Dates: 29 Mar
The second most must-do thing in Kyoto alongside Gion is probably Arashiyama, the famous bamboo groves.
They’re quite a way out from where you’ll likely be staying in Kyoto, but very easy to get to by public transport. When you arrive it’s extremely easy to find where they are due to how busy they get, just follow the crowds – chances are everyone else is going there too!
There is one route through the groves when you reach them, long enough to get plenty of shots of the bamboo – don’t expect to get any shots with a clear pathway that you see on official tourism websites & advertisements though, there are way too many people visiting Arashiyama for that to be possible. Still a great place for pictures though nonetheless, and the path is fairly wide so it doesn’t feel too crowded despite the masses.
At the end of the groves there is a park that leads up to a viewpoint with nice views of the mountains across the river. After taking in the views I decided to get away from the touristy areas and walk around the part of town to the north of the groves, with a few temples and lots of nice looking residential areas. This is the area where I saw my first fully bloomed cherry blossoms, in Seiryo-Ji Temple.
If you’re one for long days of sight seeing, then getting over to Ryoan-ji Rock Garden & Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion is an easy journey which also takes you closer to Kyoto centre, so it’s a perfect next stop if you go to Arashiyama early enough.