Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

After I finished blubbering on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, I made my way to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. I took the metro to a tram line and a tram line to the very end and then walked several blocks until I finally found the bamboo grove.

This place was on my “must-see” list was another one of the spots I had seen photographs of a thousand times before. And it was so beautiful. Of course, there were a million people all over the place but it was so magical. I have never seen bamboo trees that tall and as I walked down the long pathway, it felt like I had been transported to another planet.

As the pathway curved and I walked up a small hill, a man sat on the ground painting his view of the bamboo grove and the tourists that walked though it. And as I continued to follow the path deeper through the grove, I found myself alone and walking past a set of railroad tracks, a tea house, and a duck pond. Eventually, I found my way back in the bamboo grove and walked by a group of Japanese women dressed in traditional kimonos. The group paused, looked straight at me, and silently cued that I could take a few photos before they continued walking down the path. Another pair of women wearing kimonos were being pulled in a rickshaw through the bamboo grove.

I slowly made my way back to the tram line and stopped into a shop to buy myself a beautiful square handkerchief as I waited for the next tram to come. I figured another incident of blubbering in public was inevitable and it never hurt to be prepared. The rest of that Thursday in Kyoto was spent running various errands. I went to the train station to change my ticket for the next day so that I went directly to the airport in Osaka rather than the main train station in Osaka. I also may have stopped at Krispy Kreme in the metro to get some tasty tasty blueberry and chocolate cake donuts. (No judgment – It was my birthday the day before.) I also walked through this amazing “tunnel” of restaurants and shops that went across 6 or 7 blocks. I both loved and hated walking through there. There was so much in so little space but it also was crazy crowded in some points. I must admit that I did pop into some of those restaurants and shops to grab some delicious Japanese snacks.

When I got back to the hostel, I cozied up in my bed, which was basically like an awesome fort, and watched TV while eating snacks. The beds were bunk beds and there was fabric wrapped around each bed like a tent and there was a small sliding door on one side of the bed. On the following day, I took a train straight to the airport in Osaka and then flew back to the Czech Republic.

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