Instead of being the summer residence of an emperor or clan family, the Ōkōchi Sansō villa was home to the renowned director Denjiro Ōkōchi who died in 1962.

He spent 30 years creating the perfect space on the slopes of Ogawa Mountain, with gardens that feature all four seasons surrounding a study, temple and tea house. The entry price is a little high on the face of it, but it includes green tea and wagashi at the teahouse, which is usually anywhere upwards of 500 yen elsewhere.

There’s over 20,000 square meters of garden to explore on your own time, with views of the city below and bamboo groves too.

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