Located in the western part of Kyoto, the beautiful Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is home to towering bamboo stalks that create a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Walking through the grove is a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression .
The grove is made up of two separate bamboo forests that are sandwiched between the Tenryu-ji Temple grounds and the JR Sagano-Saiin line train tracks.
The combined length of the grove is about 500 meters, and it is about 140 meters wide. The bamboo stalks tower over visitors, creating a natural canopy that filters the sunlight and creates a unique and tranquil atmosphere.
You can take a leisurely stroll through the grove, enjoying the natural beauty of the bamboo forest. It is open 24/7, and admission is free.
It is recommended to visit the grove early in the morning to avoid the crowds and fully appreciate the beauty of this unique destination.
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, also known as the Sagano Bamboo Forest, is a natural forest of bamboo in Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan. The forest consists mostly of mōsō bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) and has several pathways for tourists and visitors. The Ministry of the Environment considers it a part of the soundscape of Japan. Prior to 2015, there was a charge to access the forest.
The forest date back to the Heian period when courtiers and the imperial family sought privacy and seclusion away from Kyoto. It was during this time that Arashiyama and the adjoining Sagano area first became popular. Today, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a popular spot those, and it contains several bridges, temples, and shrines.
The forest has also been featured in several works of literature, including the famous novel “The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu. In the novel, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is described as a place of beauty and tranquility, and it has been inspiring artists and writers for centuries.
In recent years, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove has become a popular destination for photographers and Instagrammers, who are drawn to the beautiful and serene atmosphere of the forest. However, it is important to remember to be respectful of the forest and its surroundings and to follow the rules and regulations set in place to protect it.
Located in the village of Sagano on the west side of Kyoto, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is not hard to reach. The grove is situated in the Arashiyama district, which is about 7km west of downtown Kyoto.
You can take the JR Sagano line to Saga Arashiyama Station, which is a 10-minute walk from the grove. Alternatively, you can take the Henkyu railway to Arashiyama Station, which is a 15-minute walk from the grove.
Once you arrive at the grove, you can enter through the main gate or the side gate of Tenryu-ji Temple. The path through the grove is short, only about 500 meters, but it is incredibly immersive. The grove is comprised of thousands of tall bamboo plants that create a mesmerizing atmosphere, especially when the light dapples on the forest floor.
Getting to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is relatively easy, and there are several ways to do it depending on your preference and budget.
If you’re traveling by train, you can catch the Osaka Umeda bound train and change trains at Katsura Station. From there, take the stairs and head to platform 1 for the Arashiyama bound train. It’s only two stations until Arashiyama. Alternatively, you can take the JR Sagano Line and get off at Saga-Arashiyama Station, which is a 10-minute walk from the bamboo grove.
If you prefer to take the bus, you can take the bus from Shijo Kawaramachi, which takes approximately 40 minutes and costs ¥230.
For those with a JR Pass, taking the metro is one of the best ways to reach Arashiyama. Make your way to Kyoto Station and look for the JR Sagano Line. From there, it’s only a short ride to Saga-Arashiyama Station, and then a 10-minute walk to the bamboo grove.
While there are several transportation options available, it’s worth noting that the bamboo grove can get crowded during peak tourist season, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds.
Best Time to Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
If you’re heading to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, timing is everything. The best time to visit depends on what you want to see and experience. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:
Spring (March to May)
Spring is a popular time to visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove because the cherry blossoms are in bloom. The grove is filled with pink and white blossoms, creating a stunning contrast against the green bamboo. However, this is also the busiest time of the year, so be prepared for crowds. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or on a weekday.
Summer (June to August)
Summer is a great time to visit if you want to see the bamboo grove at its greenest. However, be prepared for hot and humid weather. If you’re visiting in the summer, try to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat.
Fall (September to November)
Fall is a great time to visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove because the weather is cooler and the crowds have thinned out. The bamboo grove is also beautiful in the fall, with the leaves turning yellow and orange. If you’re visiting in the fall, try to go in late October or early November to see the autumn foliage at its peak.
Winter (December to February)
Winter is the quietest time of the year to visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. The bamboo grove is still green, but the leaves have fallen off, giving the grove a different kind of beauty. If you’re visiting in the winter, make sure to dress warmly as it can get quite cold.
Overall, the best time to visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove depends on what you want to see and experience. If you want to see the cherry blossoms, visit in the spring. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit in the fall or winter. And if you want to see the bamboo grove at its greenest, visit in the summer.
Things to Do in Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove should be on your to do-list in Kyoto. Here are some of the best things to do while you’re there:
- Take a Walk Through the Bamboo Grove: Walking through the towering bamboo trees is a unique experience that you won’t forget. The grove is open 24 hours a day, so you can visit whenever you like. However, it can get crowded during the day, so if you want to avoid the crowds, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Visit Tenryuji Temple: Tenryuji Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous temples in Kyoto. It’s just a short walk from the bamboo grove and is known for its beautiful gardens and architecture.
- Go for a Rickshaw Ride: If you don’t feel like walking, you can take a rickshaw ride through the bamboo grove and the surrounding area. It’s a fun and unique way to experience the area.
- Visit Iwatayama Monkey Park: If you love animals, you’ll enjoy a visit to Iwatayama Monkey Park. It’s on top of a mountain and is home to over 170 Japanese macaque monkeys. You can feed the monkeys and enjoy stunning views of Kyoto from the top of the mountain.
- Stop by Nonomiya-jinja Shrine: Nonomiya-jinja Shrine is a small shrine in the bamboo grove. It’s known for its beautiful torii gate and is a popular spot for photos.
Overall, there are plenty of things to do in Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Whether you want to take a peaceful walk through the bamboo trees or explore the surrounding area, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.
Tips for Visiting the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
If you’re planning a visit to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:
- Visit early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid crowds and capture the best photos.
- Consider renting a bike to explore the area and easily get around.
- Bring comfortable shoes, as there is a lot of walking involved.
- Be respectful of the environment and do not litter or damage the bamboo.
- Bring water and snacks, as there are limited food options in the area.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth experience, consider taking a walking tour of the bamboo grove. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the history and significance of the area from a knowledgeable guide.
It’s also important to note that trains may not be running during early morning or late evening hours, so be sure to plan your transportation accordingly. If you’re unsure, consider arranging your own transportation to and from the area.
Overall, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a beautiful and unique destination that is well worth a visit. By following these tips, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience.
The Sum Up
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove should be on your to-do list when traveling to Kyoto. The towering bamboo stalks create a serene atmosphere that is unmatched by any other location in the city.
This must-see destination will leave you with lasting memories of your trip to Kyoto. So pack your onigiri, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to experience one of the most iconic sights that Japan has to offer.