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Rising Bamboo Entertains Visitors in Memory of Busho

KYOTO – When we think of bamboo woods in Kyoto, the Arashiyama and Sagano districts are probably at the top of the list. However, Kodaiji Temple, shown in this photo, also boasts magnificent woods that entertain visitors with its tall green bamboo throughout the year. In summer especially, the bamboo green gives a feeling of coolness. When the winds flow through the woods, it is refreshing even in the middle of humid summer. If you are lucky, you might run into a light-up event in the evening. These otherworldly scenes are also impressive.

This temple was constructed in 1606 by the legal wife of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a Japanese “busho” military commander. The wife, named Nene, built the temple to pray for her husband’s soul after his death. Farmer-born Hideyoshi Toyotomi is known as a person who brought the country under his rule.

Bamboos are perennial plants and begin to regrow after only a few months. Since ancient times, bamboo has been planted in many places in Japan, offering refreshing scenes. The plant has also been used for traditional Japanese houses as it’s a material that is easily processed. The bamboo woods at Kodaiji Temple show different expressions depending on the season. If you hope to feel a cool breeze going through the forest, going in the summer is recommended.

Photo by Eri Minouchi, text by Motomi Takahashi