The Old Mitsui Family Shimogamo Villa
Close to the World Heritage site, Shimogomo shrine (下鴨神社), stands the Old Mitsui Family Shimogamo Villa (旧三井家下鴨別邸). The area is a very beautiful place commending the maginificent view of Mt. Hiei (比叡山), embracing the sacred Tadasunomori (糺の森) forest and the beautiful rivers such as the Kamo (加茂川) and the Takano (高野) river.
Due to its well-preserved condition and the immesureable value, the villa was desiginated as an important cultural property of Japan. The Omoya (主屋, main building) whose biggest feature is the Boro (望楼, watch tower) at the third story, is built within the beatiful garden, conveying us the prosperity of the wealthy merchant in the old days.
Currently, the villa is holding the annual special opening of the Omoya and Boro, and I visited there and had a wonderful time. As you see in the 2nd picture below, the view the mountains, greenery, and the town of Kyoto, was terrific through the Shiho Garasu Mado (四方ガラス窓, four direction glass window) which was one of the symbol of the wealth.
In addition, the high precision replica of “Jukachoju-zu Byobu (樹花鳥獣図屏風, folding screen painting of trees, flowers, birds and animals)” by Ito Jakuchu (伊藤若冲), a famous painter in the middle Edo (江戸) period, is now open to the public. Jakuchu is otherwise called “a painter of unexpected idea”, and his painting looked so animated to me. The roars and the foot steps of the animals, the flaps of birds wings, were as if ringing in my ears. I spent a very luxurious time.
Kyoto Expert Certification 1st Grade
<The Project High Precision Replica Special Exhibition “The painter of Unexpected Idea-Ito Jakuchu”>Date: Thursday, Feb. 7- Tuesday, March 19, 2019, except WednesdayTime: 9:00am-5:00pm (Door close at 4:30pm) Fee: 600 Yen/Adult 400/junior high and high school students 300/elementary students
5 mins. on foot from Aoibashi Mishizume, Kyoto city bus
5 mins. on foot from Demachiyanagi ekimae, Kyoto city bus
5 mins. on foot from Demachiyanagi, Keihan and Eizan lines