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Okochi Sanso Garden

Okochi Sanso Garden, Kyoto

November 2018
After getting off the Sagano Romantic train at Arashiyama-Torokko station, and a short uphill walk (nothing strenuous) will take you to the bamboo forest. Just before the pathway to the bamboo forest 170m from the station, turn right and you’ll head to the entrance and ticket counter of Okochi Sanso Garden.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Way to Okochi Sanso garden clearly marked outside the train station. It is also the way to the Bamboo Forest.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Entrance and the ticket counter for Okochi Sanso garden.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Postcard memento and ticket for green tea & sweet.

Okochi Sanso Garden

From inside looking towards the entrance. Notice the bamboo forest in the background.

This property is the former home and garden to one of Japan’s celebrated silent movie actor Denjiro Okochi who passed away in 1962. The villa is open to public for an admission fee. Along with the price of admission, you will receive a ticket for complimentary green tea and sweet. A lot of tourist miss this attraction or rather give-it-a-miss due to entrance fee of ¥1,000 but this keeps the crowds down and makes for a tranquil escape from the throngs of crowds at the bamboo forest.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Lawn as you enter the property.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Splash of autumn. Green, yellow, red.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Middle gate leading to the villa.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Okochi Sanso villa. It’s a modest size house by today’s standard to be called a villa.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Picture of the villa form the postcard memento.

The villa and garden covers some 20,000 square meters of gentle hill slope. They include several impressive building architectures, lovely gardens, a sweeping view of the city of Kyoto and the Hozugawa river. The gardens are well signposted, clean, perfectly manicured and the walking path is a fixed circuit that winds through the gardens. It is a one-way route so you won’t bump into fellow visitors.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Walking path through one of the gardens.

Okochi Sanso Garden

The Jibutsudō, a small Buddhist shrine.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Senko-ji Temple across the river.

Okochi Sanso Garden

The original small tea house snuggled amidst the garden.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Observation platform with a view of Kyoto city.

The walking path does have a bit of a gentle hill climb and with parts of it being stone slabs, sneaker are the best way to go. Typical of a Japanese garden, they are not flower gardens, but gardens aesthetically designed to incorporate shrubs, trees, stones, terrains, landscape, etc. If you require to freshen up, you can use their super clean, hotel standard restroom.

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Okochi Sanso Garden

Autumn leaves falling.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Green tea and sweet.

Okochi Sanso Garden

Visitors at a newer tea house having their green tea. You can deduce what type of nationality are interested in an ‘up-scale’ attraction.

Okochi Sanso Garden

The tea house overlooking their private bamboo forest.