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Western Kyoto is home to some of the city's best eccentricities. Kyoto's Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street takes visitors back in time to the Meiji Period, where old homes have been transformed into tea houses and eateries. Pleasure boats drift down the riverbank, under wooden bridges that beckon nature lovers to hiking trails and botanical walks. The area's famously tall bamboo groves, monkey park, and
impressive vistas during the Hanami cherry blossom viewing season mean that it is busiest in warmer months, though also gorgeous in the fall, when the mountains and hills along the banks turn multi-colored. Historic and engaging, even the rail cars in Western Kyoto seek to exemplify its traditional nature and scenic beauty. Many people, including natives, come to visit the 1,200 rakan statues at the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple, which is still in use as a religious site.