13 2015 Jun

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Japan, KyotoTagged bamboo, grove, shrine, travel, water purification ritual, water well

After our boat ride we went up into the bamboo forrest. We passed by a few restaurants and ryokans overlooking the river and turned up the street. A few rickshaw drivers were running their patrons up the block. It was a little amusing given the short distance they covered. I figured they were raising money for their schools given how young and athletic they were. Great idea and so much better then a car wash.

Once we got inside the grove the tall trees provided us with some shade form the sun. We strolled along the paths stopping for photos and small shrines. The amount of people were bearable. You really wish there were less people to take in the beautiful scenes. But it’s a public place, one can’t be too selfish.

Overall the place is rather small and quaint. Plan for about an hour or two within the groves. The walk probably covers only a mile when you add it all up.

When we were done we made our way to town streets that were filled with shops. Lots of places to eat and shops for you to check out. Shops specialized in everything from souvenirs to plum vinegar to Kaiseki, multi-course Japanese cuisine. We stopped by for some unagi, eel, which I’ll cover later, and some dessert. If I had more room in my suit case I’d probably do more shopping. There were so many stores. But warning, the shops do close early. By 7pm places were closing down. I didn’t get to buy a cookie tin I had seen earlier. Mental note, don’t hesitate on small purchases.

Entering the Grove

Follow the crowds and you'll find yourself inside the grove. There are maps spread around the area so don't worry you won't get lost.

Walking Through the Groves

Yeah, you won't get to walk among the bamboo trees themselves. They're sectioned off from the tourists. Don't even think about hopping over.

Lanterns

Bamboo Forrest

Looking into the grove was mesmerizing. The stalks of bamboo seemed endless.

Water Wells

You can find wells around the shrines. The proper procedure is to get a ladle full, wash both hands, and then pour an amount in your hand and drink form there. You're not suppose to drink straight from the ladle.

Takao Maple Trees

Commonly overlooked because of the amazing bamboo groves, these trees can be found around the small shrines. The leaves were bright and green during the summer but I know they turn a wonderful red come fall.

Azuki Bean Shaved Ice

The azuki beans in Kyoto tastes so much better here. They've got more of a candied taste. Mix that in with some matcha shaved ice and you got a summer treat. There are many dessert shops in town where you can try this. Something you can't pass up.

Ox Impressions: 

Kimono Forrest

Around the Arashiyama Station there's a permanent installation of lights. Mirroring the bamboo grove, these tower of lights showcase kimono patterns from around the region. It's beautiful as the night pushes on and the area is lit up in a colorful array.

Natural Foot Spa

In the middle of Arashiyama Station there's this little hot spring to soak your tired feet. It only cost 200Y and for me it was well worth it. After exploring the grove and town for hours on end, a little dip felt perfect. We sat and watch the sunset and the lights pick up intensity. What a way to close out the day.

The OxPosted June 13, 2015 By the hungry ox


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