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!
Shoes for JapanFor summer travel, hiking sandals can be perfect for walking around cities and for many of the short day hikes! See travel sandals like these for women and these for men.
Japan is a mountain country so be sure to get in some hikes!
See trail running shoes too (for women - for men) for other solid hikes including climbing Mt Fuji.
Speaking of hiking, I love this daypack.
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.
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.
Cheap(er) flights to JapanI used this website to find the cheapest flight and to book my recent flight to Japan.
Sometimes it makes sense to book direct - my preferred way!
But this booking site will search a combination of airlines, including those who aren't partner airlines, which means that they can help you find cheaper flights by booking individual flights for you as part of one flight itinerary. This can be especially helpful if you're not flying out of a major hub with direct flights to Japan.
I've missed a flight booked through them and it was taken care of with hotel and new flight.
See more tips for finding cheap flights to Japan.