Saga-Arashiyama Station (嵯峨嵐山駅)

Saga-Arashiyama Station, located in Saga Tenryuji Kurumamichi-cho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, is a stop on the Sanin Main Line (Sagano Line), which is operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West).
The cable address of the station name is 'Osasaa.'

ICOCA and J-Through Card, both of which are IC cards, are available for railway fare payment at this station; regarding the IC cards that are compatible with ICOCA, please refer to the article on "ICOCA." It is a stop in Kyoto City, where the JR railway fare system of specific metropolitan and urban areas is applied.

As of November 2007, the station was under reconstruction, but passengers could use the facility.

Summary

Saga-Arashiyama Station is the JR West stop that functions as a gateway to Sagano and Arashiyama, both of which are premier sights in the Kansai area. The former name of the station was "Saga," and even after the station became a JR stop the name was unchanged for some time; eventually, "Arashiyama," the name of the regional sightseeing spot, was added to it, and "Saga-Arashiyama" became the station name.
Even today many people still simply call it 'Saga Station.'

Railways to which one can transfer
Sagano Scenic Railway: Sagano Sightseeing Tram Line (Saga Torokko Station)

Station layout
Saga-Arashiyama Station is an aboveground station which has one side platform with one track and one island platform with two tracks. The station has a single track in the direction of Kyoto Station and a double track in the direction of Kameoka Station; these facilities allow two trains coming from both end of the track to pass each other. The effective platform length is relatively long. As mentioned below, the station building is situated on the side of Platform 3.

Basically, the train for Kameoka Station, Sonobe Station and Fukuchiyama Station stops at Platform 3, which is situated on the side platform where the station building is located, and the train for Nijo Station and Kyoto Station stops at Platform 1, which is situated on the island platform that is connected by the overpass with the side platform; occasionally, however, the local train will stop at Platform 2 (which is also situated on the island platform) in order for the limited express to pass through the station, or for the rapid train to connect with the local train.

This is what we call the style equipped with a median passing track. In the future, the station will have two island platforms and four tracks that will allow the higher category train--in both its inbound and outbound services--to pass through the station.

The station building

In 1897, Saga-Arashiyama Station began operating as a stop on the Kyoto Electric Railway, and the original station building at that time continued to be used, with just the renovation done, until March of 2007; of all working station buildings under the jurisdiction of JR West, it was the oldest as of 2006. It is said that the original station building had a room for honored guests until 1994. The modern feeling of the station building matched the surrounding scenery, but in order to convert the entire line section between Kyoto Station and Sonobe Station into a double track, the building was to be converted in fiscal year 2008 into a different one centering its second-floor functions; at the same time, the free passage between the north and south entrance of the station and the public square in front of the station will be established to the north of the facility. Beginning in March 2007, the temporary station building was used and the original building was hidden by the temporary structure. In June 2007, the demolition of the original building was begun, and it was completed soon thereafter.

Passenger use
The average daily number of passengers who used the station in fiscal year 2006 was 5,170.
(According to the Kyoto Prefecture Statistics Report)

In the era of Japan National Railways, relatively few passengers used the station to reach places at short distances for sightseeing tours or for commutes, because the frequency of train service on the Sanin Main Line was low; however, in the era of JR the increase in service has changed the situation. Today it's usual for this station to have many passengers, partly because the surrounding area has been densely populated for many years and because the station is crowded with many tourists on holidays, partly because the station functions as a base for sightseeing to Arashiyama. Nevertheless, the train is often made up of just four to six cars, so it tends to be jam-packed.

Station surroundings
Sagano spreads on the north side of the station, and Arashiyama spreads on the southwest side of the station. For the details of Sagano or Arashiyama, please refer to the corresponding article. Major sightseeing spots are all situated at a distance from the station.

Randen-Saga Station on the Arashiyama Main Line, which is operated by Keifuku Electric Railroad Co., Ltd., is about 300 meters south of Saga-Arashiyama Station, and Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Electric Railway is about a 20-minute walk from Saga-Arashiyama Station; to reach Arashiyama Station, please go further from Randen-Saga Station in the direction of the southwest, and then cross Togetsu-kyo Bridge and veer to the southeast.

Saga-Arashiyama Teishajo Line of Kyoto Prefectural Route 135 starts in front of Saga-Arashiyama Station and leads to Tenryu-ji Temple.

History
February 15, 1897: Saga-Arashiyama Station began its operation with the name "Saga Station" as a stop on the Kyoto Electric Railway. The station began handling passengers and freight.

August 1, 1907: Kyoto Electric Railway was nationalized.

March 1, 1961: The station stopped handling freight.

April 1, 1987: The station became a stop of the West Japan Railway Company due to the division and privatization of JNR.

September 4, 1994: "Saga Station" was renamed as "Saga-Arashiyama Station."

June 14, 2008: The station building is due to reopen as one centering its second-floor functions, and a free passage between the north and south entrance of the station is due to be completed.

Adjacent stations
West Japan Railway Company (JR West)
Sagano Line (Sanin Main Line)
Rapid
Emmachi Station - Saga-Arashiyama Station - Kameoka Station
Local
Uzumasa Station - Saga-Arashiyama Station - Hozukyo Station