Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Kyoto's Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Japan is filled with so many arresting sights. There were a lot of special experiences, so it's hard to choose where to start but I think it's always good to start with nature. One of the most iconic images of Japan is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

The grove towers with bamboo trees that play against the light pouring through the slender trunks. It would be the perfect place to meditate and take in the sound of the stalks swaying back and forth but I was there on a national Japanese holiday. It was culture day, which meant masses of locals were in the grove, strolling and taking photos. I saw loads of kimono clad girls and saffron robed monks but it was hard to focus on the magic of the experience.

The glimpse of serenity that I found was when I stood in front of this graveyard on the other side of the grove. The crowds just headed down the path as I paused and looked at the tombstones. I think that being buried near a bamboo grove is probably one of the most peaceful final resting places and it was there that the grove held the most tranquility.