Looking for quiet in Arashiyama

Angelina Hue

Arashiyama 嵐山 is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. Named after the « Storm Mountains » that form its dramatic landscape, Arashiyama is best known for its bamboo grove.

That’s how I first came to know of this area. Based on the photos I had seen online, I thought that Arashiyama was an immense bamboo forest nestled between mountains. But I was mistaken. There is more to Arashiyama than the bamboo!

Getting to Arashiyama is easy. You could go by train, bus, taxi, or even bicycle. The journey from central Kyoto can take between 30 minutes to an hour.

We went by bus. When we alighted, we found ourselves in an open-air shopping plaza teeming with tourists. A quiet doubt crept into my mind. « Is Arashiyama a tourist trap? »

We passed countless souvenir shops as we walked along the main street towards the river. Most of the…

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