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Shugakuin Imperial Villa

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Neighborhood:
Northern Kyoto
As featured in One Day in Kyoto
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Address: 1-3 Shugakuin-yabusoe, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8611 , Kyoto Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 75-211-1215
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Description: Created as an imperial summer retreat, the garden complex is a fine...
Created as an imperial summer retreat, the garden complex is a fine example of Japanese landscape design.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 125
    Excellent
  • 55
    Very good
  • 8
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
My favorite Imperial Property

This is my favorite of the Imperial properties in Kyoto. It is like taking a step back in time and the experience of moving through the space and the gardens is fantastic. As with... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 3, 2015
Karavansara-SR
,
Siem Reap, Kyoto

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190 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Siem Reap, Kyoto
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2015 NEW

This is my favorite of the Imperial properties in Kyoto. It is like taking a step back in time and the experience of moving through the space and the gardens is fantastic. As with all the Imperial properties you need to visit Shugakuin with a guide and in a group. So, occasionally, you need to be ready to be herded... More 

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Vilnius, Lithuania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

Definitely worth a visit and a wait in line (you have to make reservations). Do not forget to go in spring or fall, and ask for an English audio guide!

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Port Huron, Michigan
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2015

Stepping back in time was amazing! You can go inside and walk on he tatami floors. Even sit on the porch over looking the ponds and gardens!

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Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2015

Emperor Gomizuo made this fantastic villa. You can see the mountain as a part of scenery of the garden of villa. Spectacular view!

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
213 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2015

If you are foreign, bring your passport to the Kunaicho office (not here, in the Imperial Palace) to book your place as soon as you arrive in Kyoto. Places are limited particularly during the best seasons although in Kyoto every season is special. Be prepared to walk about a mile inside, so wear suitable footwear. Once I was with Japanese... More 

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Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

We went two days ago, trying to escape the crowds of the Kyoto temples and found it closed - we didn't make any reservation, nor called in advance, as we had seen in the Guide of Kyoto in one day that it's also ok to try your luck with just going there without any reservation, as there are day tickets... More 

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Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2015

To visit this imperial villa, we applied and received the approval about a month ago. Along with a group of 20 people, we made the tour in a hot summer day at 3PM. Among the 3 villas in Shugakuin, I like the upper villa in particular. Sitting at the edge of "Rinuntei" listening the sound from waterfall, you fell refreshing... More 

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Massachusetts
Level Contributor
109 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

Advance bookings are necessary (at least for foreigners) but worth the effort to fit into your Kyoto schedule. Tour is in Japanese but with a recording for English - Thanks. Beautiful buildings/grounds.

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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2015

Visiting the Imperial Villas in Kyoto is a special treat, mainly for the gardens and the historical buildings. If you are Japanese, you must enter a lottery to have a chance to visit, and it would typically take several years before you are lucky enough to get a ticket to visit one of the Imperial properties. However, each tour has... More 

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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
202 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2015 via mobile

It's worth a visit to get the sense of the days of its glory. The landscape is zen and well kept. I was disappointed that not much of display of artefacts used during the glorious days

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Staying in Northern Kyoto

Neighborhood Profile
Northern Kyoto
Hot springs and historic temples characterize the leafy landscapes of Northern Kyoto. Acres of tranquil residential streets are interrupted by some of Kyoto's most gorgeous architectural gems, including the majestic Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji, the serene artistry of the Ryoanji Temple rock gardens, and the bold red paint across the structures of Enryakuji Temple. Once a religious core of the city, the district now boasts some of its most remote and peaceful hot springs, as well as a few of its best family-run mom-and-pop restaurants. A blend of extremely local at its outskirts, and highly peopled at its tourist centers, Northern Kyoto nonetheless retains a halcyon air in harmony with nature.