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Shugakuin Imperial Villa

1-3 Shugakuin-yabusoe, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8611 , Japan
+81 75-211-1215
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Ranked #10 of 373 Attractions in Kyoto
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens
Description: Created as an imperial summer retreat, the garden complex is a fine example of Japanese landscape design.
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97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Klang, Malaysia
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

getting there by bus is no problem, take the city bus one day pass, it goes everywhere except to shugakuin you need to pay extra 160 yen. from kyoto station, go to platform A1 take bus no 5, then drop at Shugakuin Michi, not Shugakuin Rikyumichi. then start walking about 500m, but first mark and save "Kogu Police Shugakuin Police... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

A lovely place to visit if you have several days in Kyoto and love beautiful Japanese gardens and architecture. You need to apply for permission to visit from the Imperial Palace, but this can be done easily on-line a couple of weeks before. Beware that the tours are conducted in very formal Japanese but there are English recordings available. There... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

If you appreciate large-scale, sophisticated manipulation of the landscape to achieve personal artistic satisfaction this is a wonderful chance to enjoy the work done for some ancient, retired Emperors of Japan. The monstrous libraries left as a tribute to American Presidents make for an interesting (and sad) comparison. We arranged the visit on the internet months before and went by... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Nagoya, Japan
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

I visited the villa in late April guiding three friends from foreign countries. This is my third visit, and in all cases, I truely enjoyed the landscape. This time, fresh leaves give vivid and gentle impression to the landscape. Its garden ia a typical and one of the best Japanese garden. The visit is conducted as a walking tour lasting... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

Built back in the 13th century, it used to be the Imperial residence. It remains one of the few places in Kyoto that has not been burned down and rebuild in the numerous fires that ravaged Kyoto throughout its history. Its great history is only surpassed by its beauty, with the breath taking view over the city, the three Zen... More

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Shanghai, China
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
65 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

You will have to make a booking in order to visit the villa, however it's not that busy so you shouldn't have any problems. The villa itself its really beautiful, offers a super ancient-ish feeling of a Japanese garden. The only downside that can occur to non-Japanese speakers is that you will be guided through out your visit, which takes... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Taipei, Taiwan
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Make reservation in person at the office near Kyoto Palace. The most memorable site during my 12 days in Kyoto. Free and the view is astounding. Comparing with other gardens in the temple, they are nothing. Provide Japanese tours only, but English audio guide can be borrowed at the check point, and provide brochures in other languages.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Riga, Latvia
11 reviews 11 reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

I could say I am lucky because I had the chance to visit this imperial holding; it is simply an awesome place. I loved the attention to details and the breath taking landscapes, it is all quite impressive. Luckily our guide spoke great English, we booked him separately, and we were able to capture the entire story behind this awesome... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Geneva, Switzerland
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Coming to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa is not easy (two trains or buses, then a short walk to the entrance will take you approx. 45m from the station), but definitely worth the effort : a wonderful garden, some exquisite tea houses, and one of the best place for a Momiji-gari visit (red leaves hunting) in late november.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
83 attraction reviews
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

The tea house at the last part is worth waiting and going to this place!!! Fantastic garden paradise on earth

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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