If at first you don’t succeed, try to see it again!

When you tell people you're going to Japan the first thing that's likely to spring to mind will be timeless wooden pavilions, torii gates and groves of tightly packed bamboo swaying in the breeze, and it's not surprising. The tourist industry is constantly feeding us this idealised view of “old Japan” and every day cities like Kyoto and Nara are flooded by eager tourists looking to experience the real deal.
So on my first trip to Japan two years ago I was surprised to find next to no bamboo anywhere in the country, let alone the picturesque groves that are displayed proudly at any Japanese travel agency. It was only after I was back in Europe that I found out where I had missed this key tourist attraction and was keen to visit it as soon as I was back in the area.
It's called the Arashiyama bamboo forest and it's the subject of today's photo of the day. Walking boxed in between two solid walls of tightly packed bamboo you feel wholly removed from the constant buzz of activity found across Japan's cities (including old timey Kyoto). Granted I had to share the experience with several other tourists but this was a far more pleasant experience what I had expected- fighting back tourists at the Golden Pavilion for just one unspoilt photo had left me rather cynical of Japan's A-list tourist attractions. The path winds it way for a half hour through a smattering of venerable zen temples and Shinto shrines before opening out into the beautiful Katsura River. At this point most of the tourists died away giving me breathing space to take some photos- a reward for getting my sightseeing right the second time around! Below are a few more snapshots.



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