Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Japanese address: 右京区嵐山
Bus: Kyoto City bus 28 from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama-Tenryuji-mae
Train: JR Sagano/San-in line to Saga-Arashiyama or Hankyū line to Arashiyama, change at Katsura
10 min walk from Saga Arashiyama Station, JR Sagano line
15 min walk from Arashiyama Station, Henkyu railwayTelephone
+81 75-861-0012More information Prices
Free admissionOpening hours
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason: standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. If you’ve been planning a trip to Kyoto, you’ve probably seen pictures of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – along with the torii tunnels of Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji Temple, it’s one of the most photographed sights in the city. But no picture can capture the feeling of standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove – the whole thing has a palpable sense of otherness that is quite unlike that of any normal forest we know of.
You can access it directly from the main street of Arashiyama, a little to the north of the entrance to Tenryu-ji Temple, but it’s best paired with a visit to that temple (exit the north gate, take a left and you’ll be in the grove in no time). There’s just one main path through the grove, which leads slowly uphill. Once you get to the top of the hill, the entrance to the sublime Okochi-Sanso Villa is right in front of you (go in, you won’t regret it). There are two great hotels near the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – Hoshinoya and Suiran. There’s also the beautiful Arashiyama Benkei ryokan. Walking into this extensive bamboo grove is like entering another world – the thick green bamboo stalks seem to continue endlessly in every direction and there’s a strange quality to the light. You’ll be unable to resist trying to take a few photos, but you might be disappointed with the results: photos just can’t capture the magic of this place. The grove runs from just outside the north gate of Tenryū-ji to just below Ōkōchi Sansō villa.
Getting to Arashimaya
- From Kyoto Stn.: Take Kyoto City bus #28 or Kyoto Bus #71, #72, #73, or take the JR Sagano Line to Saga Arashiyama Stn.
- From downtown: Take Kyoto City Bus #28 or #11 (#11 also can be caught from Shijo Kawaramachi), or take the Keifuku Arashiyama Line to Arashiyama Stn. (from Shijo Omiya Stn.).
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Review
Kyoto had two of the most famous sites that I have wanted to visit since forever... Pictures of these places were everywhere. One of them is the Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the other is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Both are so exquisite in their own way - because I've never seen anything like either before.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is one of the few main attractions in Arashiyama. Others like the Monkey Park, Tenryuji Temple, and the popular Togetsukyo Bridge were some of the other things I did at Arashiyama.
The entrance to the Bamboo Forest wasn't that clear, nor do you see signs of bamboo/forest in the town. With the help of GPS, and down a little alley, the bamboo forest awaits!
The bamboo forest was magical in its own way.
Thousands of bamboo surrounding you and once you enter it, the sounds of the bustling streets disappear and it seemed like a whole new world.
As time was a constraint while in Kyoto, and not knowing how long the route is... exploring it was fairly little.
If you have time to visit the forest, I would suggest walking it through. As you go deeper into the forest, it's more quiet and more serene. The barriers also get smaller as I've seen in others photos.
Also, what they didn't say on the internet was to put on insect repellent because you definitely should, especially if you're going in for the long haul. For that little span of time I was in the bamboo forest, I had received 4 insect bites as a parting gift!
But for what it's worth, I would definitely recommend to visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest because I don't think there's anywhere in the world like this.
The Sagano Bamboo Forest is undoubtedly one of the prettiest locations in Kyoto. It's tranquil, typically peaceful, yet perhaps a little touristy. Located in the pleasantly quaint town of Arashiyama on the outskirts of Kyoto, the easiest way to get here is a quick 10 minute train ride from Kyoto Station.
Walking from Arashiyama Station, you will find the Bamboo Grove nestled among several small temples, all scattered along the base of the wooded mountains to the North. Along the way, each of the temples compel you to visit; with their lush, manicured gardens & towering wooden temples, it's difficult to resist a detour.
Entering the Bamboo Grove is stepping into another world; the thick green bamboo stalks seem to continue endlessly into the sky & as light breaks through, the hues of green quickly change making for some stunning photos.
I absolutely recommend a visit here, keeping in mind that you will be rewarded for coming early in the morning or the later afternoon to avoid the crowds.
I had nothing planned for Kyoto.
But I knew there was one thing I had to see.
