The famous bamboo forests of Arashiyama

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. We chose these companies / hotels because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases.

If you look at photos of this bamboo forest, it looks like you have landed in a fairy-tale world. Tightly packed bamboo towers high into the sky, and the sun sparkles through the bamboo, casting its rays down to the ground. It creates a place on Earth so stunningly beautiful that it seems almost surreal.

The famous bamboo forests of Arashiyama lie just outside the city center of Kyoto and are unique in the world. They are easily accessible from Kyoto's central station via the San-In line. From there, you continue to Saga Arashiyama Station, and then you are just a few steps away from the bamboo forest.

Simply follow the signs or the large crowds of people. However, finding a quiet moment in the forest, where you can hear the wind rustling through the bamboo and be one with nature, can be quite difficult. The bamboo forest is no longer a hidden gem; it has become a major tourist attraction. Our tip: to avoid the hordes of tourists, it is best to go super early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun slowly sets, providing an amazing sight.

Where to stay

A 15-minute walk from the Bamboo forest will lead you to the Nagi Kyoto Arashiyama hotel. For those not on a budget, it is an amazing choice. The rooms are very clean, spacious, and the staff is lovely. It is a modern hotel with a typical Japanese touch.

On they get an average rating of 9.2.

Other highlights of Arashiyama, Kyoto

Arashiyama is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Kyoto, and for good reason. It boasts beautiful sights, including the towering bamboo forests and unique temples.

View from Togetsukyo Bridge

This wooden bridge is already four hundred years old. Most people cross the bridge for the view over the hills of Arashiyma, extremely beautiful during the cherry blossom time and fall.

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple is the main shrine of Arashiyama and is therefore a UNESCO site. The buildings themselves are beautiful, but the highlight of the complex is the huge pond full of fish surrounded by green hills and forests.

The moss garden of Goji
Gioji is a small temple with a fairy tale moss garden. When you walk here it gives you the feeling that you are very far away from busy Kyoto.

Saga-Toriimito Preserved Street
Old Kyoto is revived in this winding street full of traditional Japanese houses. It is super atmospheric. 

Best time to visit 

The best months for great weather are April, May, August, September and October. On average, the hottest months are July and August. January is the coldest month of the year. The rainiest months are July and September. Click here for more climate details.

This article was last updated on May 31, 2023.