Thursday, 2 July 2015

[Japan | Kyoto] - Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove - not to miss nature walk in Kyoto | by Meheartseoul
Drizzling on and off from the moment our coach reached Kyoto. Happy that it stopped when we strolling from Tenryu-ji Temple to Arashiyama station for Sagano sight-seeing tram ride.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Following the guide to the next destination.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
 Arashiyama Tourist Attractions direction board.

In front of the gift shop, the guide stopped, asking us to see the price of these chopsticks and explained to us why they are so expensive...

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove | 
High quality material and coated with multiple layers
of natural lacquer (urushi) chopsticks -  JPY2560.

Japanese using chopsticks to eat around 2000 years ago, therefore using good quality and safe materials is a top priority. Nowadays, most chopsticks were coated with low quality lacquer, or even worse, with synthetic resin which is not safe to use.  

FYI, Urushi is the sap of the urushi tree (Rhus verniciflua), a variety of poison sumac. This tree mainly grows in East Asia including Japan, China and the Korean Peninsula. Its main ingredient is the poisonous substance urushiol, which can cause a severe allergic reaction. However, once it dries, urushi lacquer is very hard, strong, insoluble and resistant to alkali, acid, salinity and alcohol. Moreover, it is waterproof, antiseptic, and has insulation properties, and is thus rarely damaged by heat or electricity. Due to these properties, urushi has been often used to coat wooden chopsticks and dishes since ancient times. Wooden tableware coated with urushi lacquer is far lighter than ceramic tableware, as well as being lustrous and elegant. Urushi-lacquered tableware (shikki) is one of Japan's great artisan traditions. (Source)

Kyoto (Obama, Fukui prefecture) is considered by most to be center of chopstick design and innovation. The quality and fame of Kyoto chopsticks is unrivaled.  

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Again, we'd to stop in front of these mochi snacks and ice cream shop
to wait for others members and others groups...

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
But at least, our group has very entertaining guide.

On the way from Osaka to Kyoto, he told us that he'll told us long history about Osaka and Kyoto, so we can fall asleep in the bus because most of the people not interested and felt bored, but he said that it's his job and paid to talk. He even jokingly told us a story that it's easily to identify the corpse of tour guide, as their mouth will always open. LOL!!

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Stop!!! I thought we're going to take a train? 

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove | 
but it seemed that we're entering to bamboo forest~!

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Don't stunned seeing abundance of lush of bamboo trees.
Welcome to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove~!

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Cool~!!! you can actually cycle and take rickshaw ride here.
FYI, you can rent bicycle or take rickshaw around of Togetsukyo Bridge.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Enchanting scenery... the shades of green of these tall bamboo
and sunlight made the sky looked yellowish.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Hey, this brave bamboo trying to conquer the soil outside its boundary!

 These bamboo reminded me of Gyeonggijeon Bamboo Garden,
the filming site of 'Masquerade'.

Bamboo is easily found in Korean gardens as they're known as one of  the 'Four Gentlemen Plants', maybe Japan too, but I'm not really sure about it.

Talking about bamboo, I somehow recalled my secondary school life. I'd to borrow notes from my friend and rewrite them at home. This started because this Math and Physics teacher recommended me to almost all the teachers in the school to choose me to write on the blackboard. He convinced them with his 3 reasons why I'm the perfect candidate. His first reason was I'm as tall as bamboo, so there's no problem to reach the top of the blackboard. Secondly, I won't blocked other students, because I'm also as thin as bamboo. And lastly, other students can easily read my neat handwriting. Aaahh... He's really good at tormenting me, right?!

 Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
I should have came here and took this photo to proof him wrong!

How many % similarity between me and bamboo? What's the ratio of my height to this bamboo? and how many kg do I need to shred down to be as thin as bamboo?

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |    Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
It's a bit too crowded... but still love the ambience here.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Sunlight of the floating down the gap between the lush leaves 
creating this green foliage looks so picturesque. 

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove | 
Stroll along this trail to Arashiyama sight-seeing train station, 
you will find Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社の紅葉).

This small shrine in a bamboo grove of Sagano area has a long history and is probably the nonomiya referred to in Genji-Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) written 1000 years ago by a court lady called Murasaki Shikibu. The shrine has a unique black Torii gateway that is made of logs with bark. Several gods are enshrined here. One of them are a god of good match and marriage and another is a god of an easy delivery.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove | 

History: Nonomiya literally means something like a field palace. Saio, an unmarried Imperial princess who was selected to serve the god of Ise-jingu shrine, had to stay in a Nonomiya for a year to cleanse herself before leaving Kyoto for Ise. New Saio was assigned every time a new emperor acceded to the throne. Saios did not necessarily use a same nonomiya and this place was one of those nonomiyas. The first Saio who used this place was a daughter of Emperor Saga (786-842). The institution of Saio was abolished in the era of Emperor Godaigo (1288-1339) but the nonomiya remained as a Shinto shrine, that is Nonomiya-jinja. (Source)
Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Add: Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Ok, finally about 30 minutes walk and non-stop pressing camera shutter, 
we reached Arashiyama Station.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |      Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Waiting outside the station, as it's too crowded inside.

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |       Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |
Cheers to cherry blossoms~^^

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove |

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