Sagano Bamboo Forest. Japan
Sagano Bamboo Forest, or as it is often called Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, is a picturesque alley filled with thousands of bamboo trees. Disposed in the Japanese prefecture of Kyoto, the forest makes it the host of one of the most outstanding sights of Japan. To be more precise, Sagano Bamboo Forest is located in the Arashiyama Park, not far from a Zen Buddhist temple complex of Tenryu-Ji Shigetsu, which is included into the World Heritage List.
Sandwiched in the middle of the urban landscapes this picturesque grove has its own special charm and mystique. Evergreen tall trees lined up in neat rows like soldiers. This is one of those places which are difficult to describe, because apart from the view, the hearing is more important here! Staggering in the wind, the bamboo trees of this remarkable forest produce sounds which can not be compared with any other forest sounds, they are just exceptional.
Some visitors compare these melodic sounds with wind chimes which are so popular in the East. The sounds and a very special atmosphere of the forest have a particular calming impact and envelop with a sense of harmony. They say you can not only relax here, but also understand the meaning of life. No wonder if we recall the neighbor of the grove. The Japanese government has included the sounds of the bamboo forest of Sagano into the hundred of protected attractions of the country.
The reserve was created in the XIV century, when the Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk, poet and master of the garden art Muso Soseki decided to create a scenic park overlooking the mountains and temple complexes. The area of the bamboo grove is 16 km². It is all permeated by the walking paths bordered by handrails from dry fallen bamboo stalks. In dark time of day these paths are illuminated with the colored lights, which give the park almost homely cosiness.
The park is planted with bamboo of species called “Moso”. These trees, originated in China, have a unique ability. The fact is that it takes only one month for the plant to reach 20-meter height. The diameter of the tree at the same time may reach 20 cm. The largest bamboo stalks grow up to 40 meters in height and 35 cm in diameter.
The Japanese believe that the bamboo trees protect from evil spirits, so they serve as guards for many temples. Among the alleys of the park there is a picturesque pond Sojan, surrounded by mountains and temple buildings. At the main entrance to the forest, you will find shops where you can buy handmade souvenirs made from this evergreen tree, including baskets, cups, dishes and boxes.
You can go through the whole forest in just 15-20 minutes, but the walk will give you a huge amount of light and pleasant emotions for a long time. This is a real cultural treasure that will help you to get a real psychological discharge and relax, that even the most professional therapist can’t provide.