The morning light danced across the tall stalks of bamboo. When I looked up the sky was replaced by a field of green. My legs were still sore from the four-hour hike up Fushimi Inari, as Sejan and I explored another one of Kyoto's wonders the Sagano Bamboo Forrest. Located on the western edge of the city at the foot of the Arashi mountain the Bamboo Forrest is one of Japan's premiere soundscapes. Peace and tranquility are embodied in every swish and sway of the bamboo stalks.
I reached out and touched the tall stalks and I was surprised by how thick and strong it was. After seeing them sway in the wind I had expected the bamboo to be soft and pliable, easily broken. However I was mistaken, bamboo has long been revered in Asian cultures for its resiliency and strength. There's an ancient Japanese Proverb "The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists." When this proverb is applied to travel, I interpret it as praising the benefits of being adaptable and going with the flow. Things don't always work out how you plan but whats best in those moments is to figure out what you can do in the present.
Despite being called a forest the grounds of Sagano weren't actually that large. Which was good for us because we couldn't have handled as much walking as we did the previous day. However, I've seen photos from the bamboo forest on Instagram that Sejan and I could not find during our exploration but assume were behind some of the locked gates.
After we left Sagano we made our way to another colorful and unappreciated site in Kyoto- the Kimono Forrest.
While in Seoul, one of the people in my hostel mentioned that there was really beautiful place near Arashiyama station that see no tourists. When I saw the photo he showed me I knew I had to go. Six hundred tall pillars of dyed fabric make up the Kimono Forrest. The fabric is dyed in the traditional Kyo-Yuzen method. At night the pillars are lit up and the illuminated trail takes you to a gorgeous pond with an orb and a dragon sitting in the middle.
Starting off your day with a stroll around the Sagano Bamboo Forest and then the Kimono Forest is an amazing way to spend a morning in Kyoto. Make sure you Subscribe below so you never miss an addition to the Archive!