The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama is a historic area on the western outskirts of Kyoto. Lots of sightseers are drawn there, in part by a forest of enormous bamboo trees.

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To get there you have to cross a bridge.

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A path through the forest is about 500 yards long.

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A popular destination, you’ll find the path is crowded with people.

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The towering trees and and dappled shade inspires reverence, despite the crowds.

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I say trees, but technically bamboo species are members of the grass family.

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On the other hand, if you can’t call this a forest, what should you call it? A grassland? Prairie?

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There are a number of important sights adjacent to the bamboo forest, including the Tenryu-ji Temple and Okochi Sanso garden.

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We didn’t see Tenryu-ji, but we did get to see Okochi Sanso, a garden built by a Japanese film star from the 1920s. I’ll do a post on that garden shortly.

22 Comments on “The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

  1. Now that is some talll bamboo. Seeing photos of this makes me think jungle. It looks like not much grows under this canopy. I wonder how old it is. Do they manage it? Will it take over the world?

  2. Did they make noise? I will never forget the bamboo grove on the Pipiwai Trail on Maui which made the most incredible noises when the wind blew. It felt like a Tolkien world.

  3. Wow, that must have been an experience! Here in Northern California we have the Redwood forests which may be our version of places like this, with a less congested throng of visitors.

    • Years ago we visited Muir Woods, which was also pretty crowded. I’d like to see more of the Redwoods in some less touristy areas. By the way, I think my comments on your blog may be going into the spam folder.

  4. I have never seen such tall bamboo plants (trees/grasses) they look very elegant, no wonder they are used in Japanese gardens. My father absolutely hated bamboo, he said it took all the goodness out of the garden, and that most plants cannot grow next to bamboo….don’t know if this was just his Scottish stubborn slant on bamboo!

  5. Out of curiosity, is this a natural forest of bamboo? Are there understory plants and different species besides the bamboo “trees”? It sure feels unique to me, but I wonder if there is such a thing as a bamboo forest in nature? How would other plants compete?

  6. I didn’t know about the grass connection but you can totally see that in Judy’s pictures!

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