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Katsura Imperial Villa

Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 615-8014, Japan
+81 75-211-1215
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Ranked #16 of 372 attractions in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens
Owner description: This beautiful home belonged to members of the Katsura family, one of the Imperial families of Japan. The home displays some very traditional Japanese... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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129 reviews from our community

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    95
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Riga, Latvia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

It is interesting to see the layout and the gardens. However compared to other gardens in Kytoto and Tokyo i was just average. Besides you have to go through trouble officially requesting visit, bring your passport and then be in a guided group and you can't even stay behind to take more serene pictures

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Las Vegas
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

Katsura is well worth the visit and effort to secure a pass. The garden is magical and so special. There is nothing like it in the west. Every shrub, every tree, every rock placement is subtle and intentional. Amazing.

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Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014 via mobile

We got tickets in advance and went all the way out there only to find out that they don't let you into the villa itself or even open a door for you to peak inside. The gardens are nice, but so are all Japanese gardens. The tour guide talks in Japanese for at least 5 minutes longer than our short... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
50 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2014

I never made it in the palace as I did not have a reservation but the grounds are scenic. It's a large place so probably avoid if on a day trip

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
33 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

Don't miss the introductory video. It shows the fantastic designs in the buildings not open to the public. The real attraction here are the gardens, which are beyond exquisite. Interesting is the centuries old pine tree that was planted, I cannot remember by who, for the one express purpose of making it impossible to see the entire garden all at... More

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Bangkok, Thailand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

Everything is incredibly stunning! As an architectural student this place is a must to see. You may not have a plenty of times to discover around the places according to a black-suited guy who will follow you at the end of the line(Of course I knew he's doing his duty) but other else is just super fine. Make sure you... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Taipei, Taiwan
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Make reservation at the office near Kyoto Palace. Although not as impressive after seeing Shukaguin Imperial Villa, the tranquility of tea rooms are incomparable, with bamboos surrounding the whole area.

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Basildon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

you have to apply at the imperial palace office to join a tour of the villa-the tour is conducted in Japanese but the English audio is available free via reception--make sure you have your passport-they tend to check the name/photo especially when booking for the tour

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

The Villa is not easy to get to and you need tickets in advance, which can only be obtained through the Imperial household agency. The gardens are extremely well-maintained and are of course quite beautiful, having been designed by one of the emperors himself. You have to going to tour in Japanese, which I don't speak. But you can get... More

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Swindon
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

To be fair we had high expectations of these gardens, and whilst they were pretty we left feeling pretty underwhelmed by the visit. The villa was o.k. but nothing special, but it was the tour experience that we really felt let it down, the english audio guide was very brief with little details given and the exclusively japanese tour guide... More

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