Matsui Residence [‘Bansenso’] greets first visitors

A captivating blend of Japanese and colonial architecture opened its doors after a careful renovation

Denzaburo and Kunigoro, the Matsui brothers, left their native Ozu in the onset of 20th century for the Philippines, where they made fortune as traders & shopkeepers. Perched on a steep incline, this summer residence was envisioned by Denzaburo under the influence of Spanish colonial architecture, ubiquitous in Manila or Davao, where they had established their businesses. 

Sophisticated engineering (stone foundations & water well), remarkable landscape sensibilities (its entrance and tea gardens) and a fine appreciation of details enabled Kunigoro to complete this singular abode in 1926, boasting large teak-wood planks and a phenomenal veranda overlooking the surrounding mountains and river. 

Following a thorough rehabilitation the residence opened its door to visitors on June 1st 2021. Grounds can be visited at leisure although guided tours can also be arranged. A succinct recount of the Mastui family is on display in one of the two storehouses of the complex (the remaining one serving as reception space). 

Bring your climbing shoes :-) and your best garments to ascent the slopes and celebrate tea culture in this gorgeous villa!!  



diego fernandez

Architecture and Culture Research Dep. Director | Kita Management