Kyoto Finds: Okochi Sanso Mountain Villa

After gazing into the enchanting world of Arashiyama bamboo groves, you’ll eventually stumble upon the gate of a famous property in Kyoto, the Okochi Sanso Villa. The villa is the finest residential architecture being showcased in Japan. Its name literally means “Okochi Mountain Villa” as the villa sits on the top of a hill. This attraction offers a trail of a vast well-maintained Japanese garden and a stunning natural overlooking view of Kyoto, Japan. As much as I wanted to tell you that this place is for some relaxation. A quite long climb will be required before you find a place you could actually sit and wonder.

The word “Okochi” was the name of its past resident Denjiro Okochi who lived from years 1898-1962. He was a film actor who starred in many traditional Edo period films for example by the famous Akira Kurosawa. After his demise, the Japanese government took hold of his villa and made it a cultural property. Now the villa is part of the many cultural attractions of Japan and tourist are very welcome to visit the traditional luxury home. In due respect, a small museum was built within the premise as a tribute to Okochi-san.


Walk on planted stone steps and follow the sign and enjoy the wander on a beautifully landscaped garden. The one way stone trail goes up and down and you’ll just have to on go forth to discover what’s next to admire.




Contrary to the west, where the rich and famous would have bigger homes and lawns, Okachi lived in this humble abode. But truly, what makes this villa luxurious anblime is its prime location that oversees Kyoto. Minimalistic homes are standard in Japan, but a vast land makes the property a luxury. We can be certain that when Okachi-san was staying here, he had lots of time outdoors. Not to mention the walk through the garden to visit different parts of the home, like the tea house, the overlooking shed and a guest room. Okachi Sanso Villa proves that the rich lived well during whatever era.



As a tourist, I found the doors of the structures peculiarly small. The size of the doors can be compared to a typical closet door. Being 160 cm tall, I really felt not welcomed as the doors are small as wardrobe doors. This heavenly view was the best part of the trail. However this garden is like a field trip without any itinerary, I can’t even consider it a home.

At the end of the trail, a small canteen will welcome all visitors. Experience Japanese hospitality as you’re given green match tea with a matching biscuit. Foamy and comforting espcially on duing the chilly days.


This day was the most tiring sightseeing we did After the okachi-sanso villa we went to Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine, and we had a surprising adventure on  a shrine.



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