I was deluded to think I could avoid Kyoto’s massive crowds by visiting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove at 10 AM.
The sit was bustling when I arrived. I grimaced at the rows of tour buses unloading their human cargo outside the entrance.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s most popular attractions — and for good reason.
It’s a forest, but unlike any that I’d ever seen before. Instead of trees, there’s an endless supply of bamboo stalks. They line the path through the grove, whispering in the breeze.
The thick green bamboo stretches up and blocks out the sun and sky. The light in the grove becomes green, giving the place an ethereal quality.
Probably just a placebo effect, but Arashiyama Bamboo Grove’s air feels healthy and clean because of this green light.
But this magic was the cause of my ills too. As I dodged the stream of tourists, I pictured how it would’ve been much earlier in the morning. Sleeping-in had been a waste.