Arashiyama bamboo forest aka Arashiyama bamboo grove aka Sagano bamboo forest in Kyoto Japan. How to get to arashiyama bamboo forest from Kyoto station. photos. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

The Arashiyama bamboo grove is probably one of the most recognizable images of Kyoto, if not all of Japan. (The Fushimi Inari Shrine is another one!)

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest grove - when is best time to visit - early morning less crowds. photos. Kyoto bamboo forest. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest grove - when is best time to visit - afternoon crowds. pictures. Kyoto bamboo forest. Backpacking Japan

Lots of people. (It’s a popular place!)

Arashiyama bamboo forest grove - when is best time to visit - afternoon crowds. pictures. Kyoto bamboo forest. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest grove - when is best time to visit - early morning less crowds. photos. Kyoto bamboo forest. Backpacking Japan

 

So being a majorly famous place in Japan, of course you want to figure out how you can make this a part of your trip to Kyoto!

The bamboo grove is located in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto.

This isn’t really what you’d call central Kyoto where many of Kyoto’s top attractions are located, and you could even call it the outskirts of Kyoto.

 

 

Is the bamboo forest the only reason to go to this part of Kyoto?!

The good news is that it can totally be worth the trip to make it out to Arashiyama, and not just for the bamboo forest.

There are enough things to do in this part of Kyoto that you can make a good day out of a trip to Arashiyama (and Sagano).

 

More bamboo trees in Kyoto

And while you’re in Arashiyama, there are other places that you can see bamboo trees too.

It won’t feel as immersive of an experience as walking through the famous Arashiyama bamboo grove, but if you like bamboo trees, you’ll like the scenery!

These are a couple more of the best places to visit in Arashiyama, and they are located right nearby the main bamboo grove that attracts the crowds.

 

Tenryuji Temple (world heritage site)

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Tenryuji temple - Best places to visit in one day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Tenryuji temple with bamboo trees from grove - Best places to visit in one day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Tenryuji temple with bamboo trees from grove - Best places to visit in one day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

 

 

Okochi Sanso garden teahouse

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Okochi sanso villa garden teahouse with bamboo trees from grove - Best places to visit in one day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Okochi sanso villa garden teahouse with bamboo trees from grove - Best places to visit in one day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Okochi sanso villa garden teahouse with bamboo trees from grove - Best places to visit in one day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

 

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest as part of one day Kyoto itinerary

I went to the bamboo grove as a part of my one day in Arashiyama and Sagano:

 

 

So…

Is it easy to get to the Arashiyama bamboo forest?!

So even though this is more on the outskirts of Kyoto, it’s relatively easy and quick to get to Arashiyama from Kyoto Station.

And, if you’ll be in Kyoto with your JR pass activated, then you can even get here for free! (There’s also a JR bus route that will allow you to get to other top Kyoto attractions for free too.)

 

Kyoto Station to Arashiyama bamboo forest

So first, there is a bus that goes from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama.

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest from Kyoto station bus. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

 

But this generally wouldn’t be the most time-efficient way to get to Arashiyama when you’re coming from Kyoto Station.

Instead, the JR train can work out well whether you are traveling with or without a JR pass in Kyoto.

When you’re at Kyoto Station, you’ll look for the sign that tells you where to go for the train to Saga-Arashiyama.

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest from Kyoto station train with JR pass. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

 

And then, you’ll head to that platform, get on the train, and then get off the train at Saga-Arashiyama station!

From Kyoto station to Arashiyama is about a 20 minute train ride.

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest from Saga Arashiyama JR train station. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest from Saga Arashiyama JR train station. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano, Kyoto. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest from Saga Arashiyama JR train station. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano, Kyoto. Backpacking Japan

 

Then, from the Saga-Arashiyama train station to the bamboo grove is about a 10 minute walk.

 

 

But…

Should you make the Arashiyama bamboo forest your first activity of your Arashiyama visit?

This will also depend on what else you want to do in Arashiyama.

If you’re interested in taking the Sagano scenic tourist train, you may consider taking the scenic train first.

If you do the scenic train first, you can start your day off by first going to the Kameoka scenic train station. (You can take the same JR train to get near here, and then walk the rest of the way with views of Japan’s countryside… and this is also near the starting point of some Hozugawa river rafting tours.)

From the Kameoka station, you can board the scenic train.

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Kameoka torokko station for sagano scenic railway train. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano, Kyoto. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest to sagano scenic railway tourist train. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano, Kyoto. Backpacking Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest to sagano scenic railway tourist train. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano, Kyoto. Backpacking Japan

 

Then you can get off at the Arashiyama scenic train station to start your exploration of Arashiyama!

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Arashiyama torokko station for sagano scenic railway train. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano, Kyoto. Backpacking Japan

 

From this train station, it’s just a few minutes to walk to the bamboo forest. (You can also stop by the Okochi Sanso Japanese gardens along the way.)

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest to Arashiyama torokko station - Kyoto tourist map. One day in Arashiyama and Sagano. Backpacking Japan

 

 

Arashiyama bamboo forest grove with kimono rental. pictures. Kyoto bamboo forest. Backpacking Japan

 

HAPPY ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO FOREST WALK!

 

Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with the bamboo grove!

 

 



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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For more on planning your trip to Kyoto, see the 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day Kyoto itineraries. If you'll be in Kyoto in the spring, also see the 1-day cherry blossom photo walk.

Hotels in Kyoto
Search for deals on Kyoto hotels here.

For hostels across Japan, try this top backpacker's hostel chain.

Kyoto can also be a good place to stay at a Japanese-style ryokan, like this one. Or if you're on more of a budget, try this one.

Also use the map below to see more hotels in Kyoto!

Booking.com

The super fast train in Japan
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it.

See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

See an example of traveling by the fast train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

NEW way of buying individual shinkansen train tickets online!
I will start by saying I have NOT bought train tickets online this way (yet!) to verify this! (But it's on my list for my next trip to Japan!)

There's an online train ticket booking method that's popular for other parts of Asia, and they are just now branching out to Japan.

You can now buy train tickets online here for popular shinkansen train routes. (And some bus routes too.)

I've used this booking site for taking the train from Thailand to Malaysia, and it worked out well, so I would expect it to work out well in Japan too!

The thing is, though, that you need to pick up the physical train tickets in person.

So it won't be enough to just buy the tickets online. I had to do this in Bangkok for my train ticket - and it was easy! So again, I would think it'd be easy for Japan train tickets too.

Search for popular routes in Japan here. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto.

If you end up buying train tickets online this way, I would love to hear how it goes! Whether that's good, or if it came with some challenges!

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

Best travel guides for Japan
If you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.

For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.

See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.

Create your Japan itinerary


That's it for now!