Okochi Sanso Villa, Kyoto, Japan

The late great silent movie actor Denjiro Okochi was a major star from the 1920s until his death in 1962. His legacy today however is as much related to his films as to his tremendous villa in western Kyoto. He attained stardom at a young age, and spent an enormous amount of time and money on buidling a spectacular second home in the hills of Arashiyama, Kyoto. The resulting villa and gardens cover approximately 20 thousand square meters. They include several buildings, lovely gardens, a sweeping view of the entire city of Kyoto, and on the other side a view down into the Hozu River below. Denjiro Okochi took some 30 years in the creation and building of the villa. He planted a garden that highlights all four seasons: cherry blossoms, azaleas, Japanese maple trees, and many pines. The villa is located a short distance from Tenryuji at the site where Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets), a legendary anthology of Japanese poetry, was edited. The compound consists of a Momoyama-style Shoin (study) a Kamakura-style Jibutsudo (temple), and a tea hut.

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