The beginning of my love affair with Kyoto.
It’s so easy travelling with a fellow landscape photographer. The level of dedication that the boyfriend and i had towards getting our shots was so in sync that when we pictured the bamboo forest in mind, we knew we didn’t want any (human) obstructions. And so we woke up before the sun rose and arrived to a peaceful Arashiyama, where the whole town was still asleep and wandering the quiet streets felt absolutely refreshing.
Speaking of which, does the train station not look like something out of a Harry Potter movie? I literally felt like i just got off the Hogwarts Express, no joke.
Finding the bamboo forest got a little tricky. Google Maps took us to the other side of the river, and was about to lead us up the mountain when we realised we might not be heading in the right direction. Plus side though, we got to watch a cloudy sunrise over such amazing water views. Could’ve/would’ve sat there all day if it wasn’t freezing cold.
A couple minutes scouring the internet and a mini spat later, we found out that the bamboo forest is actually located near the Tenryu-ji Temple. Walking on that path and having it all to ourselves made waking up early so much more rewarding. Thankfully, we were also at the Tenryu-ji Temple right at opening time, with the only problem being dealing with extremely harsh lighting.
I always figured Arashiyama to be all the way on the outskirts of town. Little did i expect this charming little suburb to be just 15-20 minutes away from the city. It’s probably why i love Kyoto this much, to be able to have such amazing locations close by while still being in a somewhat upscale city.
The best of both worlds, i’d say.
68 Saga Tenryu-ji, Susukinobaba-cho
Ukyo-ku, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8385
Open 7days; 8.30am-5.30pm
Admission: Garden only – 500 yen; Tenryu-ji garden and buildings – 600 yen