In Kyoto on the outskirts, there is this beautiful, touristy district called, Arashiyama. It’s a very popular spot where a lot of tourists come to see Japan’s famous Bamboo Grove, from which I share with you some pictures here.
Arashiyama has a lot to offer to a tourist, it’s not only about bamboos, but it also has some many wonderful places worth visiting, so just don’t forget about that. It is certainly a district in Kyoto you want to visit!
Essentially, here I’m to share with you some of my pictures, you can freely download if you need them for your blog, but also I share some photography ideas for you, so when you visit the Bamboo Grove you will know what kind of pictures you may want to get.
Cause, of course, you’re visualizing yourself taking a beautiful capture of this famous sidewalk surrounded by bamboos, and maybe yourself alone with all the big, tall grass growing on your sides.
Upon arrival, you will realize that is probably not going to happen, cause you will have all these tourists around, what a surprise, eh?
It’s a very famous place, so as you still are going to enjoy it, you may want to take some different photographs than essentially planned. Maybe my pictures will share some inspiration.
I also will have some photography tips and hopefully useful information about the place.
So let’s dig in.
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Bamboo Grove Pictures
It’s such a place that will make you feel proud and special when you stand there, it will make you feel so unique, all of that for free cause I know some wonder about the price for visiting the place.
Here we have our famous “Bamboo Alley”.
It doesn’t last long to see the whole place, so if you have just a little of time to spare, it might be a perfect fit for your itinerary.
If you’re about just to get it, take a picture of this picturesque spot and get out kind of deal; 30 minutes will certainly do it.
But I wanted to spend a bit of time there, take some different pictures and was kind of hoping I will get the alley free of people. So I spent much more time there and I didn’t get a shot without people on it.
But of course, I chose to be there around 2 pm, most probably the busiest time.
So I decided to have some fun, photographing more of details, closeup shots and not the full alley.
Plus, photographing the alley from an angle, so the whole essence is still in the frame, but people walking the alley are not on the picture.
The next two images are from the same spot, and they are quite the same, just a slightly different composition in each of them, I decided to upload them both as I’m having troubles choosing a particular one.
The place looks like a forest, but it’s actually not, so the ground also looks different than usual forests. I think it looks amazing when seeing how this tallest grass in the world grows.
A very similar capture, with some Lightroom adjustments that took some of saturation and luminance off the bamboos, I really love this closeup look.
Couple more vertical photographs. The second one can be downloaded in bigger size here.
Even some images are similar to each other, as I give them for you to use on your blog, I want to give different options, as those small differences may matter to you, and the same time everyone may get a different image in their blog posts.
As the alley may be full of people, like in the picture below…
What you always can do is what I call… “shoot the shooter”. Especially when you’re with a friend you can use him for that. I don’t know why, but I like taking pictures of a phone or a camera taking a picture.
But the most peaceful are still images of just bamboos.
Here we have 2 the same images, with a different Lightroom edits. Bamboos are amazing to not only photograph but to play within Lightroom or Photoshop. They look amazing not only in color, black and white…
But also in sepia color tones. Here is the most artistic picture of bamboos in Arashiyama taken by me.
It’s one of the most picturesque spots not only in Arashiyama but around Kyoto, many tourists visit there to shoot Instagram-worthy pictures. But it also means it can be very crowded at times, so here I share some of my tips when you’re all about photography there.
- Early morning might be the best time to visit. Sunrise might be too early for you, but for photography could be the best time to be getting there.
- Especially if you visit in the early morning, be ready for photographing in low light conditions. Even when visiting the day you may notice that there is not so much light available to you. So grab good lenses that can shoot in low light, tripod and a flash if you’re going to take a picture of someone.
- Everywhere you can see a lot of pictures of the Bamboo Alley. Be creative and think outside the box when needed. Think of closeups, macro photography and also of “shooting the shooter” shots.
- It’s open 24 hours, but it’s dark at night. In (November?) they have illumination happening, so could be a great time to visit and take unique pictures of the place. Research about the illumination in time of your visit there.
- Something I would love to take a picture there is someone wearing kimono, beautiful Japanese umbrella while walking the alley surrounded by the bamboos. So think of that as well. For this shot, early morning and a flash might be needed.
Some Extra Things Worth Knowing
Price? It’s free to visit the place! A perfect spot for travelers on a budget that are looking to explore some of the most sought after places around Kyoto and Arashiyama has much more to offer than just the Bamboo Grove!
By Bus or Train? When getting there from Kyoto, I took a bus, it was the best option for me to get from where I was staying (close to Kyoto station). You may want to rent a bike and ride it to Arashiyama, some people do that and I riding a bike in Japan is a great experience I enjoyed from time to time.
If want to find some good things to enjoy in Arashiyama, please check a great read by Chris Rowthorn, the list of places to enjoy in Arashiyama.
Where is Bamboo Grove?
While exploring Google Maps to find where the famous Bamboo forest is in Arashiyama, it’s quite hard or even impossible to spot. It’s located next to Tenryuji Temple (a temple you might want to visit while there), here is Tenryuji Temple Google Maps listing, it will be the best thing for you to find the directions.
If you enjoyed the pictures and the post, why not to share it with your friends and followers? Also, keep in mind, you can download images shared here and use for free on your blog or web article.