One of my favorite spots in Kyoto is Arashiyama, the northwestern outskirts of the city. There are a few stations nearby—I like taking the tram to Arashiyama Station via the Keifuku-Arashiyama line, because the station itself is worth a visit. At the station, there is a walkway called the Kimono Forest. Pillars with vibrant kimono patterns, that illuminate in the evening, line a stone path leading to the Dragon Pond.
A short walk from the station is the Bamboo Forest. Along the main road lies a number of souvenir shops and restaurants. Before entering the forest, I like making a stop at the small food stall that sits right along the main road, and I get a custard mochi taiyaki. Trust me, it’s the best thing ever.
The Bamboo Forest is a great place to just take a stroll and enjoy the tranquility. Even during the busy season, you’ll find spots that are secluded. And oddly enough, I find the more crowded areas to be peaceful as well. Regardless of how busy it may be, I always feel awed when gazing up at the tall bamboo stalks.