One could say that Asia was built on bamboo (竹）and few would dispute it. Bamboo is a fast growing plant that has provided Asia with food and building materials for thousands of years. But moreover, bamboo forests, though increasingly rare in Japan, are beautiful places to wander and be amazed in. Arashiyama in Kyoto boasts the most famous bamboo forest in Japan, but with that fame comes crowds of tourists. Many bamboo groves are on private property but a few, like this one in Chikurin Park in the western Tokyo suburbs are open for a quiet introspective stroll by yourself.