Kyoto: Bamboo, Moss and Magic.

October 10, 2017

Bamboo Forest Kyoto
Walking the Bamboo Forest

While I’m pressed against the seat with my back, endless lime green fields and little houses with wooden roofs are passing by.  The bullet train Shinkansen is rushing through Japan from Tokyo to Kyoto with speed of light. Forests are decorating the rolling hills, and we leave the noisy and crowded capital behind us. After arriving in Kyoto it seems like a big and magical door is opening with a creak. It swings open to golden temples, bamboo groves and gentle wind chimes. A homage to a city that instantly belonged to one of my favorite places on earth.


It’s so quiet that you can hear the chirr of crickets and the tweet of birds predominating the warm summer wind. The sun is going down behind the hills. Leaving a purple curtain on the sky where the moon tries to spy through. Alongside the small shops numerous lanterns are brightening up the street in yellow and orange shades. It smells sweet. Colorful scarves, figures of cats and joss sticks: On Utano-Arashiyama-Yamada Street you can find really authentic Japanese arts and crafts. Right next to it there’s a small train station without a roof. It is surrounded by illuminated columns. It is called Kimono Forest. In every column you can find a wrapped Kimono with patterns of dragons or flowers.

Gio-ji: The enchanted Forest

Gio-ji Temple Kyoto
Endless moss, endless beauty at Gio-ji Temple

The next day we are visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site Tenryu-ji with an overwhelming garden full of beauty and harmony. The first colorful leaves are reflecting in the large pond. Afterwards we were taking a walk through the famous Bamboo Forest. It belongs to the most beautiful groves in the world. Tons of bamboo form a guard of honor and keep your eyes wandering up to the sky. Their trunks never seem to end. Unfortunately this place is very crowded. But on the other hand there is no entrance fee.


In the afternoon we are hiking to Gio-ji Temple. Many little traditional shops are hiding in the small alleys and the scenery reminds me of the streets in the South of France. You can find beautiful fans and tiny basketry. By reaching the temple I’m ultimately losing my mind. Everything – literally everything! – is covered with moss in any shads and shape. The knaggy trees, the rocks and the temple itself. This is one of those moments you wish you could breathe in and never give away again. We are sitting down inside of the temple for a while looking at some Buddha statues while the dusk is crawling into the woods.

Fushimi Inari, 1,000 red gates in Kyoto, Japan

Sleep authentically with Backache

Airbnb room Kyoto
Our insanely comfortable futons ...
Rain is drumming against the window of our small apartment on the next morning. We’re living at an Airbnb again. Everybody who follows my blog a little longer might know that Airbnb is one of my favorite ways to travel. It is easygoing, personal, not really expensive and you still have privacy that you won’t find in a dorm in a hostel. Furthermore, it is really authentic. Actually really authentic because we’re sitting on the floor by eating at a low table and sleeping on futons. Like Alex commented on our first night in the flat: “Slipped disk deluxe!”
We saw tons of things in Kyoto and also did a very spontaneous day trip to Hiroshima to see a floating gate. So, I’ll continue with this report in some days. Currently we’re on our way bacl to Tokyo by train and soon flying out of Tokyo back to Germany. You can find up-to-date photographs on my Instagram account.

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