Learn of the pine from the pine
Learn of the bamboo from the bamboo
The Japanese have a long history with bamboo, in myths and legends, metaphorically linking a mans’ strength with this plant. Many festivals also include the use of bamboo in various forms.
The most beautiful spot is not at the beginning of the path, but further away past Tenryu-ji temple entrance, where bamboo groves grow further apart from each other, allowing it to become thick and beautiful.
You can rent a bike or stroll the path to enjoy the beautiful sight of sunlight shining through the bamboo grove, casting soft shadows on the path. It is critical to get there early in the morning to fully enjoy.
You can also take a rickshaw ride from the young Japanese men and go through the bamboo forest path and around Arashiyama if you want.
You can follow the signs for Tenryu-ji temple and Nonomi-ya Shrine. That will also get you to the bamboo forest.
Strolling though the bamboo forest will cost you nothing.