So on our very last day when the clouds finally parted and the rain in Kyoto finally let up, Paul and I headed into a bamboo forest (arashiyama bamboo forest) in the small town of Arashiyama – just 25 minutes from downtown Kyoto. We had just wrapped up a five day visit into Tokyo and caught the Shinkansen (high-speed train) for our two hour ride into Kyoto. If you can afford it, pay the $180 ticket (one-way) for a spacious and comfortable seat in first class. It tends to be less crowded and sort of what I was looking for after a week full of LOTS of people everywhere in Tokyo. It was just nice to have the extra breathing space.
The Weather – The one thing that did get me a bit down about Kyoto was the unpredictable and often rainy weather. I think it’s the trade-off of visiting in the winter (arashiyama winter). The weather is not so great, but the tourist attractions are not packed and you don’t have to deal with big crowds.
That being said – pack appropriately.
I suggest a pair of waterproof boots, a rain jacket that rolls up (you can get one at Uniqlo), scarf (so you don’t get sick) and a compact umbrella for carrying around in your purse. I was not-so-prepared and relied on my winter (arashiyama winter) coat for warmth and an umbrella from my hotel. I also suggest good walking shoes since there are a TON of heritage sites to visit that aren’t necessarily paved.
The Bamboo Forest – I had no idea bamboo grew this tall and I’ve never been in a grove like this before. It’s such a majestic and peaceful site. The walking paths are all paved and the bamboo is behind a fenced off area – so you can’t go roaming through the bamboo itself – you can admire it from afar.
It was hard to believe with my own eyes that somehow I was nestled in the mountains of Japan wandering around a foggy bamboo forest. How did this even happen? It was a pinch myself kind of moment because I had been dreaming of going to Japan for so long and it finally came true.
For city girls like me, the word ‘hike’ terrifies me. I’m not much of a hiker (I think I just hate the unknown), but this was more like a nature walk with temples throughout where you can stop in and say hello. So definitely don’t be intimidated.
Make sure to purchase an Ema – a Japanese wish plaque ($5) and hang it on a shrine at the temple just outside of the Bamboo Forest. The gods will then be able to receive your wish. Sales of the Ema go towards supporting the temple, so it’s good karma all around.
My trick to finding a great place to eat while traveling involves two rules. #1 – look for a place that is jam-packed with locals and #2 – avoid any places that has a hostess or promoter outside trying to lure tourists into their trap.
Well Seisyuuan had one out of two. I spotted this restaurant from the street level and saw how busy it was. Since Arashiyama is kind of a touristy town, I can see how it can get competitive and you need someone on the street encouraging people to come up to your second floor restaurant. It also had a pretty view of the river and the oldest bridge in town.
Boiled tofu is a specialty in Arashiyama and I reccomend giving one of the meal combinations a try. A boiling pot of water filled with tofu is brought to your table (above) and a candle underneath the pot keeps the water warm (sort of like fondue) so you can cook the tofu tableside. It was one of the BEST meals I had in Japan because it was so simple, yet delicious. Also check out the cool spoon net for fishing out your tofu.
I ended the day as all days should end.
With a ridiculously hot foot bath at Arashiyama Station.
It’s the most unsuspecting thing. Imagine an outdoor subway platform with a picnic table and benches surrounding a foot spa at the end of it. That’s sort of what this was, in case you were picturing some sort of luxury spa (I was). It cost me $2 to use and I got a souvenir towel out of it – deal of the day!
Buy your ticket at the train station (really) and prepare for all foot pain, stress and fatigue to melt away. A ten-minute dip is all you need and make sure you rinse your feet before and after stepping into the foot bath.
If you’re looking for an easy day trip out of Kyoto, take the train to Arashiyama and explore a few of the things noted above. There is also a 25-minute tourist train on the Sagano Scenic Railway that is worth looking into. Otherwise, it’s easy to get there on a regular JR train.
This is a very popular place. We walked in from the back of the bamboo forest and it was already packed with people. Many were trying to take a shot with no other tourist in the background. To walk to the back of the forest, walk along the river towards
Arashiyama Park. Cut through the park (a little uphill) and you will reach the back of the bamboo forest. Probably on early mornings, or non public holidays, the forest will be less crowded.
Love how the females dressed up in their kimonos in kyoto and walk the streets. Added colours to the beautiful ancient city. There are many traditional housing in Arashiyama with a tinge of modern look. Adds a flavour to the serene environ.
We did not go to the Monkey Park. That requires a ticket.
