Okochi Sanso villa Japanese gardens in Arashiyama for autumn fall foliage colors in Kyoto. best places to visit in arashiyama in autumn. best things to do in kyoto. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

 

If you’re in Arashiyama during a time when it’s the peak of fall foliage all over Kyoto, then you’ll likely find crowds all around. But, there is good reason for that! There are lots of fall colors to be seen at the temples in Arashiyama!

And if you want to escape the Arashiyama crowds a little bit, you can head to the Okochi Sanso Villa Gardens!

I was in Kyoto during what was generally considered to be the peak of fall foliage all around Kyoto, and in some ways I did feel like I was a little late in terms of fall colors at Okochi Sanso as it did feel like there was a good number of bare leafless trees around. Although there was still some color to be seen!

I was at Okochi Sanso in early December 2019.

So if you find that you’re in Kyoto early for fall foliage in most other parts of Kyoto, it might be perfect timing for the Okochi Sanso gardens!

But even if you’re late for autumn season, it can be worth a visit anyway for a quieter walk through Japanese gardens (there will still be some people though), and for a seating of traditional Japanese tea! Matcha green tea and a Japanese sweet at the Okochi Sanso teahouse is included with your entry fee!

 

 

How much does the Okochi Sanso Villa Garden entry fee cost?

The cost of the Okochi Sanso Villa Garden entry fee was 1,000 yen (US$9) when I went.

This is a little bit of a steep entry fee compared to other temples in the area.

But if you consider that ordering matcha green tea at a shop in Kyoto could reasonably cost around 800 yen, then it could easily be worth the cost if you were interested in trying the traditional matcha in Kyoto! (Kyoto is known for matcha green tea.)

 

 

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Side note! See quick Kyoto travel tips if it's your first trip to Japan. Also see ideas for how to spend time in Kyoto with the Kyoto travel planning map and 5 day Kyoto itinerary. For Kyoto in spring, see this one day cherry blossom photo walk. Also see ideas for how to spend winter in Japan - 10 day itinerary with Japan Alps and 7 day itinerary in Hokkaido! And finally, see the cost of a JR pass and how to figure out if it will be worth it for you!

 

 

And now…

The fall foliage you might see with a walk around the Okochi Sanso Villa Gardens!

…aka photos to see koyo (fall foliage!) in Kyoto!

 

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

 

Okochi Sanso teahouse

You’ll see the teahouse almost immediately as you start the walk around the gardens. But it can be perfect to save your cup of tea for the end!

You’ll get a “green tea ticket” with your admissions ticket, and you’ll present that to redeem your free cup of matcha green tea.

There’s outdoor seating and indoor seating, and you can take a seat anywhere you like and the tea and small Japanese snack will be brought out to you.

With the outdoor seating you can enjoy your cup of tea surrounded by the fall colors, and with the indoor seating you can get views of bamboo trees!

 

Okochi Sanso villa garden teahouse with matcha green tea for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden teahouse with matcha green tea for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden teahouse with matcha green tea for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden teahouse with matcha green tea for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden teahouse with matcha green tea for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden teahouse with matcha green tea for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

And that’s a bit of what you might see around the peak of fall colors in Arashiyama at Okochi Sanso Villa Gardens!

 

And, see a bit more of what it’s like to visit Okochi Sanso when there’s a lot more GREEN! (aka photos of Okochi Sanso during a summer visit!)

And depending on the direction you’re coming from when you go to Okochi Sanso, next up might be the famous Kyoto bamboo forest (it’s basically right there) followed by the famous Tenryuji Temple.

 

Okochi Sanso villa garden to saga arashiyama bamboo forest for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

Okochi Sanso villa garden to saga arashiyama bamboo forest for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Or you can continue on in the other direction to see some great fall colors at smaller temples, including Jojakkoji Temple, Niso-In Temple, and Hokyo-In Temple. And along the way, you can stop atΒ  small little udon noodles shop (Ogura chaya) to keep you energized for all the walking!

 

Okochi Sanso villa garden to arashiyama temples for autumn fall foliage colors in Arashiyama Kyoto in October, November, December. red orange yellow. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

HAPPY SEEING AUTUMN COLORS IN ARASHIYAMA AT OKOCHI SANSO VILLA GARDENS!

 

Okochi Sanso villa Japanese gardens in Arashiyama for autumn fall foliage colors in Kyoto. best places to visit in arashiyama in autumn. best things to do in kyoto. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

 

For more fall colors, be sure to see the 3-day Kyoto itinerary for a fall foliage photo walk!

DAY 1: Walk from Tofukuji to Kiyomizu-dera

DAY 2: Around the Philosopher's Path

DAY 3: Around Arashiyama



How to spend winter in Japan

Backpacking Japan travel blog: Japan winter itinerary. Japan itinerary travel planning tips. Backpacking Japan travel blog: Hokkaido winter itinerary. Japan itinerary travel planning tips.

More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto!


For more on planning your trip to Kyoto, see the 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day Kyoto itineraries. If you'll be in Kyoto in the spring, also see the 1-day cherry blossom photo walk.

Food in Japan
If you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)

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When the JR pass is worth it
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!

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