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
How to spend winter in Japan
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Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)