Ōkōchi Sansō villa and garden 大河内山荘

Our next stop on our tour was Ōkōchi Sansō. We stopped first to have a bit of tea near the front.

We were give a cup of matcha tea and a small pastry with matcha filling. We had a beautiful and peaceful view of the bamboo groove, however not too much time to enjoy it. As soon as we were done with our tea and snacks it was time to go, only this time it was just me. My aunt and uncle were too exhausted to keep going and stayed at the tea house (which closed shortly after we left and instead waited outside the exit). I continued on my own with our guide and a young man who was shadowing our guide for our tour.

Ōkōchi Sansō was the private villa and home of Ōkōchi Denjirō, a famous Japanese actor most well known for playing in samurai period dramas. He appeared in over 18 films from 1927 to 1961, at which point he retired from acting and then a year later passed away.  He loved Arashiyama and with the money he made built a very beautiful estate which allowed him to work on his second love, which was designing and cultivating Japanese gardens.

Visiting the villa gives some pretty beautiful views and is 1,000 yen to get in. This does however include the cup of matcha and the sweet as well as a postcard. The villa is open from 9am until 5pm. I highly suggest going earlier in the day than we did so you can walk the villa and then rest at the tea house with your snack and matcha (use your ticket to redeem it) before leaving. This isn’t really a place you need a guide in order to enjoy the beautiful nature and views.

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