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Inside a Serene $43 Million Mountain Retreat Just 15 Miles From San Francisco

This could be the place you finally find your zen.

Quail Hill Compass

It’s not every day that a property with landscaping designed by a Japanese imperial gardener comes on the market. This a sprawling, 11,565-square-foot home—dubbed Quail Hill for its once-plentiful, burbling fowl population—is part of a 20-acre estate in the ultra-affluent enclave of Ross, Calif. in beautiful Marin County. From its hilltop perch, the house overlooks the scenic Ross Valley and Mt. Tamalpais.

While the home enjoys views of the untamed flora from nearly every room, the garden plantings were carefully and purposefully done by by Nagao Sakurai, who was the chief gardener at the imperial palace in Tokyo for 20 years. His most notable US projects include the Japanese Tea Garden in New York’s Central Park and the Zen Garden in Golden Gate Park, not far from Quail Hill. Here, his work is woven into the fabric of the residence, blending nature with manmade structure, as the gardens, or “interruptions,” are placed along a shaded walkway that surrounds the house. 

The serene estate, not far from bustling San Francisco, has just listed for $43 million. The main residence has a Japanese-inspired design, one that blends contemporary and midcentury influences. It has eight bedrooms and nine-and-a-half baths. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows in many of the public rooms bring the outside in, and slate flooring and upholstered velvet walls lend a clean, minimalist feel to the space that’s still rich and textural.

Japan and Home and California

The entryway.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

A glass-walled bridge connects the public areas to a more private, family wing with bedroom suites. A guest suite sits just off the library, an area that doubles as a media room, with a fireplace, Japanese shoji screens and windows that look out upon the courtyard garden.

The courtyard garden.

The courtyard garden.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

The architecture was the result of the previous owners’ many travels to Japan, according to The Wall Street Journal. The tone is set from the entryway: Visitors are met by double doors with knobs that bear the Japanese imperial seal.

Also part of the property is a pool house and pavilion, with 180-degree views of the forest below, including seven native redwood groves.

The living room.

The living room.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

The home has never been listed publicly, and is now being shopped off-market by Compass agent Neal Ward. Should it sell at its hefty asking, it will mark the most expensive transaction ever in the Ross area.

Check out more photos of Quail Hill (sans quails), below:

The pool house.

The pool house.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

Home and Japan and California

The dining room.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

The media room.

The media room.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

Looking out to the courtyard.

Looking out to the courtyard.  Photography by Jacob Elliott

Japan and Home and California

The master bedroom.  Photography by Jacob Elliott


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