One could spend an entire month in Kyoto and still not see it all.  With over 3000 shrines and temples dating back centuries, it’s often hard to choose what to see with only a few days. One though that is a must is the bamboo forest in Arashiyama. Arashiyama is an area surrounded by mountains and running along the Katsura and Hozu rivers in the western part of Kyoto. It’s an area filled with shops, restaurants and temples dating back to Heian period, but it is Arashiyama’s bamboo forest that will take your breath away and literally stop you in your tracks. I have visited it countless times over my years in Japan and each time I am taken back by its surreal never-ending beauty. The best time to visit the forest is like anywhere else in Japan, when no one else is around. Not always easy to do, but you are almost guaranteed a private audience with the bamboo if you arrive very early in the morning. It may be difficult to climb out of your comfortable futon, but what awaits you at the end of your journey is something that is truly hard to put in words.

Whether on foot, bicycle or car, seeing, experiencing and capturing this wonder is a must and I cannot wait to get back there next spring!


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