Another off the beaten path trip we took was to Otagi Nenbutsuji in Arashiyama. I heard rave reviews about it in travel blogs. They all said it was worth the trip to get up there.
When we first went to look for it in Arashiyama (near Kyoto), we made the mistake of starting from the bottom and work our way uphill. What a mistake! It was hot, the climb was steep and uphill, full of people and by the time, we almost made it up there (probably walk for another 20 more minutes) we were tired and sweaty and have had enough of Arashiyama.
After consulting the blogs, I found the best way to get there. The second time we went we took a taxi cab up to Otagi Nenbutsuji from the Arashiyama station. It was a 5-7 minute cab ride and easy! After visiting the Otagi and Adashino (a solemn big graveyard site of 8,000 Buddha statues that date back to 800 AD–this was another 10 minute walk down), it was a 15 minute easy walk downhill past a traditional medieval farming neighborhood to the main attractions of Arashiyama.
Visit these blogs to learn more about these awesome off the beaten sites in Arashiyama: