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!)
Lots of people. (It’s a popular place!)
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 as part of one day Kyoto itinerary
I went to the bamboo grove as a part of my one day in Arashiyama and Sagano:
- Sagano scenic train
- Arashiyama torokko station
- Okochi Sanso Garden (and teahouse)
- Arashiyama bamboo forest
- Tenryuji Temple
- Togetsukyo bridge
- Arashiyama monkey park
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.
Kyoto Station to Arashiyama bamboo forest
So first, there is a bus that goes from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama.
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.
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.
Then, from the Saga-Arashiyama train station to the bamboo grove is about a 10 minute walk.
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.
Then you can get off at the Arashiyama scenic train station to start your exploration of Arashiyama!
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.)
HAPPY ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO FOREST WALK!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with the bamboo grove!
- Day 1: Top tourist spots with one day bus pass
- Day 2: Fushimi Inari shrine hike through 1,000 torii gates
- Day 3: Philosopher’s Path walk
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
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 KyotoSearch 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!
The super fast train in JapanIn 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 JapanUnfortunately, 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 JapanIf 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
- 5 days in Kyoto
- Cost of climbing Mt Fuji from Tokyo
- Where to go for famous Mt Fuji views as seen in pictures
- Know before you go to Hiroshima
- One day in Miyajima with famous floating torii views
- 3 days in Okinawa, Japan's tropical islands
- Cherry blossom photo walk
- When is the JR pass worth it for train travel?
- Tokyo to Kyoto train
- Hostels in Japan