When travelling in Kyoto, the Sagano Bamboo Forest is something you want to do very early or very late in the day after the main tour groups have gone through. After seeing the peaceful shots on the Google bot I was really overwhelmed to find a million people there.
The Bamboo Forest is one several lovely, free things to do in Kyoto. We got to Kyoto at about 9.30 a.m. (kind of late in tourist terms) after arriving by train from Osaka. We prompt changed onto the Sagano line and went directly to Saga-Arashiyama station to begin our day.
We opted against being pulled along and took the five minute walk to the start of the path. This is definitely a place you should visit very early in the morning or very late in the evening. After looking at pictures I had expected a picture of peace and solitude, but there were so many tourists that the place really felt small. The actually forest is not really that big – maybe a five minute walk along the path – even if you’re taking your time. Still, it’s very beautiful.
Since it was almost lunch time we were keen to get in a few more sights and returned to the city after only a half hour. Biggest regret, not continuing on up the hill to the Arashiyama (Iwatayama) Monkey Park – because monkies!