Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Iwatayama Monkey Park
Get There: The Monkey Park and Bamboo Grove are both a 10-minute walk from Saga Arashiyama Station in the Ukyo Ward (hence why we’ve grouped them together). They’re in different directions, but if you ask a nearby local, they’ll be more than happy to show you which is which.
You’re in for a treat if you visit the Monkey Park and Bamboo Grove in Kyoto. The 200-metre ascent will take around 15 minutes if you’re a fit non-smoker, or a little bit longer otherwise. You’ll soon find yourself overlooking the entire city of Kyoto and its mountain ranges while kicking back next to cute fluffy monkeys. Fortunately, the monkeys are pretty chill (unlike the ravenous type you might have found elsewhere in Asia), and you can pay a small fee to feed them apples and other fruits. Walk down the hill for another 20 minutes and you will find yourself in the midst of the tranquil bamboo forest. If you’re keen to keep hiking, you can continue to walk around the forest to find a number of beautiful shrines and picturesque Japanese peace gardens scattered throughout.