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Shugakuin Imperial Villa

Closed Now: 9:00 AM - 4:20 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 4:20 PM
Review Highlights
A special treat

Once you have the necessary clearance this garden offers a splendid view of the whole city of... read more

Reviewed October 23, 2018
Elizabeth C
Shugankuin Imperial Garden

We took public transport there (bus #5, fare 230 yen exact change) and walk back to Westin Miyako... read more

Reviewed September 27, 2018
San Frandcisco
via mobile
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  • Excellent67%
  • Very good27%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“audio guide”(13 reviews)
“grand view”(2 reviews)
Created as an imperial summer retreat, the garden complex is a fine example of Japanese landscape design.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:20 PM
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As featured in One Day in Kyoto
1-3 Shugakuin-yabusoe, Sakyo-ku, Sakyo, Kyoto 602-8611, Kyoto Prefecture
Northern Kyoto
+81 75-781-5203
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All reviews audio guide english language grand view worth the effort tour takes eizan line japanese maple japanese visitors beautiful garden large pond wear comfortable shoes long walk train station household emperor tours application
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1 - 10 of 89 reviews
Reviewed October 23, 2018

Once you have the necessary clearance this garden offers a splendid view of the whole city of Kyoto, with great vistas as you ascend and then walk through the gardens. An archetypal garden.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Elizabeth C
Reviewed September 27, 2018 via mobile

We took public transport there (bus #5, fare 230 yen exact change) and walk back to Westin Miyako hotel. It's the best garden we have seen in Japan. You need to have a reservation (appointment made online -- reservation calendar opens a month in advance...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Dragonhung
Reviewed September 25, 2018

This villa has the largest rock garden in Japan. There are over 200 rocks to find. The garden is very serene and tranquil (if you go at a quiet time). The villa has beautifully painted paper screened doors inside. Excellent example of Japanese art.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Sue M
Reviewed July 9, 2018

Kyoto has three Imperial garden/villa that can be visited free of charge. You just have to reserve the time slot. The guiding are offered in Japanese only. They provide brochures in different languages. English is one of them. The villa consists of three levels. The...More

Date of experience: May 2018
2  Thank Lawrencecp
Reviewed June 13, 2018 via mobile

Tickets are free. We pre-booked the tickets on the Imperial Household Agency website. The tours are in Japanese but they provide English language audio guides. The site has three villas each one higher up the mountain. The gardens are beautiful with my favorite one being...More

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Traveller376
Reviewed May 18, 2018 via mobile

These are the imperial gardens that have lovely natural setting with amazing scenery with beautiful trees, brooks and mountains in the background. A moderately strenuous walk uphill so wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers as it can get warm as you climb. The climb...More

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank nsl115
Reviewed April 26, 2018

We booked our tour about a week before and were lucky to be accepted. The best way to get there is by taxi, as you have to walk uphill from the nearest train station for 10 minutes or so. It was a rainy day but...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank PueoKupaa
Reviewed April 10, 2018

This villa and garden are out of town on the Eizan line, nestled against the slopes of the mountains. You must register to visit prior to the day and take your chances at getting in. We were the only Europeans in the group, but it...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank ShaunaP110
Reviewed March 11, 2018

One of the better Imperial properties but you'll need to reserve it though it is free of charge. The garden itself is nothing to shout about, however, especially compared to Katsura Imperial Villa, the best of the best

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank John L
Reviewed January 11, 2018

This was one of our three top experiences in Kyoto. Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes for going up paths and outdoor steps. Our hosts arranged for our reservations and the driver to take us there. After checking in and showing a passport, you...More

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank Susan K
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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
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
July 29, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from John L | Reviewed this property |
You have to go with Imperial Household Agency guide babysitters. They are not as strict as those at Katsura Rikyu but still fussy....
October 1, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Melvin B | Reviewed this property |
Sorry, I do not know. We were on Public Transport and foot
May 20, 2015|
Response from Fearless798358 |
Under 18 years of age is not allowed.
Travel Forum Posts
Does Shinshogokuraku-ji = Shinnyo-do? (5 Replies)
Traveling to Kyoto with my in-laws, who have never been, plus our 5-year-old. Although I've been several times over the last 20 years, I'm unfamiliar with some of the sites my father-in-law wants to visit, and would love some advice from those of you more familiar with Kyoto than I am. We have only two days in Kyoto, so I'm a bit hesitant to miss sites like Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and other sites I know and love in order to see things he happened to read about on a Taiwanese website. So my...More
March 19, 2017|
Response from|
1. Shinshogokuraku-ji 真正極楽寺 is the official name Shinnyo-do 真如堂. It is nice during autumn foliage and cherry blossoms. 2. I prefer Katsura Imperial Villa.
Ithaca, New York
First timer to Japan really need help planning (1 Replies)
I have a last minute trip to Japan and have so many questions. I have looked up recommended places to visit and selected the ones I was really interested in. I would like to know if it's possible to fit all of the following places in the time that I have. Unfortunately I only have four days in April and I have so many places I'd like to see. I have no time to travel to Tokyo so I decided to stay only in Kansai. Also, would it be wiser to station myself in Osaka or Kyoto? Hikone Castle ...More
March 25, 2014|
Response fromGaijinMike|
Early April? Just take whatever hotel you can find at this point. If it's late april, I'd give the edge to Kyoto, but either city will work.
New York City, New York
Kyoto with kids - ideas needed to handle heatwave (11 Replies)
I will be visiting Kyoto with my 10 and 12 year olds. Unfortunately we will be there during another heatwave and expect 98F plus humidity. I will need to adjust our itinerary to do less and accommodate for many breaks to cool off (ice cream, 100¥ store, anywhere with AC, or shade). I would much appreciate any recommendations on itinerary, what to add/skip, what time of day to go to avoid heat and crowds? Ideas for AC near the highlights. Highlights (afternoon; full day plus one...More
July 28, 2018|
Response fromShibaInuGuide|
Hiyashi-ame is a distinctively traditional and Kansai-local syrup-based drink that is sold at stalls in summer. People in the Kanto Region have never heard of it. :-)