The famous bamboo forests of Arashiyama

If you look at photos of this bamboo forest, it looks like you have landed in a fairy-tale world. Tightly packed bamboo, towering high into the sky, the sun that sparkles through the bamboo and the sun's rays slowly make their way 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 is unique in the world. It is easily accessible from Kyoto’s central station via the San-In line. From there you continue to Saga Arashiyama Station and than you are just a few steps away from the bamboo forest. Simply follow the signs or the huge masses of people. Because to find a quiet moment in the forest, to hear the wind through the bamboo and to be one with nature, that is unfortunately very difficult. The bamboo forest is no longer a secret place: 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 which also gives an amazing sight. 


Other highlights of Arashiyama, Kyoto

It is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Kyoto, and for a good reason. Arashiyama has beautiful sights. Not only the high bamboo forests but also bizarre temples are found here.


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 fairytale 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.

Where to stay

On a 15 minute walk from the Bamboo forest you find the Nagi Kyoto Arashiyama hotel. For people who are not on a budget it is amazing. The rooms are very clean, spacious and staff is lovely. It is a modern hotel but with a typical Japanese touch. On booking.com they get an average rating of 9.2 and you can book it here.

This article was last updated on November 18, 2019.