Crowded in at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

To beat the crowds, we had read, make sure you arrive at the start of the Arashiyama bamboo grove before 10:00. After walking from our hotel for about twenty minutes to a JR station we had taken the train to Arashiyama. A helpful tourist centre volunteer at the station had given us a map of the way to walk to the bamboo grove. Clearly many other travellers had read the same thing, as when we arrived at the start of the bamboo grove it was like leaving a football game in Australia – people everywhere! I tried for a photo of the grove with as few people as possible by raising the camera up high but to no avail.

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So off we walked along with all our new walking companions. You couldn’t help but be impressed by the greenness of it all.

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At the end of the grove we passed a lake and a temple, followed shortly after by a tourist bus carpark. After that it was relatively peaceful apart from the odd rickshaw going by for the next couple of kilometres.

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We came to this thatched cottage which was in the perfect setting.

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At this point we decided to start our return journey back to and through the bamboo grove. By now the madding crowd had thinned out and a photo without a cast of a thousand extras was possible.

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The sun shining through the bamboo at just the right angle created this halo cross effect which nearly shows you the shades of green as we were seeing them.

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Back at the start of the bamboo grove we were feeling a bit weary. Would we head back into Arashiyama town for a rest and something to eat or while we were there pay and go into the gardens at the Tenryu-ji temple complex. Within moments of entering the garden we knew we had made a great decision. For a start the crowds were almost gone. Secondly the gardens were offering the peace we had desired all morning.

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Thirdly the autumn colours reflected in the small milky lake were magnificent.

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AS we followed the path through the gardens we climbed to a viewpoint across the top of the gardens back to the city of Kyoto.

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Coming back down we were able to contrast the main ‘wet’ part of the garden with a smaller ‘dry’ section with raked gravel acting as a white foreground to the beautifully manicured green of the trees.

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From there we walked back into the masses now crowding the streets, shops and cafes of Arashiyama. Having seen two quite beautiful areas that morning at least we had experienced part of the day in a peaceful way.

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