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.
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.
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.
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.