Arashiyama 嵐山 offers a breath of fresh air when the many similar temple-visits in Kyoto City gets a little humdrum. Located in the western part of the city, Arashiyama is often said to be a less explored area since most tourist guidebooks do not offer much explanation. True enough when I reached there last winter, there were a gazillion Japanese tourists mulling around and very little gaijin.
My first stop was the much talked about Bamboo Forest. Located just about 5 mins on foot from the JR Saga-Arashiyama station, the bamboo forest offers a sanctuary of greenery and peace. Yes green even in the dead of winter.