Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest is one of Kyoto’s most photographed sights yet no picture can truly do justice to its enchanting feel. It is quite unlike any other forest and one of Japan’s most magical spots.
The thick bamboo stalks seem to climb endlessly and the scattered light that filters through the leaves casts a mystical glow throughout the forest.
The Arashiyama District is located to the west of Kyoto and is known for its unspoiled natural beauty. At its centre is the timeless Togetsky-kyo, the ‘moon crossing’ bridge. Ukai (traditional fishing done by firelight and cormorants) is practised on the Hozu River in the summer months.
The name Arashiyama, meaning ‘Storm Mountains’ actually refers to the thickly forested mountains that rise from the southern bank of the river.
Entrance to the bamboo forest is free. The grove runs from just outside the north gate of Tenrū-ji to just below Ōkōchi Sansō villa. Arashiyama can be reached from Kyoto by the Kyoto City Bus 20 or via the JR Sagano/San-in line to Saga-Arashiyama. Arashiyama takes around 30 minutes to reach from Kyoto centre.
- Wanderlust Pocket Guides – Best of: Japan
- DK Eyewitness Japan
- Lonely Planet Japan