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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
Description: 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

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  • 129
    Excellent
  • 30
    Very good
  • 10
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 6
    Terrible
Truly beautiful garden

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 10, 2015
dcs9603
,
Sydney
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179 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Sydney
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
37 attraction reviews
88 helpful votes 88 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 

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Paris, France
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
42 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 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 

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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014

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 4
Chicago
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2014

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.

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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
30 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 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 1
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
26 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 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 2
San Jose, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
25 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 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 

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Guildford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
31 attraction reviews
80 helpful votes 80 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 

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London
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 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 2

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