great idea. Take the local “rink-a-dink” train that the potters from Demachiyanagi station in central Kyoto heading north over the mountains and get off at Kibune-Guchi, the penultimate stop. First take a look at the village of Kibune and visit the sanctuary of a pair of 700-year-old cedars. Then follow the path up the steps over the mountain pass, then go down the mountain temples to reach Kurama. According to local folklore, this area is home to the mythical red-faced goblins with long noses who trained the samurai hero, Minamoto Yoshitsune.
The walk takes two to three hours and the first part is quite steep in places. But your efforts will be rewarded; Kurama has a beautiful outdoor onsen, perfect for resting tired feet.