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Katsura Imperial Villa

Open Now: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Review Highlights
Memorable and beautiful grounds

This was a highlight for me. Our tickets were booked on line months ago. We took the train and... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Melbourne, Australia
via mobile
Exquisite ...

We booked the slot for 30 November 9am as soon as tickets became available and it was well worth... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
London, United Kingdom
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good17%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
This beautiful home belonged to members of the Katsura family, one of the Imperial families of Japan. The home displays some very traditional Japanese architecture and landscape design.
Open Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Nisikyo, Kyoto 615-8014, Kyoto Prefecture
+81 75-211-1215
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1 - 10 of 117 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

This was a highlight for me. Our tickets were booked on line months ago. We took the train and walked from the station to the grounds. Google maps was a bit wonky that day and we were directed to a back gate. Anyhow, we managed...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank MLY18
Reviewed 1 week ago

We booked the slot for 30 November 9am as soon as tickets became available and it was well worth. The gardens and surrounding dwellings (traditional tea houses) were stunning. We were lucky as the weather was nice and the colours and the views were just...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank poplarkins
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I went there first thing in the morning, trying to squeeze as much time to enjoy this place. The walk within the confinements of the palace is somewhat guided, but every corner, every building, every garden is something to really watch and appreciate. It's one...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Ehrlichmann P
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My friend from Kyoto recommended this place instead of going to the palace in city centre and what a treat! It is so beautiful, detailed, and quintessentially Japanese I felt like I had gone back in time. The guide was brilliant and it's well worth...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Maria T
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Visit this impressive garden and enjoy interesting ja entertaining stories in excellent English. Easy journey by Kyoto City Bus 33 from the north side of Kyoto Station, bus stop information available in the bus.

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank Elina S
Reviewed November 20, 2018

very peaceful and quiet. so pleasant with the leaves starting to change colors. One of the best gardens in Japan.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Lori N
Reviewed November 5, 2018

The word "villa" is in fact somewhat misleading. Rather than a grand country house, it is a collection of top-of-the-range traditional tea houses surrounding an exquisite, large Japanese-style garden. On a ranking of Japan's attractions, I would place it second only to Nikko, although they...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Steven G
Reviewed October 27, 2018 via mobile

This visit will give you a view into the faded grandeur which once was part of Japanese life. The entry begins with a bag search and a walk along a wide gravel pathway to the gate. A series of beautiful gardens and some spectacular buildings...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank travelpig_9
Reviewed October 20, 2018

If you visit one place in Kyoto make it this one. Book a place on the one hour tour at the Imperial Household Office in the NW corner of the Imperial Palace grounds. Lovely gardens and views.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank stevebruntlett
Reviewed October 10, 2018

Nice place, the pictures gives you a really good visualization of the place. Nice garden, beautiful houses. Have a walk, take pictures and that's it! Nothing crazy...

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Leehisabag
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Questions & Answers
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August 7, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Pv2017 | Reviewed this property |
we went in March. It was lovely then but then again they had a very hot spring so we were lucky to have the start fo the cherry blossoms but I think that the gardens were designed for all seasons and I am sure winter will be... More
July 31, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from smakino715 | Reviewed this property |
冬の桂離宮は、また、観るところ、たくさんあります。 行けば、おとぎの国のような世界が、広がっていることでしょう。是非、行ってみてください。
Google Translation
April 19, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from setsucollis | Reviewed this property |
My friends in Tokyo tell me that yes , you can go without a booking ( as mentioned by Gumer Q's response ) , but still recommend booking in case the day you go is full . It is quite a distance to go and miss out . If you are... More
Travel Forum Posts
New York City, New York
Imperial Villa Reservation Denied - Why? (9 Replies)
I've tried twice to apply to the Katsura Imperial Villa. The reservations system shows places available (this is for late October). The email just says "We are sorry your request for the tour was not accepted. Please apply again some other time." Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I filled out every box in the form, and it does show availability. I tried for another date and time, same reply.
July 06, 2018|
Response fromLiars N F|
Could it be that they are bailing out water? Still plenty of time until October. Apply again.
Itinerary for 1 day in Kyoto (4 Replies)
We will be in Kyoto in late Mar 2010 and would like to visit the following places by buying the 1 day bus pass: Kinkajuji Temple Katsura Imperial Villa or the Imperial Palace (Noted that advance booking is required) Kiyomizu Temple Nanzenji Temple and the Path of Philosophy Maruyama Park Gion and Pontocho in the evening Are the above places doable in a day. Also seeking advice on which location we should start first. We can start off early in the morning and we arre staying near...More
November 22, 2009|
Response frompaulwoodh|
That schedule is pretty full on but do-able if you go at a frantic pace. Personally I'd walk down from Kinkakuji towards Maruyama park. There are the narrow steps leading down where you often see the Maiko (Geisha in training). Again, Gion isn't far from here, and you could take a bus up to the Philosophers path after this. Pontocho/Gion should be on the way back anyway, so you will still be able to see them at night. I don't know what kind of person you are, but unless you go round the...More
Katsura Imperial Villa en-route to Arashiyama (5 Replies)
Hi, I am researching the Hankyu Main Line from Karasuma Station to Arashiyama. I wonder if I am allowed to have a stop-over at Katsura Station to visit Katsura Imperial Villa en-route to Arashiyama on the same train ticket. Or do I have to buy 2 separate tickets, from Karasuma Station to Katsura Station and from Katsura Station to Arashiyama? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
September 08, 2016|
Response fromShot|
For Hankyu train users, two separate tickets are mandatory, where you make a stopover anywhere along your way. This may sound a bit puzzling, but Karasuma to Katsura is 190yens, so is Katsura to Arashiyama. Anyway the difference in fares is not huge: 190yens x 2 vs 220yens x 1. So don't sweat it.