Kyoto Finds: Inside the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Hidden in the heart of Japan’s culturally-rich Kyoto lies the beautiful Arashiyama bamboo groves.  Arashiyama is a famous destination in Kyoto dating back during the time of ancient Japan due to its pleasant natural setting. However, Arashiyama bares its outmost charm during the sakura season or the reddish autumn and this also goes for all other Kyoto tourist spots. The bamboo grove is the highlight attraction in the district of Arashiyama and a must to visit when in Japan.



Take a nice scenic walk or a bicycle ride through the path of fresh green bamboos scattered all around as you gaze through the calming bamboo abundance. Bicycle rental is available to explore the district.


Arashiyama bamboo groves prove that there’s beauty that comes with unity. The sight of these green bamboos altogether just creates a different enchanting world. It was a sight that I have never seen nor imagined. It was definitely a rare scene to be in. The bamboos are said to be more attractive when light wind sounds and the bamboos sway back and forth.


Arashiyama’s bamboo forest is one notable attraction and must visit when in Kyoto. It’s one of most photographed places in Japan and can be usually seen on Kyoto tourist souvenirs. No wonder as these bamboos just offer a rare pleasant sight for every visitor.


Arashiyama would be the delight of the nature lovers and photographers apt to shoot the lovely pattern of lines. One can’t just resist to take photos inside this magical forest and may be disappointed when the photo taken can’t reflect the enchanting scene you wish to share.


Photos can’t fully capture the beauty and the magic of standing amidst these soaring bamboos.


Although Arashiyama is a natural attraction,  it doesn’t fail to still impress the Asian vibe and culture to its visitors. Bamboos have long been iconic and usually represent the early Eastern Asian heritage, undeniably it’s naturally and originally Asian in origin.
Guess what? Arashiyama proudly ranks #2 under the Outdoor Activities in Kyoto. Check out Trip Advisor for more tourist review. Arashiyama’s bamboo collection is surely one pride boosting Japan’s ecological tourism.
After few minutes of walking, you’ll be seeing a graveyard protected from disturbance by a gate. This is similar to how the bamboos are protected by having a side path hay-like division. In Arashiyama, one can’t simply enter and roam within the grove itself. Upon the disappointment from my expectation, it’s not an open forest and there’s a main walk path catered to tourists so that they can walk through the groves.
Also, a shrine can’t be missed when in Japan, especially when in Kyoto. So definitely there’s a dedicated small area for a shrine located inside the bamboo park.
The 2km trail made through the bamboo forest will be covered around 25-30 minutes walk and starts from the north gate of Tenryu-ji to the entrance of Okochi Sanso Villa.

Okochi Sanso Villa is another hidden popular attraction in Kyoto that awaits tourists visiting Arashiyama bamboo grove. It’s a private property villa with a zen garden offering a breathtaking view of Kyoto. Check this another Kyoto find on my upcoming blog post!

Tourist Finds: Rent a bike to be able to go one attraction to the other. It saves time.
For the time we allotted in Arashiyama, we were able to visit only Arashiyama Bamboo groves and the Okochi Sanso Villa. We spent half of the day there and found out that there’s more on the list of attractions to do and see in this beautiful district.
Rickshaw ride

For sightseeing, aside from bicycles you can try the traditional rickshaw ride to take you around Arashiyama. For a chilled sightseeing ride, tourists may also hop on the Sagano Romantic train – a vintage steam engine locomotive, or for a more romantic ride by renting a boat at the hozu-gawa area. However these rides would really be deemed romantic during the cherry blossom or autumn seasons. Outside these two seasons, it won’t provide the most attractive sightseeing experience.

Meanwhile, be one with nature with an up-close and personal encounter with monkeys (if you’re lucky) in Kameyam-koen park or have a stroll at  Kyoto Imperial Garden– the green heart of Kyoto. For culture and architecture enthusiasts, one must not miss the Katsuya Rityu Imperial Palace within Kyoto Imperial Park and enjoy the beautifully landscaped zen gardens of traditional properties. A number of temples open to be visited stands in Arashiyama as well.
Tourist Finds: Allot a day in the itinerary to fully explore Arashiyama.
If you wish to fully learn more about the other attractions you can visit and spend more time exploring the beautiful area of Arashiyama than we were able to, I recommend you read more on this very tourist helpful website called “Inside Kyoto.

Tourist Information

Entrance fee: Free

Time Itinerary allotment: 1-3 hours

Access: 10-minutes walk from Saga Arashiyama Station, JR Sagano line
15-minutes walk from Arashiyama Station, Henkyu railway

Opening Hours: No closing time

Related helpful tourist sites:

Inside Kyoto

Trip Advisor

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