An Authentic Zen Experience
Any visit to Kyoto should include a leisurely walk under the towering bamboos of Arashiyama forest. The lush bamboo grove is absolutely one of the most surreal places I have ever seen.
With so much to see, taste, explore and experience during our holidays in Kyoto, we needed to escape the busy city for a moment and embark on a journey of spirituality and quiet.
The exquisite environment, the verdant bamboo stalks gently moving in the cool breeze and the thickness of the trunks combined with the dim light filtering through their delicate foliage, the mystic path looked liked a verdant oasis out of this world.
As we walked the serene 200-meter path, we felt instantly liberated from the constrains of time like if we had immersed ourselves into a world of inner peace and tranquility.
As we strolled through the narrow walkways, the eerie creeking noise the bamboo made added a magical feeling. The whispering forest has been shortlisted by the Japanese Ministry of Environment as one of 100 soundscapes of Japan which should be preserved.
Time feels still in Arashiyama. Located on the western outskirts of the imperial city of Kyoto, the pleasant district boasts a plethora of temples (including Tenryu-ji, one of the five great Zen temples in Kyoto) and shrines apart from the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
The timeless Togetsukyo Bridge, which literally translates to “Moon Crossing Bridge“, is Arashiyama‘s well known, iconic landmark. A short stroll accross the bridge led us to small pier where scenic boat rides were offered. At the foot of the bridge, there were numerous cute shops and cozy restaurants.
HOW TO GET TO ARASHIYAMA
From Kyoto Stn: Take Kyoto City bus 28 or Kyoto Bus 71, 72, 73, or take the JR Sagano Line to Saga Arashiyama Stn.
From downtown: Take Kyoto City Bus 28, or take the Keifuku Arashiyama Line to Arashiyama Stn.