We took a public bus and dropped off at the bridge, a short distance away from the bustling Arashiyama area. There's onsen ryokan at the drop off point and the road was packed with cars. There's many young looking men pulling the rickshaw to ferry tourist around the area.
On our last trip to Japan we had visited the Bamboo Forest late in the day and with only a short time to see it. This time I was keen to see it again and spend more time looking.
It is a magnificent Bamboo Forest with the light shinning through the bamboo giving great photo opportunities - that's if you can manage to get a photo without thousands of other tourists. It was extremely busy and took the shine off the awe of the forest.
We did have an opportunity to explore a few of the streets of the area before the forest and that was very interesting.
Just not sure what time of day or year is the best to see the Bamboo Forest with less people around!
The bamboo forest is just one of the main attractions at Arashiyama. There are quite a few things to do and see in this area so make sure you give yourself enough time to explore. We arrived pretty late in the afternoon and could not rent a bike as the rental service ends at about 3.30pm and you would need to return your bikes by 4-5pm.
The bamboo forest is not too far to walk to and along the way you can stop by at some temples. We went into Tenryuuji temple - famous for it's japanese garden.
Most of the bamboo forest pictures you see seems as though there isn't anyone around - WRONG... there are heaps of tourist swarming all over this area so the key to capture a good picture of the forest is - PATIENCE. Also a good camera because it is pretty dim in the ' forest' .
I particularly like the town area of Arashimaya - many shops for the girls to spend money in and lotsa shops selling all sorts of snacks. Green tea ice cream to tofu skin in a cup.
If you are going to hang around until sunset, check out the kimono 'forest' - a collection of kimono textile pattern set inside plastic cylinders. Very pretty when it is all lighted up. Is located at a lane way on the way to Randen Tram station.
Absolutely worth a visit. The bamboo forest is a short walk from the train station and was almost other worldly. We went early in the morning and were able to avoid the crowds-highly recommend doing so. There was something so nice about it being so quiet while walking through the path. It was also a bit windy that day so it was really cool to hear the unique sound of the bamboo trees hitting each other. There are a few other sites along the walk and it ends at another train line (caution, that line is not the same line as the other one so you have to walk back to where you started!). The nearby town is adorable-be sure to take some time and look around. Rumor has it the forest is lit up at night (the rumor is probably true as we could see the light drums) and I can only image how cool that looks!
I saw some women in kimono taking a walk on this short-course bamboo path several times. They went well with this tasteful nostalgic grove. It seems to be dark in a photograph, but entirely not at all. The soft light comes in through the foliages of bamboos soaring to the sky. It is cool and comfortable even if I come in summer. A jinrikisha is sometimes passing through. It is good to walk the short distance of approximately 100m or to get on a jinrikisha. If you choose either of them, you feel taste of Kyoto. But do not forget insects spray because mosquitoes fly in the summertime.
Note: If you are a young lady, avoid walking at night. It is sparse contrary to the day time.
The Sagano Bamboo forest (arashiyama bamboo forest) is synonymous with Arashiyama. It's a pathway running from the main street into the woods. You'll have to resist the temptation of geishas whistling at you as you make your way to the end of the path for your final samurai showdown. The final boss will be there kneeling down and slowly raise his head as you walk up. As you draw your sword for battle, he screams out "Daniel-san, never put passion before principle! Live or die, man?!"
Overall, it's a must see when in Kyoto and one of my fondest memories of Japan. I would have to say Japan easily ranks in my top 3 countries in the world I've visited from the food to the culture to the food. Everything in Japan is amazing.
The Bamboo Grove is quite spectacular and did, for us, live up to the many photographs we've seen over the years. Can't say I have ever previously walked among 100 foot tall stalks of bamboo, nor do I expect to again. So I am happy that we visited, and would definitely recommend making this stop during a visit to Arashiyama.
In terms of expectation setting, however, first timers may want to know that the path:
a. Is relatively short -- maybe a 15-30 minute stroll if I recall correctly -- so the grove is not as large or consuming as it may appear in the photos
b. Is very popular with tourists, so you're unlikely to experience a "lost in the forest" sort of feeling unless you come off-hours and/or off-season
The bamboo forest is an amazing place to visit when you're in Japan. This was one of our top destinations we wanted to go to. It was so beautiful and really cool - an incredibly unique sight to see. It's a great place for photos as well (do it for the 'gram). I really wish you could have actually gone innnn to the forest, but unfortunately, it's a paved path with fencing so you can't walk into the bamboo (probably for safety).
