Steadfast, tenacious and resilient, bamboo is the archetypal Eastern plant. No trip to Japan is complete without some time spent in, around or just gazing at a bamboo forest. The Japanese capital is chock-full of bamboo, some of it tucked away in places far off from the neon wonderlands of Shibuya and Harajuku. But you never have to go too far to see it. Along with plum blossom, orchids and chrysanthemums, bamboo is considered one of the \u2018Four Gentlemen\u2019, according to Chinese, Korean and Japanese tradition. And with pine and plum, bamboo is one of the \u2018Three Friends of Winter\u2019. Every traditional Japanese garden has a bamboo shishi-odoshi, its rhythmic knock on stone keeping deer and boar from rifling through the plants. Bamboo symbolizes the Lunar New Year. It\u2019s what kendo swords are made from. The bows and arrows of traditional kyudo archery are bamboo, as are shakuhachi and ryuteki flutes. Bamboo chutes deliver cold nagashi somen, a quintessential food of the Japanese summer. It\u2019s edible. And if it wasn\u2019t already established as the MVP of Asian botany, bamboo is used in Japanese interior design simply because it looks good. But it looks even better growing in groves, and this article takes you on a quick tour of some of Tokyo\u2019s most idyllic bamboo forests, found in formal gardens, temple groves, palace grounds, day trips, and public parks. 1. Imperial Palace Gardens\/Fukiage Gardens Japan\u2019s royal family has been on the throne for over a thousand years: the Yamato Dynasty dates back to 660 BC. That\u2019s more than enough time to establish some truly impressive gardens (wartime bombing notwithstanding), and the East Garden and Fukiage Garden of the Imperial Palace (formerly Edo Castle) are no exception. Ponds, moats, bridges and bamboo forests are all available to please the traveler\u2019s eye. Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo, 100-8111 2. Rikugien Gardens This is one for the creative types: Rikugien, or Rikugi-en, means \u201cGarden of the Six Principles of Poetry.\u201d It was built several centuries ago, and incorporates a pond, a hill and trees as well as a perfect formal Japanese garden with a gorgeous bamboo grove. (If you time your trip right, you can also get your sakura fix.) Address: 6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo, Tokyo, 113-0021 3. Tonogayato Garden The Tonogayato Garden has a pedigree: it used to be the grounds of the villa of Eguchi Teijo, a railway magnate who became chair of Mitsubishi. At 21,000 square meters, the early 20th century garden was designed as an oasis that fit perfectly into the Musashino region\u2019s cliffs and valleys. It features a shrine, a park, a spring, lawns, a waterfall pond and a teahouse, in addition to a plethora of lovely landscaped bamboo forests. Address: 2-16 Minami-machi, Kokubunji, Tokyo 4. Suzume-no Oyado Ryokuchi Park In addition to hip and zeitgeisty Nakameguro, Meguro is home to Suzume-no Oyado Ryokuchi Park, where you\u2019ll find a 200-year-old bamboo grove and a refurbished classic Japanese home. Both of these are open to tourists, and this is widely agreed to be one of Tokyo\u2019s most impressive bamboo forests. The park is small and quiet, so head in that direction if you want a bit of a rest from the constant Tokyo go. Address: 3-11-22 Himonya, Meguro, Tokyo 5. Higashiteragata Ryokuchi Park If you can say it, you should go there: this little-known gem of a park in suburban west Tokyo is a slice of the wild, home to one of the city\u2019s few au naturelle bamboo forests, with plants scattered throughout the park. Address: Higashiteragata, Tama, Tokyo, 206-0003 (15 minutes from Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station on the Keio Line) 6. Jidayubori Park Even if you\u2019ve seen enough bamboo by now to last you for some time, there\u2019s a reason to go to Jidayubori Park, especially if you\u2019re a history buff. As well as its bamboo grove, the park is home to a refurbished Edo-era village, thatched roofs and all, where visitors can experience what 18th-century life was like (and then go get coffee). Address: 5 Chome-27-14 Kitami, Setagaya, Tokyo, 157-0067 7. Towa Ryokuchi Park Formally known as the Towa Green Space, this park right on the banks of the Kanda River features a bamboo forest that seems to soak all the stress out of your body in one go. In the space of a short 80m walk through the towering stems, you can just about feel your cells regenerate themselves. Address: 4 Chome-39-22 Shimotakaido, Suginami, Tokyo 8. Roka Koshun-en Garden Cherry, ginkgo and bamboo are the Tokyo triumvirate and you\u2019ll find all of them in this urban oasis. The garden is also home to the former residence of Japanese author Roka Tokutomi (aka Kenjiro Tokutomi), so while some of you check out the bamboo forest, the rest can pick up some culture. Address: 1 Chome-20-1 Kasuya, Setagaya, Tokyo, 157-0063 9. Todoroki Valley A short train ride from the bustle and crush of central Tokyo is Todoroki Valley, a tucked-away area complete with a waterfall, shrine, hanami area, teahouses and, of course, bamboo groves. If you want a rest among more breathing green things than you could shake a stick at, make plans for some train tickets, stop at a local supermarket for snacks, and set off into the gorge. 10. Hokokuji Temple This is the list\u2019s big hitter. In Japan, Shinto and Buddhist shrines alike are often surrounded by bamboo, because it\u2019s considered a barrier to evil. Hokokuji Temple in Kamakura has one of the Kanto region\u2019s premier bamboo forests. If your itinerary doesn\u2019t allow for a jaunt down south to Arashiyama in Kyoto, make a plan to get to Kamakura instead. The bamboo forest at Hokokuji features thousands of moso bamboo trees, making it the biggest and most extensive on this list. Kamakura is an easy day trip from Tokyo. Address: 2 Chome-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, 248-0003 Not into making firm plans? Prefer to go with each day\u2019s flow? That\u2019s just fine as far as bamboo forests are concerned. The ubiquity of bamboo in Japanese culture means that you'll find stands of this supergrass pretty much anywhere but the densest urban areas (and even there you might be surprised). Keep an eye open for bamboo at shrines and temples, parks and playgrounds, and, of course, the fringes of fields, hiking trails and open areas. While we do our best to ensure it's correct, information is subject to change.