We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Katsura Imperial Villa

Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 615-8014, Japan
+81 75-211-1215
Improve this listing
89%
Ranked #18 of 383 Attractions in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens, Cultural
More attraction details
Attraction details
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.

Hotels near Katsura Imperial Villa

Write a Review

156 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    113
    25
    9
    4
    5
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014 NEW

I give katsura such a low rating not because it's so bad but because it's so overrated. It's out of central kyoto in in an area with almost nothing. You have to book in advance but if you are in kyoto for a short time there are so many other better places which are more convenient so dont bother. If... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chicago
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2014 NEW

Of the four Imperial Palaces I visited, this was probably the one I liked the least. Not that it's bad, it's just that the others were so stunning.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
28 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

It is hard to comment on Japanese gardens when each one seems more awe-inspiring than the last.This beautiful garden was a bit of a trek from Katsura station and the visit was a guided tour (in Japanese, but we could get a free audio guide which worked fine). The range of features in the garden - including the tea houses... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

You have to get your tickets far, far in advance, or purchase them at the Imperial Household Office, WHICH IS IN KYOTO CITY PROPER, NOT ON THE GROUNDS. This works if you are going to be in Kyoto for a week. We thought we had tickets, but that was our mistake. So standing with a family member who must rely... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Jose, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
25 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

You are required to have permission to enter the grounds, because it is property of the Imperial Family, however it is free. The landscaping is carefully thought out and the placement of the tea homes (one for each season) is wonderfully integrated in it's surroundings. If you can understand Japanese or have a Japanese explain to you what the guide... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Guildford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
27 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014

Must be prearranged. You are guided from the front and shepherded from the rear so photo opportunities are brief - I found it best to put on a limp! Tour of the gardens takes an hour and is worth it. You do not get to see inside the Villa - although it was totally rebuilt in the 1970s so has... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
London
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2014

There was only a tour in Japanese so the english tour was on a headset which was sooo basic and nothing that couldn't be noticed without the headset. The garden is great and a benchmark of garden design but it is hard to get to and a taxi would be best to access it.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014

None of the tourist sites or books etc told us we needed to get approval to visit here and you cant buy tickets when you get there.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Riga, Latvia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 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 3
Las Vegas
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Katsura Imperial Villa also viewed

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
 
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
 

Been to Katsura Imperial Villa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing