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Kyoto, Japan - October 5, 2015: Japanese gardens and main house (Daijokaku) in the Okochi Sanso villa in Arashiyama, Kyoto, the former home and garden of the Japanese period film amor Denjiro Okochi.

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Ōkōchi Sansō

Top choice in Arashiyama & Sagano

This is the lavish estate of Ōkōchi Denjirō, an actor famous for his samurai films. The sprawling gardens may well be the most lovely in all of Kyoto, particularly when you consider the brilliant views eastwards across the city. The house and teahouse are also sublime. Be sure to follow all the trails around the gardens. Hold onto the tea ticket you were given upon entry to claim the matcha and sweet that's included with admission.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arashiyama & Sagano attractions

1. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

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The thick green bamboo stalks seem to continue endlessly in every direction and there’s a strange quality to the light at this famous bamboo grove, which…

2. Kameyama-kōen

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Just upstream from Tōgetsu-kyō and behind Tenryū-ji, this park is a nice place to escape the crowds of Arashiyama. It’s laced with trails, one of which…

3. Tenryū-ji North Gate

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By exiting Tenryū-ji via this gate and taking a quick left, you'll find yourself almost immediately in the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

4. Tenryū-ji

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A major temple of the Rinzai school, Tenryū-ji has one of the most attractive gardens in all of Kyoto, particularly during the spring cherry-blossom and…

5. Jōjakkō-ji

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This temple is perched on top of a mossy knoll and is famed for its brilliant maple trees, which turn a lovely crimson red in November, and its thatched…

6. Nonomiya-jinja

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7. Rakushisha

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Formerly the building here was the hut of Mukai Kyorai, the best-known disciple of the illustrious haiku poet Bashō. You can wander the small garden where…

8. Nison-in

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This is a popular spot with maple-leaf watchers. Originally built in the 9th century by Emperor Saga, the temple houses two important Kamakura-era Buddha…