A point of interest on the Lost Souls of Hollywood Boulevard GPS-guided audio walking tour.
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We’re starting our tour a little bit off the beaten path of Hollywood Boulevard, nestled on a hill above the famed Tinseltown boardwalk is a mansion that boasts some of the best scenic views in the city. Not only can you see for miles, but you can grab yourself some of the most delectable sushi and take in gorgeous gardens here at Yamashiro.
Yamashiro means “mountain castle” in Japanese, and is a very fitting descriptor for this Hollywood hot spot. This mansion that you’re standing outside actually started out as a private residence in the early 1900s. The original owners, Charles and Adolf Bernheimer, spent MILLIONS of dollars, which for that time was extraordinarily extravagant to get this place just perfect. They landscaped it with thousands of trees, imported exotic animals—even having a lake of black swans and a centuries-old pagoda. Their goal was to have it resemble a palace in the Yamashiro Mountains near Kyoto, Japan. It has 10 rooms that house ancient Japanese and Chinese artifacts and features gorgeous gardens around it.
The property is no longer owned by the Bernheimer family, in fact its changed hands a number of times since its inception, including being converted into a brothel in the 1940s. But one of those owners, a one Donald O. Glover—no association that we know of to your favourite Star Wars and Community actor—is said to still remain in the property today. Which makes sense considering his ashes were actually buried here.
Over the years, staff of Yamashiro have reported seeing a man sitting in the centre court garden, which happens to be where the late Mr. Glover was interred. It’s reported that people walk through walls, and footsteps are heard running up and down the stairs long after the doors are closed for the night. But it’s said that your best bet for a ghostly sighting at this fine establishment is sitting at table nine in the Sunset Room. It’s the best table in the house, and the one where the ghost of a woman sits staring out the window, some suspect she’s stuck eternally waiting for her husband.
The grounds of Yamashiro are so beautiful that it’s no surprise that, despite being a restaurant, it’s a hot spot for weddings. But the joyful nature of weddings aside, there are still many-a ghosts lurking within its walls. One of the most prominent is that of the weeping woman who appears inside the second floor bridal suite. It’s said that she’s constantly heard crying, despite that when you look, the room is empty. There have also been reports of a woman’s silhouette being seen from the garden outside, despite investigations turning up that the room is empty. Many believe that the woman is a previous working girl at the brothel who wasn't there by choice. It’s theorized that she died by suicide within the walls of the mansion and her spirit remains consumed by sadness today.
Whether you grab a bite at Yamashiro or just lurk outside, keep an eye out for some of it’s more ghostly patrons.
Lost Souls of Hollywood
This POI is featured on the Lost Souls of Hollywood Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.
All audio walking tours are self-guided and include fully narrated commentary.
Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia challenge you can test your skills on.
The trivia questions are separate from the commentary and completely optional.
The app keeps score for you so you can challenge your friends and family.