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Ōkōchi Sansō Villa 大河内山荘

Ōkōchi Sansō Villa, Kyoto
Hozu Gorge seen from Ōkōchi Sansō Villa, Kyoto

Nested on a flank of the Arashiyama Hills, between Tenryū-ji and Jōjakkō-ji, is the "mountain villa" of the silent-film actor Ōkōchi Denjirō (1898-1962).

Denjirō Ōkōchi was one of the most acclaimed stars of jidaigeki (historical drama) and chambara (samurai films) in the late 1920's till his death. He played in movies directed by such masters as Akira Kurosawa, Daisuke Itō, Sadao Yamanaka, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Hiroshi Inagaki and Masahiro Makino.

He attainted stardom at a young age and amassed a fortune, which he lavishly spent on his second residence in the Arashiyama. The villa and garden took 30 years to complete.

Ōkōchi Sansō sports both moss and rock gardens, which vary dramatically according to the seasons. The exceptional location is certainly a good reason enough to come here. The ridge commands on one side a panoramic view on the Arashiyama district, and on the other the spectacular landscape of the Hozu gorge.

Opening Hours & Admission

The villa is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission costs a steep ¥1000, but includes green tea.

How to get there

Ōkōchi Sansō is situated less than 100 metres west of Torokko Arashiyama Station, on the Sagano Scenic Railway. This line, however, does not have connections to the city centre. The station will only serve you as a landmark. The nearest convenient station is JR Saga-Arashiyama (17min from Kyoto Station, ¥230), about 1 km east of the villa.

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