Yearly Archives: 2018

Kimono Forest, Kyoto

November 2018
A 5 minutes walk from Togetsu-kyo bridge takes us to Arashiyama tram station of the Keifuku Line. It’s located just opposite the main entrance to Tenryu-ji Temple. Towards the back of the station, you will find another type of ‘forest’ that is lesser known. Not as famous as the bamboo forest it’s trying to replicate, this ‘high tech’ forest certainly will be a delight for the eyes and a fantastic photo spot.

Kimono Forest is a collection of cylindrical shaped 2 meters high acrylic pillars with what seems to be in a variety of colours and patterns of kimono designed cloth warped inside it. It is considered a ‘forest’ since the pillars are clustered like bamboo trees in a forest. The pillars are installed over the station grounds and each pillar has a unique kimono design of it’s own. Rather than a forest, it’s more of a mini art installation with rows of colourful columns framing the path way.

Kimono Forest

The Kimono forest are spread around the Keifuku Line tram station.

Kimono Forest

The Keifuku Line Arashiyama tram station.

Kimono Forest

Signboard almost hidden by the Kimono poles.

Kimono Forest

The tram serving the Keifuku Line.

Along the path, you will find the ‘Pond of the Dragon’, which serves as the guardian of the station to ensure safe journey for everyone. The Kimono forest is free to walk through.

Kimono Forest

Beautifully designed Kimono cloth.

Kimono Forest

‘Pond of the Dragon’.

Kimono Forest

Residential houses besides the tram station.

We ended our day of touring attractions in the Arashiyama area at the Kimono Forest. A 10 minutes walk will take you to the JR Saga-Arashiyama station, for the train back to Kyoto.

JR Saga-Arashiyama station

JR Saga-Arashiyama station.

The Romantic Train ticket office

The Romantic Train ticket office just besides the JR Saga-Arashiyama station. The Romantic Train has a station of it’s own, Saga-Torokko.

The Romantic Train ticket office

A retired steam engine outside the Romantic Train ticket office.

Tenryu-ji Temple & Togetsu-kyo Bridge, Kyoto

November 2018

Tenryu-ji Temple

The Tenryu-ji Temple located adjoining to the bamboo forest, is accessible from the forest via the temple’s North Gate entrance. Many visitors are unaware of this gate and mistaken it for an entry to a private property as notices are in Japanese. The North Gate entrance actually leads to the ticket office. Most visitors will make their way to the temple from the main entrance close to the Tenryuji-mae bus stop opposite Arashiyama tram station of the Keifuku Line.

Tenryu-ji Temple

This is the North Gate entrance to Tenryu-ji Temple as seen from the bamboo forest pathway. The small building inside is the ticket office.

If your visit to the bamboo forest starts from Arashiyama-Torokko station, the North Gate entrance is half-way past the dense and best photographic parts of bamboo forest pathway. Making a detour into the temple at this point, you will not miss much of the remaining sight of  the bamboo forest. Better yet, your walk from the ticket office through the gardens will all be downhill to the main entrance.

Tenryu-ji Temple

Past the wall of the temple, is the dense bamboo forest. It’s from here on, the bamboo forest become a picturesque spot till the end.

At the temple’s ticket office, you can choose a temple only, a garden only, or a combo ticket. Then make your way downhill through the gardens and then the temple buildings. Spend some time exploring it’s exquisite gardens and enjoying the calmness of the surroundings. The temple is considered one of the top 5 Zen temples in Kyoto. Although the grounds was busy with visitors, it was not as packed as the pathway of the bamboo forest.

Tenryu-ji Temple

Tickets and pamphlet to the temple.

Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple

 

Katsura River
Finished exploring the temple grounds and gardens, we exited through the main entrance and took a short-cut for the Katsura river bank and the Togetsu-kyo Bridge.

Walking route from the North Gate of Tenryuji Temple to the banks of Katsura river. Taking the blue route out of the temple will be via the main gate to Tenryuji-mae bus stop.


Togetsu-kyo Bridge
Other than it’s historical value, this iconic bridge looks ordinary and nothing special. Cross this bridge and you’ll get to the Monkey Park on the other side of the river. Bus services are available within the vicinity of the bridge with convenient stops nearby that will take you back to Kyoto or other location. The Togetsu-kyo bridge is within 5 minutes walk to the Arashiyama tram station served by the Keifuku Line.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kyoto

November 2018
From Okochi Garden, it is a short walk to the start (or is it the end?) of the bamboo forest. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, or Bamboo Grove or also known as Sagano Bamboo Forest, is a natural forest of bamboo trees. The forest consists of pathway for tourists and visitors to explore the forest and suffice to say, is one of the most photographed places in Kyoto.

You can reach the bamboo forest by bus, train or taxi. You can take the train from the Kyoto train station, a journey of around 30 minutes. It’s quick, inexpensive and the train runs throughout the day and night. Take the San-in Line from platform 31, 32 or 33 at the Kyoto Station to the JR Saga-Arashiyama station and it is a 15-25 minutes walk to the bamboo forest. Alternatively, if you are on the Sagano Romantic train, get off at Arashiyama Torokko station and it’s a couple of minutes walk away.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The crowd at the start of the walking path. This is the side close to the Arashiyama Torokko station.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The denser part of the bamboo forest.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The denser the bamboo forest gets, the denser the crowd gets too.

What we never expected in early November is the crowd to be so pack. Coupled with individuals and groups stopping to take photos and selfies, it makes walking along the pathway uninterrupted almost impossible. Your walk will always be obstructed or hindered every 30-50m or so. An icon of Kyoto we see beautiful pictures of that brought me here, diminishes and evaporated the instant we experienced what seems to be a never-ending chaos. Being an ‘avid’ photographer, I got so disgusted, I took less than 10 photographs.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The pathway through the forest is open all day and I guess, it is best to come early or late in the day to avoid the maddening crowds but this does not guarantee you’ll get the best lighting for photo. As an alternative, you may want to consider Hokokuji Bamboo forest. That’s in Yokohama, close to 500km away.

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