I still recall the first time I saw this place – in a picture gleaned from the Internet. It was then, that I made a mental note that it will be one of those must-visit places if I ever set foot in Japan. And so, there I was, one cool morning, in Kyoto, Arashiyama (京都, 嵐山).
Little drizzle accompanied my day in Arashiyama, but it didn’t dampen my spirits or hinder my stroll in this breathtakingly beautiful, and almost unreal place.
Standing at the start of the trail into the bamboo groves (嵐山の竹林), or sometimes known as the Sagano Bamboo Forest, I was astounded with how cinematic this place looked.
Towering bamboos lined both sides of the trail (竹林の小道). As you looked into each side, you see such dramatic colors – greens so fresh, yellows so vibrant, and oranges so rich that makes this all seemed surreal.
Bamboo shoots were sprouting from the moist, fertile soil. Sunlight was lightly streaming in as you tilted your head to look at the leaves atop these bamboo. Yes, some rain got onto my face, eyes and camera lenses, but it’s well worth it.
When I reached the end of the trail, I considered walking back again. However, I met a Japanese, and though strangers we are, we were able to share and communicate our awe at this place. He mentioned that this is such a rare place, where with all this pollution, natural disaster and forestation , we might be the last generation to have the fortune to admire its beauty. How true! I hope the Japanese people and government would forever keep this place safe for our children to witness its exquisite beauty. Thank God for blessing me with this chance to see His wonderful creations!
I’m sure I’ll visit these bamboo groves again…maybe in Autumn and maybe at night, when you will sport a different demeanor. a different color and a different look. pling thinks…they are awe-inspiring!
How to get to Arashiyama and the Bamboo Groves
From Kyoto Station, take the JR Sagano line (Platform 32, 33) to the JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. The train ride takes about 20 minutes.
From the JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, there are clear signs to indicate how you can walk to the Tenryu-ji Zen Temple. From the exit at the back of the Temple’s garden ground, turn left and you will find yourself in the famed bamboo groves. That was my route.