Walking Japan: Arashiyama (Bamboo forest)

Arashiyama was one of the few tourist sites I was determined to visit during my 8 days in Kyoto. It’s mostly known for its trail of bamboo trees, so I thought Arashiyama was just a big bamboo tree forest. How wrong I was…

Arashiyama is a big tourist site with bridges over a huge river, shops, and various walking trails. The bamboo trail is just one of the shorter trails that takes only 8 minutes or so to complete… I was expecting to have a Mulan moment where I dance in the midst of the tall bamboo stalks whilst I outsing Christina in “Reflections”.

When will my reflection show, who I am, INSI–I–I–DEEEE20170312_144710.jpg

When I got to the bamboo trees, it was a not-so-intimate trail with the trees blocked off behind a fence, so it’s not like I could walk amongst them at any point of the trail. I also found myself being pushed along by the waves of tourists behind me. It also angered me when I saw that a lot of people had etched in scribbles into the skin of the bamboo trees that were within reach.

Anyways, here are pictures from my walk.

Arashiyama was huge! I only walked the easy and popular trails. Maybe I would have attained my zen moments at some of the more obscure trails. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.20170312_135453.jpg

Yuzu tree near the entrance! Fresh yuzu growing from real trees!!! These are not so rare in Kyoto. I found yuzu trees in the streets near my hostel as well. I saw a school kid carrying a good-looking, fresh yuzu back home. How I envied him so…20170312_140316 yuzu tree at arashiyama.jpg

Melon flavored ice cream from one of the shops near the entrance. There are lots more shops at a big street once you cross the bridge, and the quality is a lot higher in that area.20170312_140532 메로나 ㅋㅋㅋ 멜론 아이스크림 250엔.jpg

Crossing the main bridge20170312_140823.jpg

Once you cross the bridge, you can go off in many directions. There are rentable rowing boats by the water.20170312_141931.jpg

I think these legit boats were for guided group tours… Most people were on the rentable blue rowing boats/canoes. 20170312_141947.jpg

Beautiful Japanese girls in bright kimonos. They were so pretty that I couldn’t resist taking a picture. 20170312_155557.jpg

Path of Bamboo… the reason I had come to Arashiyama. This was a sign at the big street off the bridge, with all the souvenir and food shops that looked like regular houses from afar. I’m sure they were residental houses at one point, but they were bought out by businesses as the street developed into a money-making opportunity.20170312_143746.jpg

Achievement Unlocked. Entered Path of Bamboo. Not the intimate, quiet trail I had hoped for… There were a lot of tourists, but that really shouldn’t have come as a shock to me. It’s a famous place, of course there are going to be a lot of people on a sunny day. The disappointment still hit me, though.20170312_143856.jpg

I think I put my phone up higher than the fence to get this shot…all bamboo-y areas were fenced off.20170312_144153.jpg

Reached over the fence and harmlessly touched a bamboo tree for the first time in my life. So smooth…Fuck the people who etched stuff into these trees (at the top of the picture).20170312_144141.jpg

The bamboo trail only lasts 10 minutes at max. At the end of it, you can go off in different directions to enter different paths.

Some of the paths take you right to residential areas. This is someone’s backyard. More yuzu trees (the tree with yellow dangling fruits)20170312_150203 ppl live on the 0ath.jpg

Several temples on these paths 20170312_150744.jpg

Another path; this one led me to some sort of park, and the park leads into to a mountain, but ain’t nobody like me got time or stamina to conquer a mountain after all these trails20170312_151505.jpg

A nice view from the hill of the park I stumbled across20170312_152155.jpg

Back on the Path of Bamboo20170312_154004.jpg

Never a shortage of bamboo trees here, I guess. Nice fence material.20170312_154229.jpg

I spent a total of 2.5 hours at Arashiyama, and got on the train to get back “home”. 20170312_162234.jpg

It’s quite far from all the other tourist sites and hotels. Not the most convenient location, but still very much worth a visit.



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