You don't need too much time to visit the bamboo forest because it's just a short stretch that you walk through, and the trip to Arashiyama from the city area is maybe 40 minutes, so I'd definitely say you should take the trip there to visit both the bamboo forest AND the monkey park nearby.
Keep in mind, there are LOTS of people that like to come check this place out, so the path is usually pretty crowded - if you want to get a good picture, come at non-peak hours but during the day. I'd say maybe in the morning.
I am so severely happy I had the privilege to check this place out as I was recommended by so many people Ive spoken to and to the flight attendant before I started my voyage within mainland Japan in Kyoto.
This place is so majestic and peaceful and definite every 360 degrees you look around you is a Kodak moment that must be taken or recorded for memory. Ive never seen a bamboo in person, yet alone 1000s of them within reach. Im just suddenly captivated by nature.
Within its route, there are entrances that you can visit a couple hidden shrines here and there, and kid you not, There Is An Entrance Fee For Each One! GRRrrrr.... So I skip visiting the shrines that had entrance free, because those fees adds up as my budget for food & train tickets for transportation. But did visited like about 2 shrines around there, don't know the exact names, but its definite worth to check out a couple of shrines if you have the budget for.
Other than, I really enjoyed this place, just wished the shrines within the vicinity are free on each secret passage ways. What a turn down! Namm sayinn..
And food for thought, I give extra kudos for the men/women that carry tourist behind their back by having the tourist ride on a carriage while them running/jogging within the Bamboo Forest to check out shrines. I feel their back pain cringing unto me already and I refused to ride those. I feel like its human cruelty already. Eeeeek!
First thing first, you NEED to cover yourself with mosquito repellant. Like for reals!
Not much people mentioned or any really at all about there being so many damn mosquitoes there. But then again, it's nature. So what do expect... SMDH. -_-
Okay, so this place was my top #1 place to visit in Japan. I was so thrilled when we got there. It's definitely serene, and beautiful. But the insane amount mosquito bites that both my bf & I got while there--definitely put a damper in the experience. =(
I think we arrived there it was like 5 or 6pm so it was pretty dark in the forest. But there was still lots of people there so it's very true that you can't really get a picture w/o people in the background unless you came super duper early in the morning.
Overall, I'm still glad we went. Knocked off a bookmark from the list. I still remember seeing this place on IG, and thinking to myself--we have got to go here when in Japan. and we did :)
Visited around 8am in the morning and there was already quite a crowd of visitors - from photographers to tourists to people taking their wedding photos!
It was a short walk to get here from the train station and a pretty quick walk through the bamboo forest. There are definitely some better spots than others - be on the look out for where the photographers are situated - they know the best views for photos :P
Seeing pictures of rows of tall bamboo, the Sagano Bamboo Forest was definitely a place I wanted to go. However, a quiet walk I assumed I was going to experience did not occur. There were too many tourists and school kids on field trips.
Aside from that, walking through the path being almost surrounded entirely by tall bamboo is a nice excursion out in the Arashiyama area. The path through the forest is short, so plenty of time to do other things nearby.
The bamboo forest is seriously beautiful - as well as a fair bit cooler than being out in the sun! We took a wander through around 1pm and it was really busy but that didn't bother me too much. There's people having photo shoots done as well as about a gazillion selfies but just look up into the bamboo and appreciate the beauty.
There's temples along the way, and overall it's a nice, easy walk. Maybe no more than 30 minutes from one end to the other and back again. I really loved it and thought it was a lovely area to visit.
Here's what you need to know: the bamboo trees are GORGEOUS. The sheer spectacle and symmetry of thousands upon thousands of uber tall trees stretching out to sky in uniformity gives you peace and joy.
The grove has a generous paved walking path - where one car can pass but is kind of annoying given the inconvenience they cause all the pedestrians who are walking down in serenity. This isn't a place for excitement and frenzy, it's designed to calmly enjoy nature in all its splendor.
We went in mid-January and it was COLD, so be prepared to bundle up in the winter months (arashiyama winter), especially if you have kids.
The grove is only a 15 minute walk from the Arashiyama JR train station. A must see if you are in the Kyoto area.
The grove by itself is part of the splendor of this area, which has some of the most gorgeous gardens and temples anywhere in Japan.
Pretty place. We came here early morning (around 7:30am) and beat the crowd. There were only a few people in the forest, so we got plenty of good pictures. By the time we left arashiyama after lunch, the whole area got extremely packed. Come early!! but most nearby shops open around 10am? 11am?
