The bamboo grove of Arashiyama 嵐山竹林
- Published on : 12/08/2019
- by : Antoine Legastelois / J.R.
Walk among giant bamboos in Arashiyama
The Arashiyama bamboo grove, also known as the Sagano bamboo grove (sagano chikurin), is located west of Kyoto. Particularly photogenic, the town reeks of authenticity and history, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.
A moment of tranquility in the bamboo forest of Arashiyama
Arashiyama bamboo grove, arguably the most famous in Japan, is located northwest of Kyoto, along the Katsura River and not far from the famous Togetsukyo Bridge. The Tenryu-ji temple is also nearby, its northern entrance overlooking the bamboo grove.
Several paths wind through the heart of the large bamboo forest of Sagano. The walk is short (about 500 meters), however, one of the most famous and pleasant in the city. The bamboo grove of Arashiyama is known throughout the world, and is, like the torii of Fushimi Inari or the Kiyomizu Dera, a must-see for visitors!
To the Japanese, bamboo represents strength and prosperity, thus adored and protected by the government and locals. Bamboo is also known to repel the forces of evil, which explains the presence of Tenryu-ji right next to it.
The bamboos there are truly immense, and their tops reach several tens of meters high. This intensely green, very dense forest lets a few rays of sun filter through in good weather. The atmosphere is unique, relaxing, and almost magical. When the wind blows, you can hear the familiar rustling and squeaking of the stems bending in the breeze.
It is not possible to get lost in this bamboo grove as visitors are guided on the paved pathway. The path can be quite crowded with visitors during the days thus for those who prefer less crowd, we recommend you make your visit early in the day before the rush of tourists and visitors.
You can explore on foot, by bike (not recommended in case of crowds), and also by jinrikisha (pulled rickshaw) - straight out 19th century Japan, a must-visit place if you are visiting Kyoto.
How to get to the Arashiyama bamboo grove?
From downtown Kyoto, the easiest (and most enjoyable) way is probably to take the charming little Randen tram from Omiya station (one way will cost you 220 yen).
On the train, the Sagano line, as well as the San-In line, will take you to Saga Arashiyama station. You can also take the Hankyu Line to get to Hankyu Arashiyama Station, which is on the main strip, not far from the Monkey Park just ten to fifteen minutes of walking through the busy main street.
If you prefer the bus, lines 11, 28 and, 93 stops in central Arashiyama, at the Arashiyama Tenryuju-mae stop. The buses serve the largest districts of Kyoto such as the station, Kawaramachi or Karasuma.
To get around Kyoto and across Kansai more easily, consider getting a Pasmo transit card.
What to do around the Arashiyama bamboo grove?
A visit to the Tenryu-ji temple and its splendid gardens is of course recommended.
After a stroll through the bamboo grove, Kameyama Park is very close: cross it to reach the banks of the Katsura River, equally a nice walk, especially during the koyo (change of season).
From the bamboo grove, you will also have direct access to the Sagano Romantic Train, a very pleasant route of which allows you to admire the valley.
In Arashiyama, do not miss the Iwatayama Monkey Park (saruyama), hosting dozens of monkeys in their natural environment. Here, you are the one caged as you climb the trail leading to the summit in approximately 20-30minutes depending on your pace. Welcome to the land of Monkeys!
Address, timetable & access
Phone+81(0)75881 1235 (Tenryuji)
TimetableTen min walk from Arashiyama station (Randen Line), two minutes walk from Torokko Arashiyama station (Sagano line), 15 min walk from Saga Arashiyama station (San-in line). Take the bus lines 11, 28 and 93, from Kyoto.
PriceFree admission and free access
AccessOpen 24 hr