Japan – Day 12: Arashiyama

Day 12 marked our last full day in Japan.  While we reconciled the fact that we’d be departing soon, we biked from monkeys to bamboo, from a castle to Japanese music videos.

I had one final must on my list that had not yet been reached: the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.  Aaron was also excited about the associated monkeys, though I didn’t remember that in the brochure.  We hopped our (t)rusty bikes and pedaled across Kyoto to Arashiyama.  Though we were out by 8am, I still felt it was terribly late; I was desperate to beat crowds to something I knew would be quite populated. Continue reading

A Taste of Japan: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

A visit to Kyoto isn’t complete without a trip through the stunning bamboo grove of Arashiyama.  There is nothing more humbling than acres of majestic trees towering above your head, cutting thousands of completely vertical lines 115 feet into the sky.

Bamboo has been revered for its durability for centuries, and it grows incredibly fast, making it a popular renewable resource; the wood is used in thousands of applications.  It is particularly important to the Japanese, who view it as a symbol of prosperity and see its simplicity as representing purity.  Bamboo is unique in its elegance, which is why stalks frequent many zen-hopeful desks, but they are seldom seen in such magnificence.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015 Continue reading