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Review Highlights
Villas and Tea Houses are extraordinary - I loved our visit

Getting to see these lovely villas - available only by permission of the Imperial Household Agency... read more

Reviewed May 14, 2019
Monteal, Quebec
Worth the effort

After four trips to Kyoto we finally made it to Shugakuin after getting tickets online three months... read more

Reviewed April 19, 2019
Brisbane, Australia
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  • Excellent67%
  • Very good26%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
Created as an imperial summer retreat, the garden complex is a fine example of Japanese landscape design.
Certificate of Excellence
As featured in One Day in Kyoto
1-3 Shugakuin-Yabusoe, Sakyo, Kyoto 602-8611, Kyoto Prefecture
Northern Kyoto
+81 75-781-5203
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1 - 10 of 91 reviews
Reviewed May 14, 2019

Getting to see these lovely villas - available only by permission of the Imperial Household Agency - is actually fairly easy to do. Despite online information to the contrary, it is actually easy to get tickets in Kyoto. Just visit the Imperial Household agency office...More

Date of experience: May 2019
4  Thank thesouplady-two
Reviewed April 19, 2019

After four trips to Kyoto we finally made it to Shugakuin after getting tickets online three months previously and it was well worth doing. The tour is conducted in Japanese but there is an English audio guide free which helps explain things. We had a...More

Date of experience: March 2019
1  Thank ozteddy
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
1  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 517SueM
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
3  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
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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