Arashiyama Bamboo Grove 嵐山竹林
Immerse yourself in a living tunnel of emerald-green with a stroll through Kyoto's bamboo forest
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto's most photographed and recognizable sights, and a walk through it will be one of your most lasting impressions of this city.
- Visiting during the winter illumination event known as Hanatoro
- The intricate fencing, which keeps out the wild boar that descend from the hills at night
How to Get There
The grove is a 10-minute walk from Saga-Arashiyama Station on the JR Sagano Line.
Immersed in the emerald green of the bamboo forest
Located in the village of Sagano on the west side of the city, the path through the Arashiyama bamboo grove is short yet immersive. There's something almost magical about the light dappling on the forest floor. For maximum effect, approach the grove from the side gate of Tenryu-ji Temple .
You may also want to consider a visit to Okochi-Sanso Villa at the top of the grove. The villa is a fine alternative to visiting one of the Imperial villas, with magnificent gardens and offering some of the best views of Kyoto. It's also generally free of crowds.
The admission fee for Okochi-Sanso includes a Japanese sweet and hot matcha tea in the villa's teahouse.
A shrine all about purification and love
An additional section of the grove extends to nearby Nonomiya Shrine, where daughters from the Imperial family used to purify themselves before becoming shrine maidens at Ise Jingu, regarded as the most important shrine in Japan.
Nonomiya Shrine may be quite busy with yukata-clad young women who come here to pray for a love match, while thick-calved rickshaw drivers pause to explain a bit of history to their riders.
On the flower and light road
December brings a special glow to the grove during what is known as Hanatoro, or flower and light road. Thousands of lanterns throughout the Arashiyama area light up the night at temples and shrines as well over more than five kilometers around the town center and along the river.
Selling what locals make out of all that bamboo
Walking in the direction of Randen Saga Station brings you to an array of shops that sell goods made from the bamboo you've just seen. At the station is a charming trolley car that will bring you back to the center of Kyoto.