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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 #8 of 339 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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81 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
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 NEW

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
75 reviews 75 reviews
58 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 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 3
Taipei, Taiwan
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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 3
Riga, Latvia
11 reviews 11 reviews
42 helpful votes 42 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
4 helpful votes 4 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 2
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
83 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 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
São Paulo, Brasil
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
17 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

Kyoto for me is the city where you see things and touch them and walk through them but you still cant believe they're there. And Shugakuin, together with the Golden Pavillion, is the utmost example of that feeling. The pond in the upper villa is absolutely gorgeous. I couldnt believe my eyes, I never knew there so many shades of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
34 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

It takes a bit of commitment to see it but once you’re there the payoff will be self-evident. Don’t be cowed by all the guidebook recommendations into taking the train(s). It involves two trains, a walk from one station to the other and possibly the cost of a bus ride (220 Yen, fixed, whether it’s 1 stop or 15 stops)... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
64 attraction reviews
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

3 Imperial villas are in separate place, in the middle of beautiful nature, mountains surrounding Kyoto city, rural landscape. You will see aesthetic sense of Japanese here. This villas are designed to use all season, you will enjoy them to see very much any season. Villas with snow, new green leaves, red Japanese maple … amazing. Wearing walking shoes is... More

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Portland, OR
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
25 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

The villa is perched on the side of a hill, giving a grand view of both the hills behind and the city below. The gardens are to die for in the fall. Spectacular. As with Katsura, the guides moved you along too fast to linger and take time to take photographs, but otherwise completely enjoyable.

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