Okochi Sanso Villa 大河内山荘
The late great silent movie actor Denjiro Okochi was a major star from the 1920's until his death in 1962. His legacy today however is as much related to his films as to his villa in western Kyoto.
History of Okochi Sanso
He attained stardom at a young age, and spent an enormous amount of time and money on buidling a spectacular second home in the hills of Arashiyama, Kyoto.
The resulting villa and gardens cover approximately 20 thousand square meters. They include several buildings, lovely gardens, a sweeping view of the entire city of Kyoto, and on the other side a view down into the Hozu River below.
Denjiro Okochi took some 30 years in the creation and building of the villa. He planted a garden that highlights all four seasons: cherry blossoms, azaleas, Japanese maple trees, and many pines.
The villa is located a short distance from Tenryuji at the site where Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets), a legendary anthology of Japanese poetry, was edited.
The compound consists of a Momoyama-style Shoin (study) a Kamakura-style Jibutsudo (temple), and a tea hut.
There are also stone Buddhas and an observation platform.
Last, there is an open-air museum highlighting the life and film career of Denjiro Okochi. Along with the price of admission, you will receive tickets for green tea and a sweet. At a small outlying Japanese-style building below the main structure, you can depending upon the weather sit inside or outside on low tables draped with red or blue cloth.
Address, timetable & access
Okochi Sanso Villa
8 Tabuchiyama-cho Saga Ogurayama Ukyo-ku
Phone+81 (0)75 872 2233
Timetable9 a.m - 5 p.m.
PriceAdults: 1,000 yen / Elementary School Students: 500 yen
AccessFrom Kyoto Station, take the Japan Railways (JR) Saiin Line to Saga Arashiyama Station. It is a fifteen-minute walk from there.