If you come to Kyoto, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the must see spots because it is absolutely stunning and very photogenic!
There is a path in the grove, and it is around 400 meters long. You can go through it feeling peaceful.
It is also called Arashiyama Bamboo Forest instead of Grove, and more than 10,000 bamboos are planted.
Arashiyama was a holiday home area for noble in Heian era (794 – 1185), so the place has more than 1000 year history!
Map | how to get to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
There are 3 train stations close to the grove.
The most accessible one will be JR Saga Arashiyama station since you can get a direct train from Kyoto station. The train ticket costs JPY 240. The route from the station to the forest is lined in blue on the map below.
The second one is Randen Arashiyama station. Randen is one of the local trains in Kyoto and the trains usually have 1 or 2 carriages only. If you would like to travel like a local, this train would be the one! The station is in the middle of the map and is marked in blue. It is the closest station from the grove, but you need to transfer once from Kyoto station and 15 min walk needed for the transfer.
The last one is Hankyu Arashiyama station. It is also marked in blue and shown on the bottom of the map. On the route from the station to the grove, you will go through another iconic landmark in Arashiyama which is Togetsukyo bridge. If you would like to fully enjoy Arashiyama, then this route is for you. You need to transfer twice from Kyoto station though.
Arashiyama bamboo grove is open 24/7. It is usually busy from 9 am to 5 pm as the shops around there are open during the time. If you would like to avoid the crowds, then early morning or late evening on a weekday would be the best.
Arashiyama bamboo grove is free, no entrance fee is needed!
Arashiyama bamboo grove is not lit up at night. So going there at night is not a good idea as it is pretty much dark and there are graveyards around, it could be a bit scary…
But good news here as there is an illumination event in Arashiyama in December which is called Hanatouro. Only in that season, the night strolling there gets enjoyable!
Arashiyama bamboo grove could look different with snow in winter. However it has not snowed heavily in the past couple of years due to the global warming. You will be really lucky if you could see it in white.
Additionally bamboo is usually green in all the seasons, but the leaves turn yellow in the spring which is different from the other trees as the leaves usually change the colors in Autumn in Japan.
Travel like a local | Virtual tour of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
The locals walk and run there in early morning as it is refreshing and there are less tourists. This is how I walk around in early morning↓
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Japanese
We call it chikulin-no-komichi（竹林の小径）, It means a path in grove.