Okochi Sanso

I have a browser extension which shows me a lovely image from Unsplash whenever I open a new tab. Today, this one appeared:

Photo by Walter Mario Stein on Unsplash

The Arashiyama Bamboo Groves were right near the top of my hitlist when we visited Kyoto. It looks reminiscent of movies where they appear to be stunning, never ending bamboo paradise. Indeed, in this photo they look pretty damn cool. In reality, while stunning, they’re disappointly small. That path is usually crowded with thousands of people and the groves end not far beyond the end of the photo. There’s a genuine feeling of “Is that it?”

It’s worth the trip though, because at the far end is Okochi Sanso, the former home and garden of Japanese actor Denjiro Okochi. It’s absolutely stunning, and a haven of calm just minutes from the bustling city below. When we visited it was raining, which doesn’t sound ideal. But the rain made the mossy green gardens positively glow with colour and we practically had the place to ourselves.

If you ever find yourself in the Arashiyama area, take the time to visit. It’s a worthy detour.