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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...

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 214 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 150
  • 38
    Very good
  • 14
  • 6
  • 6
Lovely gardens, bored guide

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Jeffrey F
Ilkeston, United Kingdom

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214 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Ilkeston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
193 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

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 

Thank Jeffrey F
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
707 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 389 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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
186 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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

Thank NChopra55
los angeles,ca
Level Contributor
311 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 167 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
603 reviews
333 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 164 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
186 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 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
Paris, France
Level Contributor
64 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015

Katsura Imperial Villa contains actually different buildings belonging to the imperial family and dating back to the early 17th C and set in a huge park consisting of different gardens. The hills and pond in the form of a dragon were all man-made and the small streams running from the mountains were incorporated in such a way that it all... More 

1 Thank Jansje S
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

This imperial villa is my favourite among the four imperial palaces/villa in Kyoto. The garden landscape, the bridges, huts and houses were so cleverly designed. It is as though you were looking at a hand-drawn landscape picture. Simply amazing! You got to be there to experience it yourself.

2 Thank Lim C

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