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Tea House in Ozu

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Garyu Sanso: A sumptuous tea house set in an idyllic location

KITA Management



Kouchi Torajiro, an affluent Ozu emigrant and tea ceremony enthusiast, built this exquisite retreat on a cliff overhanging the Hiji River at the onset of the 20th century. Based in the free port of Kobe and with good connections amongst the cultural elite of Kyoto, Torajiro made a fortune through green tea and the Japanese wax trade. In a rapidly modernizing Japan, he found comfort in old traditions and commissioned the finest craftsmen of the old capital to construct a compound to celebrate performing arts and “the way of tea.” A set of three pavilions, spread along a carefully designed roji garden (ten years in the making), stands at the site once occupied by the Ozu daimyo’s villa. Despite its classic Japanese appearance, including thatched roofs, engawa, shoji sliding doors, and beautifully ornate tokonomas, much of the structural technology is Western-inspired. This sensible blending of cultures and techniques was decisive for its registration as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs.


How to get there


Travel from Haneda Airport to Matsuyama Airport (1 hour 40 minutes). Take a JR train from Matsuyama Airport to Garyu Sanso (40 minutes) and get off at Iyo Ozu Station, then walk for 20 minutes.


411-2 Ozu Ozu-shi, Ehime-ken


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