Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Hozu/Oi River
Arashiyama has the distinction as being both a Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty. It shares its name with the mountain that creates a lovely setting to this popular destination. Sakura or cherry blossoms in the spring, the red and golden colors of autumn leaves and snow on the slopes of Arashiyama in winter enhance the beauty of the landscape through the changing seasons. 

Bamboo Forest
The Bamboo Forest is one of the main attractions in Arashiyama. Walking along its trails lined with soaring bamboo stalks can be a magical experience especially when light streams through the dense bamboo foliage. These bamboos are harvested at maturity and used to make various products like boxes and utensils.

Nonomiya Shrine
The Nonomiya Shrine inside the grove is an intimate space. Surrounded by the bamboo grove, it is conducive to meditation. But only for a brief moment. It can get crowded in the forest. 

Togetsu-kyo Bridge
The Hozu River flows to Arashiyama from the mountains near Kameoka northwest of Kyoto and then becomes the Oi River as it continues its journey to Arashiyama until it reaches Togetsu-kyo Bridge where it is renamed Katsura River. Confusing? You bet! This iconic bridge which is also called Moon Crossing Bridge, has been part of the local culture for 400 years. It was reconstructed in 1934 after centuries of wear and concrete columns now reinforce the bridge. Only the parapet is made of wood. Togetsukyo reminds me of the paintings and prints of bridges by Hiroshige in the mid 19th century.

Tributary of the Katsura River
To get to Arashiyama, take the Hankyu train from Osaka Umeda Station bound for Kawaramachi and transfer at Katsura Station to the local train bound for ArashiyamaArashiyama is only 7 minutes from Katsura. The one way fare is 400 yen. From the train station in Arashiyama, walk to the river and cross the iconic Togetsu-kyo Bridge to the city center. Follow the signs to the Bamboo Forest. Schedule your visit on a weekday and either early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. It’s difficult to enjoy a walk in the woods when the trail is full of people taking selfies. There is no entrance fee to the Bamboo Forest.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie


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