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Why Sagano is special ?
Sagano Bamboo Forest is located in Arashiyama, a district on the west outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. It was huge bamboo that stretches for miles and throughout the forest there are temples.
Sagano Bamboo Forest is one of the most amazing natural sites in Japan.
One of the most interesting facts about Sagano Bamboo Forest is the sound which the wind makes while it blows amongst the bamboo. Amazingly enough, this sound has been voted on as one of the “one hundred must-be-preserved sounds of Japan” by the Japanese government.
Another interesting fact – the railing on the sides of the road is composed out of old, dry and fallen parts of bamboo.
What to explore at Sagano?
The most beautiful spot is not at the beginning of the path, but further away past Tenryuji temple entrance, where bamboo groves grow further apart from each other, allowing it to become thick and beautiful.
You can rent a bike or stroll the path to enjoy the beautiful sight of sunlight shining through the bamboo grove, casting soft shadows on the path. Especially when the wind blows through, you can see moving images exuding a tranquil feel. That is the true charm of these forests of the east.
You can also take a rickshaw ride from the young Japanese men and go through the bamboo forest path and around Arashiyama if you want. The price will be around 5000-7000 yen depend on where you want to go. To get to Arashiyama, take the JR train to Saga-Arashiyama station or take the Hankyu Railway to Arashiyama Hankyu Station. There will be signs showing the way to the bamboo forest. In case you don’t see one you can follow the signs for Tenryuji temple and Nonomiya Shrine. That will also get you to the bamboo forest.
There is no fee so you just have to prepare yourself and your camera to take this wonderful path.
How to get to Sagano?
From Kyoto Station: Take Kyoto City bus #28 or Kyoto Bus #71, #72, #73, or take the JR Sagano Line to Saga Arashiyama Station
From downtown: Take Kyoto City Bus #28 or #11 (#11 also can be caught from Shijo Kawaramachi), or take the Keifuku Arashiyama Line to Arashiyama Stn. (from Shijo Omiya Station).
- Best Part of Arashiyama
- Beautiful river and bamboo walking
- A hidden gem in Kyoto
- Incredibly beautiful place
- Spectacular bamboo forest
Arashiyama, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Tips for you
Hidden gem, not very well announced to the public, Sagano is a not very far small town in Kyoto. Technically, it's Arashiyama, a pleasant, touristy district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period, when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and fall color seasons, which I've unfortunately lost... The Togetsukyo Bridge is Arashiyama's well known, central landmark. Many small shops, restaurants and other attractions are found nearby, including Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama's famous bamboo groves and pleasure boats that are available for rent on the river. But I wanted more! North of central Arashiyama the atmosphere becomes less touristy and more rural, with several small temples scattered along the base of the wooded mountains. The area north of the Togetsukyo Bridge, also known as Sagano, while the name "Arashiyama" technically just refers to the mountains on the southern bank of the river but commonly used to name the entire district was my destination. So I took the JR train-Sagano Line until Torokko Saga stop and walked a few steps towards the delightful Sagano scenic train, a travel to the past. The scenery is breathtaking, and we stopped at Torokko Arashiyama towards the Bamboo forest, until we reached the Tenryuji Temple. Yes,, it sounds crazy, because it's a long walk, but believe me: it is very relaxing, and the temple is an oasis of peace. Good for the body, great for the eyes excellent for the soul, this is all I can say. Try it! You won't regret.
We came here on a rainy day in January. (Bring umbrella just in case, most hotels let you borrow umbrellas). You'll have to take bus or taxi from JR train station. Entrance is free. The bamboo trees are calming, the path is clean, a good hike for all ages. Worth visiting if you're around the area, (our main purpose was to see the snow monkeys at Arashiyama which is walking distance from the bamboo forest).