The weather turned out better than expected, and we decided to go ahead with the hike from 貴船 Kibune to 鞍馬 Kurama as planned.
We headed for breakfast at a Happiness Cafe nearby at 7:30am, and caught the 8:30am subway to Kyoto station. It was crowded at Kyoto Station and we had to squeeze into our connecting train. The crowd-at-door syndrome was not unique to Singapore 😅
At 出町柳駅 Demachiyanagi Station, we purchased a ¥1800 discount ticket (Train – Hot Spring All in One Pass 貴船鞍馬散策チケット) each that would allow us a return trip to 貴船/鞍馬 Kibune/Kurama (usual ¥860) , plus the entrance fee to the 鞍馬寺 Kurama Temple (usual ¥300), and entrance fee to くらま温泉 Kurama Outdoor Onsen (usual ¥1000).
First stop was a visit to 貴船神社 Kifune/Kibune shrine. It was a pleasant walk. We then backtracked to the red bridge where the entrance to 鞍馬山 Kurama Mountain was, at around 11:10am. The staff explained that it would take about 1.5 hours for the hike, but we took close to 2 hours with many breaks in between and took the 13:05pm ropeway down the hill (¥200 per adult one way). The ropeway ride didn’t have much of a view, but we were certainly grateful for the rest!
Ending at 鞍馬 Kurama meant that we could visit the onsen to relax our tired bodies and legs 😀
You could bring your own towel, or pay to rent a bath towel (¥400) / purchase a face towel (¥300). And it was indeed very refreshing indeed!
Post soak, we shared a tempura soba (¥825) at one of the shops near 鞍馬駅 Kurama Station before taking the train back.
Note: We followed this useful guide at Japan Visitor. As at Jan 2021, the onsen is temporarily closed.