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Katsura Imperial Villa

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Address: Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8014, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 75-211-1215
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This beautiful home belonged to members of the Katsura family, one of the...

This beautiful home belonged to members of the Katsura family, one of the Imperial families of Japan. The home displays some very traditional Japanese architecture and landscape design.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 225 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 160
  • 39
    Very good
  • 14
  • 6
  • 6
Outstanding garden, somewhat rushed tour

As with the Imperial Palace and Shugakuin Imperial Villa, you must get a free ticket in advance at the Imperial Household Agency and you must stay with the guided tour. This tour... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed December 15, 2015
Bill G

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225 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
39 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

As with the Imperial Palace and Shugakuin Imperial Villa, you must get a free ticket in advance at the Imperial Household Agency and you must stay with the guided tour. This tour was in Japanese, but audio guides in other languages are available. The property is smaller than Shugakuin and the mountain views are more distant so the garden benefits... More 

Thank Bill G
Level Contributor
106 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2015

Like Shugakuin Imperial Villa, one has to register with the Imperial Household Agency in order to get in. This villa is in the Katsura district which is to the north of the city, and the villa itself has some great gardens and some structures. It is said that the Tale of Genji was an inspiration for the villa's original patron,... More 

Thank Liars N F
Ilkeston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
193 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2015

Having enjoyed Shugakuin Imperial Villa on a previous visit to Kyoto I tried to get an online permit for Katsura whilst in the UK. No success: all the spaces were taken until 2016. On arrival I visited the Imperial Household Agency Office at Kyoto Imperial Palace with my family passports. (My wife is Japanese & like most had never been... More 

1 Thank Jeffrey F
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
712 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 397 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2015

One of the three major sites under Imperial control (along with the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sangakuin Imperial Villa). Only reachable by train (and a half mile walk through a residential neighborhood), it is a bit of a distance from Kyoto center but easily reachable if visiting Arashiayama, making it a full day. The premises are not as impressive or... More 

Thank drichrx
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2015

Though significantly smaller than the Shugaku-in Imperial Villa, the Katsura Imperial Villa is equally important in being a testament to great Japanese design and aesthetic sensibilities. Katsura Rikyu is often described to be one of the best examples of Japanese garden design. In some books, it is even described as the best garden in Japan. Whether it's the best or... More 

1 Thank clayman79
Siem Reap, Kyoto
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2015

Katsura Villa is one of the most important global pilgrimage sites for 'M'odern architects. It encapsulates so much of what is important in the work of 20th Century architects. There are so many texts on this subject that it is probably possible to go through all the relevance here. As an American architect who has lived in Asia for 25... More 

Thank Karavansara-SR
Level Contributor
209 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2015

The Villa is worth a visit for the gardens. Beautiful Japanese gardens with figurines and water bodies.

Thank NChopra55
los angeles,ca
Level Contributor
316 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2015

We had been here about 8 years ago and looked forward to seeing it again. It Is beautiful, but you can barely get a taste of it. The tour group you had to go with was large with a Minder taking up the rear.God forbid that you should wander off.The English audio was not very informative and the guide literally... More 

1 Thank mflickermd
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
716 reviews
407 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2015

Sure it's a grand, nice Japanese Garden, but there are much better ones, for example the one of the other Imperial villa in Kyoto

1 Thank Jurgen B
Level Contributor
198 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015

Although it takes a little effort to book in advance through the Imperial Household Agency and then to get to this garden on the outskirts of Kyoto, it is certainly well worthwhile. The gardens are exquisite and the Palace building itself delightful in its simplicity. An audio guide in English is very satisfactory and the limited number permitted on each... More 

Thank David S

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?