One of the highlights in Kyoto. This review brings back memories only 5 months ago. it's green tall and calm, at least until 9 am when people start gathering around. It's one of the most beautiful place you'll see in Kyoto. When you exit the forest make sure you stop by Okochi Sanso, it's a beautiful private garden in the back starting point of the bamboo forest. It's a small fee of 1000 yen it comes with a tea service. Definitely would not be disappointed. You'll get to see a whole mountain of Cherry Blossoms in season.
This bamboo forest is one of the big reasons that a lot of folks visit Arashiyama. While I originally thought that the bamboo forest must be old because the bamboo is SO TALL, I overheard a tour guide saying that these bamboo actually grow ridiculously fast and they have to chop it down every 3-4 months. Anyways, it is rather nice and peaceful walking through the bamboo forest (arashiyama bamboo forest). They have the path paved really well so it's easy to walk around.
If you want one of the most tranquil, beautiful, and serene spots you'll ever see, take a walk through this forrest.
We wandered here on a rainy day and my god, if you think there's nothing more beautiful than walking through a misty, moody, bamboo forrest, than you are right. Because it was beautiful.
We didn't stay for long and I'm sure there was more to see than we saw, but we saw bamboo that shot into the sky so high it was hard to see anything but bamboo and that was enough. Also entrance was free, so quality all around. Do not miss it.
We came here in early May 2015, and the bamboo forest was so green and tall...felt as though it was reaching for the sky. This is the first stop once you enter Arashiyama, and you can't miss it. There's just one path, with bamboo to your left and to your right. Amazing sight to see, and so glad we came!
Can get very crowded, walk at your own leisure and avoid the masses to get some great photos.
This bamboo forest is in Arashiyama in Kyoto! It was huge bamboo that stretches for miles and throughout the forest there are temples! You can also stop for some cool street art or snacks before entering the forest!
If you love greenery this the the place to be! Lots of tourist so it was really hard to get a picture of a empty bamboo path, but totally worth going. It was also free to get in so why not!
I loved this place, the little windy roads leads you to endless bamboo trees and great images for us to view years later. It was one of my favorite stop in Arashiyama. This place is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a stop!
We came here on a rainy day in January. (Bring umbrella just in case, most hotels let you borrow umbrellas). You'll have to take bus or taxi from JR train station.
Entrance is free. The bamboo trees are calming, the path is clean, a good hike for all ages. Worth visiting if you're around the area, (our main purpose was to see the snow monkeys at Arashiyama which is walking distance from the bamboo forest).
There was some bamboo where we lived in Bethesda, Maryland, but rarely do you see native bamboo, so this is pretty cool to walk through in Kyoto. The bamboo is very sturdy and plentiful. There's some worship sites. People can go on rides through the park.
The bamboo groves was something we looked forward to. It was gorgeous and breathtaking. Definitely a good area to snap some photos. On either end of the groves, you can also visit other attractions. On the west, you'll see Okochi Sanso Villa. On the east, you'll see the north entrance to Tenryuji Temple.
I visited Arashiyama over 20 years ago and vowed to return there again. It has its own special feel apart from the city of Kyoto and other cities in Japan. Over the years it has become the place to see and be seen. It's too bad the coffee shops and ice cream parlors are on every corner. The bamboo forest is still breathtaking even though you're among several hundred other tourists. I still enjoyed going back and visiting again.
The area was really beautiful, it had mountains and a river and a real traditional feel to it. Around midday we noticed how incredibly busy Arashiyama had become. It was a sunday and it seemed like a lot of Japanese people were there with their family, enjoying the cherry blossom.
To arrive there, we can choose 3 option :
1. By train from kyoto or other country
2. By bus
3. By own car
And we use option 1..;
The environment is nice, the air is good, they have house with traditional, ..
Arashiyama have sagano electric trains, bamboo groove, and others..,
We decided not to go here due to the reviews on here and what my mates have said about the crowds. In the end we walked through on the way to the Okochi sanso garden, and in this respect it was nice to see. Managed to get a few private shots between the gaps in the hoards. Not worth a special visit unless you get here very early, but at the same time i'm glad we saw it.
