Imagine gazing down an endless pathway of swaying green boughs. The stalks tower above you, allowing sunlight to filter in gently. The forest seems endless to both your left and your right, and the sound of foliage swaying in the breeze lulls you into a trance-like state. This peaceful scene isn’t a mere dream – it is the reality you’ll find within sagano bamboo forest.
Growing tall on the edges of Kyoto, the Sagano Bamboo Forest is a once tranquil nature spot that is now a series of tourist-packed pathways.. The walking paths that cut through the bamboo groves make for a nice walk or bicycle ride. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The experience has been described as other-worldly, serene, and dreamlike.
Only 30 minutes or so from Kyoto city center, the towering bamboo forest is an almost shocking contrast to the urbanity surrounding it. Wooden paths weave through the dense thicket of tall bamboo stalks that reach dozens of feet into the sky, creating a canopy. As the wind passes through the tightly packed plants, the wood bends and creaks, the leaves rustle, and the trunks knock together, creating a peaceful sound like almost nothing else. That is, when the hordes of tourists aren’t drowning it out.
If visitors can find a time to visit the bamboo forest when it is relatively empty the combination of visual beauty and auditory calm may be one of a kind. There is no word, however, on how the place smells.