Why Kyoto’s Bamboo Forest is Absolutely Worth Your Time | Arashiyama

Arashiyama is often noted as being a must see location in Kyoto. The place is both a nationally designated historic sight and place of scenic beauty, with many flocking to see the Bamboo groves. As someone who hates crowds, I was really suspicious as to whether or not going to such a touristy place was worth the time. But when the university I was going to offered to bring us there as part of our buddy events, I knew it was a special place.

Just 10 minutes away from the university was Tojiin station, from which a private railway (Randen line) connected us directly to Arashiyama. We then walked straight towards the bamboo groves since we had started the day late due to our classes, and the sun was going to set in about 4 hours. This is definitely not enough to cover all of Arashiyama and we had to skip on the monkey park and come back to the traditional crafts stores later.

The natural beauty of this place was truly remarkable. Light was flickering through the thick green groves while raindrops continued to patter down. There was also a small, quaint shrine along the way. Maybe it was because of the rain, but actually Arashiyama was actually not as crowded as I expected it to be. 

Then we reached the main bamboo groves. There were several groups of people there taking photos, and while this is unavoidable, I didn’t find it to be particularly suffocating as the lush greenery absorbed my attention. It’s not hard to see why Arashiyama has been given the title ‘place of scenic beauty’.

After this we walked to the top of the hill to take photos of the view. It felt as though I had been transported to another land, I could have watched the clouds pass for hours. If you walk beyond the main route, you get many little gems like this spot.

We then headed down towards the river, coming across several beautiful places to take photos. The place was also shrouded in mist due the rain, truly creating a magical atmosphere.

This place is seriously post card worthy, with the bright blueish-green water peaking through the autumn leaves.

There were cute little ducks waddling about in the river. You can actually also take a river cruise here! The surroundings were so colourful it all seemed so surreal.

There is also the Togetsukyo bridge that goes across the river to the monkey park and surrounding mountains.

In December Arashiyama also has night illuminations so we stuck around to see the groves light up.

It was actually more crowded at night, as the illuminations were only going to be there for limited time. But still, look at those groves!

Lighted up

Arashiyama was definitely one of the most beautiful places I visited in Kyoto. It goes without saying that I absolutely loved the place and highly recommend it, with or without the crowds. If you must avoid crowds, do consider reaching early, or finding unpopular days such as rainy days to visit!



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