One of the places I was really keen to visit during my time in Kyoto was Arashiyama, specifically the famous bamboo grove. I was persuaded by the multitude of pictures I saw of the grove drenched in the glorious golden light of sunrise, but being me it was never a possibility I was going to make it there for sunrise. Especially as this was in the beginning of August, and sunrise would have meant waking up at 4am.
Located just a short walk from the station and after cutting through some alleyways you are greeted by the entrance of the bamboo grove. By this point I had been in Japan for a while so I was more than used to walking through areas densely populated by vegetation feeling like the only person left alive in the whole world, however walking past the man in the photo above, as he sat there like some sort of gate keeper, I really got the feeling that I was in for an entirely different experience.
With bamboo reaching to the sky leaving nothing but a slither of light to guide me as I walked through the grove I found myself at yet another point on my trip where I was engulfed in peaceful silence. This didn’t last long though as after a few turns I caught up to the rest of the tourists who had come to check out the amazing site. Emerging from the grove I continued down a path. Not really knowing where I was going, (with the eerie feeling I was being followed) as had been happening more and more frequently I turned a corner and found myself staring and a beautifully pristine landscape – the joys of travelling. This time it was the Katsura River. It seemed like quite a nice place to stop so I grabbed myself a drink and watched people float down the river on their boats.
This part of the Arashiyama was so chilled, there was a beach, a ton of little shops and even a historic bridge. It’s somewhere I could definitely see myself hanging out if I lived locally. Cruising along the river on a hot summers day, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Although it was brief I really enjoyed my time in Arashiyama, it is definitely somewhere I would like to explore more if I ever find myself in Kyoto again. One downside is though walking through the bamboo forest I got completely eaten by mosquitoes, so word to the wise be prepared for that.
You can check out all my photos from the day in my Flickr album here.
Thanks for reading,