We are in a world of green. Walls of bamboo — stalks and leaves — soar so high that barely a sliver of sunlight slips through. We hear the wind through this otherworldly grove, a mysterious music soothing nerves we didn’t know we have.
Till we leave the city behind for the mountains, rivers and forests of Arashiyama.
Only 15 minutes away by train from Kyoto, Arashiyama feels like a world apart. The first thing that greets us is the iconic Togetsu-kyo Bridge. For over four centuries, this 155-metre bridge — which spans the shallow, slow-flowing Katsura River — has drawn nature lovers during the spring cherry blossom and autumn foliage seasons.
The colours exploding all over Arashiyama Mountain on the opposite bank are not unlike Mother Nature’s own fireworks. We observe cormorants diving into the river to fish for their supper.