Japan is no stranger to beauty. Whether it’s the ethereal temples, the tranquil, mist-covered mountains or acres of cherry blossom trees, a lot of us dream of experiencing this country’s magic and charm for ourselves. There’s one place in particular I’d like to introduce you too as well…
Now this is one impressive view! Chances are you’ve probably already seen pictures of the incredible Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama since they tend to do the rounds on social media. And with good reason! Tightly packed bamboo, which towers high up to the sky, lets only the most gentle beams of dappled sunlight pass through the forest, creating an unbelievably beautiful setting. But where exactly is this natural beauty located?
Off to Kyoto
If you want to experience the peaceful, zen-like atmosphere of the Arashiyama Bambook Forest, then you’ll have to head to Kyoto. Located just outside of the city centre, Arashiyama is easy to reach from Kyoto’s main train station via the San-In line. From there, travel to Saga Arashiyama station, and then you’re just a few steps away from the Bamboo Forest. Simply follow the signposts – or the crowds of people! The Bamboo Forest is no longer a secret, since the sheer beauty of it has put it firmly on many tourists’ radar. But it’s not impossible to enjoy a few peaceful moments alone in the forest! My tip: In order to avoid the onslaught of visitors, I’d recommend visiting the Bamboo Forest either early in the morning or later on in the evening, when the sun is slowly setting. You can enjoy a breathtaking experience once dusk slowly falls: once the sun has gone down, the bamboo is decorated with colourful light effects.
A natural paradise of bamboo
Just take a look at these fascinating pictures! The bamboo has grown high into the sky, and it’s so lush that you can’t even see the usual trees around it. The sun twinkles in-between the bamboo stalks and the sun’s rays pave their way to the ground. To see them grow so tall either side of such narrow paths – yeah, it’s fair to say that it’s a true fairy tale setting! It hardly seems real… The only drawback, which I have to acknowledge, are the masses of visitors. To find a quiet moment, listen to the wind and be at one with nature, is very difficult. Nevertheless, the Bamboo Forest at Sagano-Arashiyama is definitely worth a visit no matter what. It’s not every day you can experience something as magical as this!
Arashiyama has other sights worth seeing, such as Tenryuji Temple, the Katsura River and the Famous Iwatayama Monkey Park. The city of Kyoto itself is also an incredible place to get up close with Japanese culture too. It has one of the highest concentration of holy sites in the whole of Japan, with over 1,000 temples and 400 shrines in the metropolitan region itself. Plus you’ve got plenty of incredible gardens and opportunities to try some of Japan’s best cuisine. If you’re ever planning a trip to Japan, I definitely recommend spending at least a few days in Kyoto – you won’t regret it!
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