What is the origin of the name of Arashiyama?

the origin of the name of Arashiyama

During Spring season, the mountain is full of Sakura (cherry blossom).

The mountain winds form a Sakura storm that cover the entire area, thus creating a breathtaking scenery available only during a short period of time. Arashiyama, or “Storm mountain” as it is familiar among the locals because of Sakura’s bloom, is a place worth visiting during this time of year.

I have heard this story from the taxi driver the first day I moved to Arashiyama and as soon as I experienced this magical event by myself, I understood what he had meant, and I started telling the said story to my own visitors.

His story left a big impression on me, and the event itself, however, that is just my point of view.

Are there any other opinions?

Cherry Blossom/Autumn Leaves Storm

This opinion was told to me by the taxi driver. During the Spring season, Cherry flowers(Sakura) Bloom. While in the Autumn season, Colored leaves or foliage fly through the wind. So the mountain was named Arashiyama or (Storm Mountain).

Arasu Mountain

The oldest historical book “Nihon Shoki” say, “Tsukuyomi No Mikoto(the moon god)” was worshipped at “Uta Arasuda” by an oracle in 487 B.C. (By the way, this shrine is “Tsukuyomi Shrine” near “Matsuo Taisha Shrine”.)

The mountain was in “Uta Arasuda”, so it was called “Arasu Mountain”. Then “Arashi Yama(Mountain)”.

You may wonder what is “Uta Arasuda”?

It means “U(Good) TA(Ground) ARASU(Sandbank) DA(Ground)”, “Very good ground, made by Katsura(Oi) River”.

People worried about that Katsura River(mountain side of the river is called “Oi River” or “Hozu River”) was flooded many times. In other word, nutritious sand from mountain spread around Arashiyama-Sagano Area.

Then, “Hata clan”, who immigrated in Japan, made a dam. So this area became a very good place for farming.

A dam at Oi
note: A dam at Oi”Katsura” River.

It sounds so complicated, but you’ll understand as you walk around Arashiyama area.

So the name “Arashiyama” may be older than old capital Kyoto. How interesting to research the origin of the name of a place in Kyoto.

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