Hakusasonso means "white sands villa", but don't expect to see anything like White Sands NP here. In fact, there is no white sands at all. This place is, however, a very quiet and peaceful garden located right next to the busy Ginkaku-ji temple and the 'Philosopher's path'.
This villa was the residence of Kansetsu Hashimoto (1883-1945), a famous painter and prominent member of the "Nihonga" style. He bought the land when he was 30. Today, who could dream of buying such a large piece of land in Japan when only 30 years old? Anyway, he spent the rest of his life here painting, and also collected several stone lanterns and Buddha's that can still be found here and there in the garden (garden which he also designed himself). Hashimoto-san was a big fan of Chinese culture, and travelled there more than 40 times, a big deal a hundred years ago. He also was a Tea Master, which might explain why there's two tea houses facing each other in the south part of the garden. Note that one tea house, the largest one, is currently being repaired, which means completely torn down and scrutinised bit by bit by men in lab coats somewhere in Kyoto. That's my excuse for not providing pics of the second tea house.
The garden and ponds are very nice, even if you don't have a lot of freedom of movements as there's only one path you can follow. There's two places where you can eat, one of which is a yudofu restaurant. The villa can also be used for weddings, AFAIK, so you may not be able to visit it if it has been booked.
Recommended for: Access:
Nearby: Ginkaku-ji 銀閣寺 (440m), Hōnen-in 法然院 (490m), Yōji-ya よーじや銀閣寺店 (540m), Mo-an 茂庵 (590m), Anraku-ji 安楽寺 (680m), Shinyo-dō 真如堂 (690m), Reikan-ji 霊鑑寺 (710m), Takenaka Inari Jinja 竹中稲荷神社 (750m), Sakuradanicho 47 桜谷町47 (770m), Wachu-an 和中庵 (780m),...
External links: Website, ウィキペディア, Kyoto Navi, Trip Advisor, 京都風光, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 左京区, Sakyo-ku, 白沙村荘, Hakusa Sonso Villa