0 In Destinations/ Japan

The Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto – honestly, one of the most beautiful and charming cities I’ve ever been lucky enough to visit. It has earned the reputation of being Japan’s most traditional and beautiful city, and from the very first second, it was easy to see why.

Nestled into a backdrop of mountains, the city is home to thousands of man-made wonders of the past with temples, shrines and palaces at every turn, exquisite natural beauty and gardens and an amazing culture that makes it look and feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

On our very last day in Kyoto, Ty and I travelled to see the famous Bamboo Forest in the beautiful Arashiyama district on the Western outskirts of Kyoto. One of the things that really amazed us about Japan was their fantastic public transport system. It sounds like a strange thing to be thankful for but in a country with so much to see and do, a great public transport network is a necessity to allow you to get around and see it all, and Japan certainly has it. 
From where we were staying in Gion, Arashiyama was only a short subway ride away so before long we were crossing the Togetsukyo Bridge, making our way to see the incredible Bamboo Forest and Tenryuji Temple and glimpsing our first (and, sadly, only) sight of cherry blossoms. 

It was a cold day, as was to be expected in February, so we rugged up against the cold and enjoyed a brisk walk through the gardens to reach the Bamboo Groves. Of course, everyone else had the same idea as us, but a hush fell over the hoards of tourists as soon as the bamboo pathway was in sight. Something about the dark, cold earth and towering, swaying bamboo invited silence and that’s how most of the tourists spent their time wandering through the forest.

Out the other side, Ty and I came across the entrance to the beautiful Tenryuji Temple. The gardens surrounding it were so pretty and we had a lovely time throwing coins into the wishing well and wandering through the mossy garden.

Shoes must be taken off before entering the Temple but we didn’t venture in as we were fairly cold by this stage! All in all, it was a perfect day and the perfect introduction to Japan’s history, tradition and culture. Needless to say, a visit to the Bamboo Forest and Tenryuji Temple is a must if you ever visit Japan!

Have you ever visited Japan or it is still on your travel wish list? 

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