Japan Kyoto Arashiyama

Okochi Sanso Villa

A tranquil estate founded by a celebrated Japanese actor

Photo of Okochi Sanso Villa, Japan (Arashiyama 5/12/18 by Kimon Berlin)

Okochi Sanso Villa, also known as the Okochi Mountain Villa, is a harmonious blend of traditional Japanese architecture and natural beauty. Once the estate of Denjiro Okochi, a prominent film actor, this cultural site in Kyoto offers visitors a tranquil escape with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

About Okochi Sanso Villa

In Arashiyama, Kyoto, lies Okochi Sanso Villa, a place of historical and aesthetic significance. The villa was the passion project of Denjiro Okochi, a star of Japanese cinema known for his roles in period dramas. His vision was to create a lasting legacy, beyond the ephemeral world of film. The villa’s construction began around 1934 and continued for three decades until his death.

The villa occupies approximately 2 hectares and integrates the concept of shakkei, or borrowed scenery, including views of Arashiyama, Hieizan, and the Hozukyo gorge into its landscape. The gardens, a collaborative creation with gardener Rihei Hirose, are designed to be enjoyed through paths that offer changing vistas.

Significant structures within the villa include the Chumon (main gate), the Daijokaku (main house), the Jibutsudo (a place for Zen meditation), and the Tekisuian (tea house), all designated tangible cultural properties by the national government. These buildings showcase a fusion of traditional Japanese architectural styles, such as shinden-zukuri, shoin-zukuri, and sukiya-zukuri.

The estate also features an open-air museum dedicated to Denjiro Okochi, displaying memorabilia from his career, including images of his iconic role as Tange Sazen. Visitors can enjoy matcha service with a local specialty tea sweet called monaka, inscribed with “Okochi Sanso.”

For those exploring Okochi Sanso Villa, the main tea house exemplifies the aesthetic of simplicity and impermanence. The gardens are designed to highlight the beauty of each season, offering a different experience throughout the year. The villa’s historical significance, combined with its cultural richness, make it a notable site, inviting guests to step into a world shaped by the aspirations of one of Japan’s cinematic legends.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Okochi Sanso Villa

A 13

Keifuku Arashiyama
 Keifuku Arashiyama Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.2km)
E 08

JR Saga-Arashiyama
 JR Sagano Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.3km)
HK 98

Hankyu Arashiyama
 Hankyu Arashiyama Line

 20-30 minute walk (1.8km)

Around Okochi Sanso Villa

Okochi Sanso Villa

Garden in Kyoto

open 9am - 5pm
closed Irregularly


大河内山荘, 京都

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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