The Okochi Sanso gardens are located right inside the Arashiyama bamboo forest in northwest Kyoto, accessible through a small gate.
The gardens were originally one of the homes of Japanese actor Denjirō Ōkōchi (1898-1962), famous for his part in several Jidaigeki period movies. After his death, the gardens were open to the public, and several buildings were marked as culturally significant. Today, the gardens are accessible to the public for a ￥1000 entry fee.
The area is meticulously tended to and densely forested, and still includes several buildings that were originally part of the estate. This includes Okochi’s home, several shrines, and gates. Visitors can walk a small trail that circles around the property, going right by a massive valley, and then looping back into a vantage point view of the city of Kyoto.
During the autumn from September to November, the leaves turn various striking shades of red making it one of the best times to visit.