Japan has a spoilt selection of beautiful gardens, but they do not rival the beauty of Okochi-Sanso Villa near Kyoto. Formerly the estate of the famed film actor Okochi Denjiro, this stunning villa and surrounding gardens are now open to the public. Situated next to the Bamboo Forest a short train journey away from Kyoto City. Most people will be taken aback by the steep admission fee at Y1,000, but we think it’s well worth it to see this place, especially since the admission fee includes a delicious Japanese cake and a cup of matcha tea. The main house here is one of the finest examples of traditional Japanese residential architecture, and its also in this location you get to enjoy your matcha tea and cake.
However, it’s the gardens that are the real highlight. Follow the tiny stoned path around the garden and you’ll see all the main features including a viewpoint that offers views across the whole city and a lovely little Shinto shrine. The best thing about visiting this beautiful garden is the calm and tranquility. The gardens are empty, most people put off by the high price, and the incredible views are about as good as your going to get.