We loved our visit to the Bamboo forest in Kyoto and recommend it. We caught a taxi (2000 yen) from The Golden Pavilion to the top of the forest so we could walk back down the hill through the never ending bamboo. It is beautiful and peaceful but like most attractions it gets crowded with tourists! We were lucky enough to see a real Geisha having her photo taken while walking through. Down the bottom is a great little restaurant selling ramen and other local foods - it's very busy but worth waiting. There are also lots of ice cream shops where you can try black sesame and green tea ice cream. We caught the bus back (bus 28) to Kyoto station (230yen) which took an hour because of traffic. You can also catch a JR train back.
We took the city bus (1 day ticket 500 yen) to Arashiyama. Beautiful place with a river flowing through it and parks around the river. Has many shrines. Also bamboo grove which is spectacular and worth a walk. Lots of restaurants and cafes for lunch or just have a picnic by the riverside. A little haven just 45 minutes from kyoto city centre.
Had the weather between more cooperative the kids would have enjoyed the scenery more. Worth the trip because it's also central to many other kid attractions. Don't go out of your way unless seeing several other locations need the bamboo forest.
This locations is more like a modern village but they still maintain the natural side. Also ini this place you will find many people using kimono. There are some shop that rent their kimono for 5,000 yen for a day. You can experienced using kimono and walking arround the place.
We went to the Monkey park first because it's a hike. We took a leisurely boat ride along the river & rested. Then, we walked through the Bamboo Forest. Monkeys & view of Kyoto at top was worth the 20 min hike. There are many monkeys, babies & young ones. We saw 3 cute small ones playing at the pond & 1 swam across. You pay to get into the park & it's extra for approved food to feed monkeys.
Thankfully the house we chose was near tram track at Saiin that brought us straight to the groove. Go for the Japanese makeover or else, it would be a regret. Looked so good with the surrounding and photography bring memory once you leave the place.
We went over there on a rainy day, it was easy to reach from Kyoto. The walking is not so much as they show in guides,unless you have a problem. Unfortunately we didn't have time for the onsen (baths) but you should calculate for it if you go!
Very picturesque walks inside the bamboo forest (arashiyama bamboo forest), unique place!!
We thought if went on a Saturday, we would avoid at least the school groups since it was a weekend. We were mistaken. Due to the popularity of the place, there were throngs of groups and other tourists making their way around the area, The highlight was really the bamboo path with its towering bamboo "soldiers" that formed a canopy over you with their delicate branches and leaves. It is quite a way from the other places but as long as you know that the pretty photos with barely any people do not paint the real picture of the crowd that this place brings.
For many the main attraction would be the bamboo forest, however as with a tourist attraction, what more a Free tourist attraction you will encounter a horde of people in these area does diminishing the experience. We had a great time cycling to Arashiyama and exploring the outer parts especially the path along the Katsura river. What added to our experience in Arashiyama was the random street procession we chanced upon. This would have definitely been an excellent rating if not for the crowd :D I would definitely recommend checking out Arashiyama and would do so myself if we were to visit Kyoto again.
A must-do in Kyoto despite high popularity and sometimes crowds. I preferred walking to bicycling because it's a short path and you'll not linger and savor the details if you're on wheels. Even in the rain, it's lovely.
Sadly, this just didn't do it for me or my family. Yes, the towering bamboo forest did look very picturesque and it was a nice relief from the sun and humidity to walk in their shade, but perhaps I had too high expectations after reading previous glowing reviews. Maybe it was the sea of people walking through the forest (and the taxis driving through it) that ruined any feeling of enchantment or serenity. It just felt like we had wasted our morning when there were so many other wonderful places to visit in Kyoto.
Bamboo path is beautiful but in the afternoon it's quite crowded. By the way if you come to Asashiyama you should get on the romantic train. It is much more beautiful when in the spring or the autumn when the leaves change color.
This was on the top of my to do list in Japan and I wasn't disappointed. The bamboo forest was quite enchanting. Obviously all the professional internet photos are taken when the site is closed and it is difficult to get a photo without the crowds. I was surprised how good our photos looked. It was raining and I think the umbrellas added to it. The light filtering through the canopy was spectacular. Hint: get off the train and do the monkey park then walk up the street to the forest. Then it's another short walk to the other train station.
It's a great place to have outdoors activities all day but be sure to arrive as yearly as possible before the crowds.
This way you will guarantee great pictures in famous Bamboo forest! If you consider between the scenic train ride or a boat trip, I would advise to take the boat since train ride is ok. Most of the views were abstracted by the trees and if you are on the wrong side of the train, you won't see much.
