The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was on our Japan bucket list, like it is for many. Getting there was an easy train ride from the Kyoto main train station. Since we were in Kyoto early (read about our Shinkansen trip here), we dropped our bags off at the hotel and made our way over to see the bamboo grove on the first day. From the Kyoto station, take the JR Sagano line to Saga Arashiyama station. You’ll have to cross the busy Kyoto station to the opposite side of where the Shinkansen pulls in. When you exit the Arashiyama station, the Sagano scenic railroad will be to your right. Take the time to sign up for the Sagano railroad when you first get there. You can choose a later time if you’d like, but they fill up quickly and may be sold out when you get back. You can also sign up for the Hozu river boat tour at the Sagano train station, which seems like the best option (allow more time though. I think the ride takes a couple of hours). So, take the scenic railroad up to Kameoka through the gorgeous gorge, get off and take the river boat tour back.
When you get out of the train station, take the winding path on the right and follow the crowd to the main shopping area. Cross that main road and keep going straight and you’ll run into the bamboo forest. The forest is huge. If you keep wandering around you’ll find the many faces of it. Some portions of it were more incredible to see than others. Don’t stop wandering until you are “wowed”. I remember first getting there and thinking “this is what the fuss is about?” If we hadn’t kept wandering down random walkways we wouldn’t have found the really beautiful area of the forest.
Grandma came out for an almost 6 week visit so you’ll see lots of pictures of her and the boys on our adventures. We were so thrilled to have someone else here to explore Japan with.
If you do make it up to the Arashiyama area, be sure to ride the Sagano Scenic Railroad. I was stunned by how beautiful it was. The best seats going up to Kameoka are on the right side of the train. (On the left side going back down to the Sagano station if you do a round trip) If it isn’t too cold, see if there is room on the open air car.
Still more to come from Kyoto! We’ve been busy traveling. You can always follow me on Instagram to see where we are currently.