So there might be a few reasons to make a trip to the Okochi Sanso villa garden a part of your visit to Arashiyama:
- You want to go for a nature walk
- You want to escape the crowds of Arashiyama and Kyoto
- You want to drink some matcha tea!
You could say that the Okochi Sanso gardens are located in a pretty convenient area of Arashiyama, as they are right near the famous bamboo grove.
While that bamboo forest gets loads of tourists, Okochi Sanso gets far fewer visitors. (The entry fee might have something to do with it.)
This means that if you’re in Arashiyama and you’re looking for a little bit of a nature trail away from the crowds, a visit to the Okochi Sanso can be a perfect part of your day.
Okochi Sanso Villa as part of one day Kyoto itinerary
I went to the Okochi Sanso Garden as a part of my one day in Arashiyama and Sagano:
- Hozukyo scenic station
- Sagano scenic train
- Okochi Sanso Garden
- Arashiyama bamboo forest
- Tenryuji Temple
- Arashiyama monkey park
Getting to Okochi Sanso
JR train to Arashiyama
There are a few different trains you can take to get to Okochi Sanso from Kyoto station.
If you’re traveling with a JR pass, then there’s a JR train that goes to Arashiyama.
There are signs at Kyoto Station for trains bound for Saga-Arashiyama, so you’ll look for that platform, and then get off at Saga Arashiyama station.
Kyoto Station to Arashiyama by JR train is about a 15 minute train ride.
From the JR train station to Okochi Sanso is about a 15 minute walk, and that includes a walk through the Arashiyama bamboo forest.
Arashiyama Torokko train station
Another train station to know about is the Arashiyama Torokko station.
This is on a special train line, the Sagano scenic railway, and runs only in the Arashiyama and Sagano area.
This means that you won’t be taking this train to get to Arashiyama from Kyoto station, but you may consider taking this train once you get to Arashiyama.
The Arashiyama Torokko station is about a 5 minute walk from Okochi Sanso.
Okochi Sanso entry
Once you get close to Okochi Sanso, you’ll probably start to see signs, so just pay attention to them!
How much does it cost?
The entry fee for Okochi Sanso is 1,000 yen (US$9).
This can be considered a little on the high side compared to other top attractions in Kyoto, but this price probably is part of what keeps the mass of crowds away.
FREE matcha green tea with entry
And unlike other top attractions, you get a cup of traditional matcha green tea with your entry ticket to Okochi Sanso.
You’ll get a separate ticket for this automatically, and you’ll want to make sure not to lose this.
This basically becomes your voucher for the tea.
Once you start your walk through the gardens, you’ll spot the Okochi Sanso teahouse.
Another top Kyoto attraction with a teahouse on-site is Nijo Castle with the Waraku-an teahouse. The teahouse experience here is an additional cost, but you do get to make your own matcha straight from matcha powder!
And if you’ll be in Kyoto in autumn, be sure to check out a glimpse of what you might see with falls colors at Okochi Sanso gardens! (You might have a chance at some sort of fall foliage in Kyoto in October, November, and even in December.)
Walking trails through Okochi Sanso gardens
So once you have your ticket, start walking on the trails of Okochi Sanso!
Here’s a bit of what you’ll see.
You’ll also come across a resting area that is also a viewing area overlooking Kyoto.
If you look closely, you can see a number of top spots in Kyoto from this viewing area!
Spot these places:
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple (and visit here with a one day bus pass)
- Kyoto Tower
- Mt Daimonji (and do the Daimonji-yama hike near Ginkakuji Temple and the Philosopher’s Path)
- Mt Hiei (Hiei-zan)
Visit to teahouse
You can make your visit to the teahouse at any time, but you may consider waiting until you’ve walked through the gardens.
This way, you can end your visit to the gardens with matcha green tea at the Okochi Sanso teahouse!
There’s indoor seating and outdoor seating.
Sit anywhere and then hand over your green tea ticket so that you can get your tea and Japanese sweets.
If you go with indoor seating, you’ll get views of bamboo trees at you drink your tea!
HAPPY OKOCHI SANSO VISIT!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Okochi Sanso!
- Day 1: Top tourist spots with one day bus pass
- Day 2: Fushimi Inari shrine hike through 1,000 torii gates
- Day 3: Philosopher’s Path walk
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)