Okochi Sanso Villa (大河内山荘)

Located in Sagano, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Okochi Sanso Villa is a historic site with a Japanese garden. Denjiro OKOCHI, a famous actor who appeared in samurai dramas, built this house and garden as his private villa.

History

In 1931, when he was 34 years old, Denjiro OKOCHI started creating this garden of his own design in the pursuit of an everlasting beauty, in contrast to movie films that were difficult to store for a long time. He spent most of the earnings from his movies to create it step by step over 30 years until the time of his death at 64.

It is located in a once deserted area of about 20,000 square meters between Arashiyama-koen Park (Kameyama-koen Park) and the southeastern foot of Mt. Ogura which is well known for Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (The Ogura Collection of a 100 Poems by 100 Poets).

Guests

His co-actors, Hideko TAKAMINE, Chiezo KATAOKA, Isuzu YAMADA, and Machiko KYO were invited to visit this place when it was his villa (refer to the photo album "Okochi Sanso").

Garden and Buildings

Garden

Gardener Rihee HIROSE helped to create this circuit style garden, using the scenery of Arashiyama in the east, Mt. Hiei far away, and Hozukyo Gorge in the west for effect.

Chumon Gate (中門) (Registered Tangible Cultural Property)

Daijokaku (大乗閤) (Registered Tangible Cultural Property)

Kaichiro USUI, a Sukiya architect, built the above buildings based on Denjiro's ideas, incorporating Japanese traditional architectural styles such as Shinden-zukuri, Shoin-zukuri, and Sukiya-zukuri.

Jibutsudo (持仏堂) (Registered Tangible Cultural Property)

This is the oldest building in the villa where pious Buddhist Denjiro used to conduct Zazen (Zen sitting meditation).

Tekisuian (滴水庵) (Registered Tangible Cultural Property)

Tea house

Gekka tei (月下亭)

Memorial hall

This facility displays Denjiro's characters, such as a photograph of Denjiro dressed as Sazen TANGE, his famous role.

Services

Visitors are served with maccha (green powdered tea).

Monaka (a round wafer filled with bean paste) inscribed with 'Okochi Sanso' are also served. These monaka are also sold as souvenirs.

In 1998, the centenary of Denjiro's birth, the photo album of Okoch Sanso Villa was published, and is still sold at a shop on site.

Location

Tabuchiyama-cho, Saga Ogurayama, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Access

20 minutes on foot from Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Electric Railroad

Very close to Arashiyama Trokko Station on the Sagano Scenic Railway Sagano Sight-seeing Tram Line