The Okochi-Sanso Villa in Arashiyama used to be the home of a famous actor named Denjiro Okochi. As I was researching the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest destination, I saw mention of this, read a little about it, saw some beautiful pictures of the buildings and gardens, and decided I had to stop by–especially because there’s a tea included with the price of about $20 USD ticket. It did not disappoint.
To get to the Villa, you have to walk through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The Villa is a sort of private museum, so you have to buy a ticket to go in. The grounds were contemplative and lovely.
It takes about an hour to leisurely stroll down the decorative rock paths to all the different parts of the garden, and there’s a sweet view at every turn.
If I stayed in Kyoto again, I wouldn’t mind coming in here and strolling for half a day.
Of course, my favorite part was the tea house with tea and dessert that comes with your entrance fee. You get a nice cup of heartwarming matcha and a little block of sweet been paste. Add on top of that a serene view of the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest outside the picturesque sliding windows, and you’ve got a little slice of zen heaven right here.
You can also choose to take your tea outside so you get a taste of the elements to add some authenticity to your tea experience. Make me just want to settle down with a book so I could better experience the passage of time there and look up from my read to enjoy the views anew every few minutes.
Next up, Kyoto’s Heian Shrine.