Places to see at Okochi Sanso
Okochi Sanso consists of a villa and garden created by movie actor Denjiro Okochi. From the age of 34 (1931) to his death at 64, Okochi used a majority of his earnings in film to build this mountain villa. The most interesting place is the garden which uses the technique of “shakkei” that incorporates the view of distant mountains and nature as if they were part of the garden. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the four seasons embracing the cherry blossoms in spring and the changing leaves in autumn. With Arashiyama in back of the main house of Daijokaku, you can view Mt. Hiei with the Daimonji Festival, the Higashiyama Sanjuuroppo mountain range, and the Narabigaoka ridge associated with the “Tsurezuregusa” collection of essays. Daijokaku is the central building within the villa that was run by Okochi, and is characterized by its unique design of combining Japan’s traditional private house styles of shinden-zukuri, shoin-zukuri and sukiya-zukuri so it is well worth a look. Further going along the garden path, there is a jibutsu-do hall where Buddhist statues are enshrined in a place that brings to mind a traditional dry garden with low pines planted in white sand. Going beyond that, you will reach the Tekisuisan tea room constructed as a quiet space with moss everywhere. As you go up the path while seeing Teskisuisan, the panoramic view of Arashiyama and Ogurayama cradling Hozu-kyo Gorge unfolds before you. This scenery will sear itself into your memory. Arashiyama has long been known as a famous area, but Okochi Sanso is that rare place where you can get a taste of the true charm of Arashiyama. This type of scenery with its large changes is said to have been an idea by Okochi himself.
The hospitality of a tea room
After a walk in the garden, you can get the hospitality of some matcha tea and confections. The bamboo forest that spreads out from the windows is very soothing. Spending a comfortable time there, you will be satisfied with one of the leading gardens in Japan and the scenery of the nature-filled Arashiyama.