At the moment, it can’t be denied, Arashiyama is one of the favorite destinations for tourists that visit Kyoto. This mountain are near the Oi river is also located not far from the center of Kyoto city. It’s so easy to reach through the commuter train or bus. Tourists often packed the bamboo forest area of Arashiyama which is absolutely stunning and meditative ( it also felt very Japanese ). In this era of social media, taking photos with the Arashiyama bamboo forest as the background is a trend.
Moving away from the tourism, when I was here I recorded the sounds of leaves rustling and bamboo shafts rubbing against one another because of the wind. This was my second visit. The first time I went there was with my componist and musician friends from Japan and Indonesia in winter of January 2017. There were Yasuno Miyauchi, Welly Hendratmoko, Mizuki Aita, Nobuhiro Kaneko, and Arief Winanda. We arrived in Arashiyama nearing night time and the bamboo forest area was starting to calm down and getting colder. Tourists had gone home. That’s when the sound of rustling leaves and bamboo shafts that was blown felt so magical and spiritual. It wasn’t actually loud, but there weren’t barely any sound around, especially during snow like this one. It felt like the snow had sucked the sounds to become so focus and meditative. At the time I didn’t record it.
This recording is from a recording on 7 May 2019, at the peak of spring in Japan. In general the Arashiyama Bamboo forest area was still quiet, but it didn’t feel as soothing than that night in winter. However, that afternoon the rustling of leaves and the blown bamboo shafts still felt meditative, among the faint sounds of the tourists who were enjoying the atmosphere. The sound of rustling leaves was so smooth, much smoother from the sound of waves in the ocean even though if you listened to it briefly the texture and colour of the sound had some similarities. Occasionally, the rattling sound of the bamboo leaves also complemented the sound landscape here. This bamboo forest, it felt very “Zen”.