Okochi Sanso garden - Arashiyama,
Kyoto, Kyoto Japan
A true gem, even among Kyoto’s many gardens!
Located in Arashiyama area of Kyoto, close to the famous bamboo forest lies the beautiful Okochi-Sanso Villa. Even though the Okochi-Sanso isn’t included on most must-see list when visiting Arashiyama; I will assure you it will be after you have read this article.
The villa grounds span across a huge 20,000 square meters, filled with beautiful gardens and impressive architecture. The buildings include the villa’s Japanese house, a few tearooms, and a couple of Shinto shrines all dotted around throughout the multi-level garden. A walk around Okochisanso takes you from one scenic area to another, via steep and narrow rock paths. A beautiful moss garden gives way to a tranquil tea room; a stunning mountain view leads onto an impressive panorama of the city. The garden is immaculately kept, with almost as many staff as visitors. The walking route is one-way, and easy to follow thanks to frequent arrow signs.
The entrance fee inclused a cup of Japanese hot matcha and a chewy Japanese sweet in the tea house on the grounds. You can sit inside and face the beauty of the bamboo forest or sit in the garden under the trees. Also, when following the clearly indicated walking route, you will be lead to all the beautiful and unique parts of the garden including some amazing viewpoints of Arashiyama city. You can easily spend a hour to 1,5 hours just wandering around the gardens.
When you enter the Okochi Sanso, the first building you see is the Daijokaku, the Japanese styled villa and the main house. Even though, you are not allowed to enter the villa the nice grassland in front of the house give a beautiful view of the city. (Especially in Autumn)
The gardens are designed to be beautiful all year round with cherry blossoms in spring, blue azaleas in summer, Japanese maple trees in autumn and pines in winter!
Okochi Sanso Villa and Gardens really is one of the most beautiful places in Kyoto. Enjoy four seasons at the villa with bamboo, cherry, maple and pine trees!
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