I've seen better scenery in Snowdonia than on this ride. But from a boat you will be guaranteed great photo opportunities and fun ride!
Bamboo. Lots of bamboo. It can only be the bamboo forest in Arashiyama (嵐山, meaning “storm mountains”) on the western outskirts of Kyoto. This is one of the main sights we wanted to see in Kyoto and so on a gloriously sunny day we jumped on the train from our local station at Nijo and chugged out to Arashiyama.
Arashiyama is a very popular tourist district in Kyoto filled with numerous shrines and temples, woodlands and parks, a monkey sanctuary, the Katsura river and Togetsukyō bridge, and of course the bamboo forest. And popular it was not only with the tourists, but also many locals both young and old, all out enjoying the sunshine, sights, and snacks to be had aplenty in this scenic and quaint suburb.
The bamboo in the forest really is something to see, and so incredibly tall as well, swaying in the gentle breeze with the sunshine filtering in from above. Factoid: bamboo is the largest member of the grass family – you would certainly need one hell of a lawn-mover to deal with this little lot!
The bamboo forest didn’t disappoint and it was very serene to walk through the groves even with a fair number of other people doing the same.
Highly recommended as part of any visit to Kyoto.
It was a Monday afternoon and we were in Kyoto. We weren't sure if it was a good idea to go Arashiyama on a rainy afternoon but decided to go ahead since the rain wasn't very heavy.
As our elderlies can't walk far, after alighting at JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, we took the Sagano Train (both ways) and alighted at Torokko Arashiyama Station on the way back. After climbing a flight of stairs to exit the Torokko Arashiyama Station, it was a relatively easy downslope walk through the bamboo forest (arashiyama bamboo forest) and back to JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. Pathways were not slippery despite the rain. Not much visitors too. Therefore, had quite a number of "please help us to take a photo" requests. It was not easy to take photos in the rain.
One of the most scenic places in Kyoto. I always go to Arashiyama every time I'm in Kyoto. One could easily spend a day or two here. Start off the day by heading towards the bamboo forest. There are few or almost no one in the forest during mornings. Up next is the Togetsukyo bridge. Visit Tenryu-ji the moment it opens and enjoy having it to yourself for an hour (or two). Arashiyama will get busy between 9-10 AM, if you are not fond of large crowds, head to Otagi nenbutsuji,and Adashino nenbutsuji. You can easily take the bus at the stop close to Togetsukyo. For lunch, you can also try shojin ryori (Buddhist cuisine) in many restaurants close to the station.
Great half day along with Kinkakuji and Ryoanji.
Take the Sagano JR Line to JR Sage Arashiyama and take the South exit. Follow the signs west for walk a short walk to the Bamboo grove which gets very busy. The walk through the tall bamboo grove loops around and there are various little groves and so while the most impressive part of the walk is very short (200 -300 metres) you do actually spend quite a bit of time amongst the tall bamboo. From Arashiyama take the No. 11 bus to the bus station at the terminus/end point (at Yamagoe Naka-Cho) and take bus No. 59 to Ryonanji and Kinkakuji.
My husband was keen to see the UNESCO World Heritage sites at this location so we visited the bridge and the bamboo grove, took lots of interesting pictures... but it was the main street that really got me! We ate the strawberry-topped mochi from a roadside stall, had matcha desserts, shopped for souvenirs and green tea powder (mmmm...), then retreated to a small sushi bar for dinner. All in, it's a lovely place. The train rides to Arashiyama are a little complicated/confusing but do your research in advance, and ask for help when you need it.
On a sunny day Arashiyama makes a very nice detour from Kyoto. The mountains are lovely, the river side walk very romantic and the bamboo forest definitely having a look. For me the nightlight is the Okochi Sanso estate and gardens, serene and breathtakingly beautiful.
A couple of tips:
1. The Kyoto Tourist Pass doesn't work on the train line to Arashiyama.
2. Restaurants are all overpriced and of inferior quality. Bring your own picnic to avoid getting ripped off for bad food.
Spent a night here in a ryokan right on the river and so glad we did as there is s lot to see. The bamboo forest is a must and also the monkey park was good. It is not a large area so can be walked and there are lots of fascinating shops and restaurants.
The gardens are beautiful and the Autumn colors in mid December were spectacular. It is only a twenty minute train ride from Kyoto station so could be fine as a day trip if short in time but DON'T MISS IT.
You can see more Kyoto travel guide at here.