We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book On TripAdvisor Bonus Book your hotel on TripAdvisor — then save 20% on things to do for your trip. Use code BOOKTOSAVE.

Katsura Imperial Villa

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8014, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 75-211-1215
Website
Description:

This beautiful home belonged to members of the Katsura family, one of the...

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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 260 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 41
    Excellent
  • 13
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 5
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
A palace of Japanese Imperial family! Must see and enjoy.

Biking around the area, stony path. Wonderful well build villa! Felt special in this place. Peaceful and beautiful as well. Take the buses or biking just fine.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Janis Y
,
Palo Alto, California
Add Photo Write a Review

260 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 70: English reviews
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Biking around the area, stony path. Wonderful well build villa! Felt special in this place. Peaceful and beautiful as well. Take the buses or biking just fine.

Helpful?
Thank Janis Y
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
138 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It was nice to visit this classic Japanese garden resort that earned an international reputation and inspired modern architects for its simplicity yet functional design. Constructed between 16th-17th century by the first and second generations of the Hachijo-no-Miya family, this historical landmark had experienced ups and downs through hundred years. Then it was time for repair and restoration before it... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Amber201083
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2016

The villa itself is closed to the public, but the 17th century stroll garden and its pavilions are profoundly beautiful. Much to contemplate, much to bring pleasure. Well-worth the effort to obtain reservations through the Imperial Household.

Helpful?
Thank verismo
Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
199 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2016

As for Shugakuin Imperial Villa, we rate this one of the top three gardens that we visited in Japan. It more than repays the effort to book a visit. You can book online at the Imperial Household Agency website if you time your application just right. All the online places were gone when we tried some weeks before our visit.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Aitku
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2016

beautiful garden and on topof that free. they even supply audio guides free! You need to reserve first at the imperial palace

Helpful?
Thank Akli L
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
117 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2016

We applied for a tour of Katsura three months ahead of time, over the Internet, on the Imperial Household website. After filling out numerous lines of requested information, including our e-mail address, finally a screen appeared bearing the heading, "Confirmation." We printed out this screen. We received no further communications from the Imperial Household. On the appointed day, we spent... More 

Helpful?
Thank LaBu
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2016

Very easy to make a reservation in advance. You miss out on a lot because the in-person guide does the tour in Japanese but they do have a headset with limited explanations in English. Don't let that deter you! It is a walk from the bus stop along a path that had cars zooming past us at high speed. We... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica H
オックスフォード, イギリス
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2016

I’m a Japanese. I have been living in Kyoto for 15 years in total, but have never been to Katsura Imperial Villa. Often we hear about it, as the one of best of the best of Japanese gardens, but because it requires appointments, I have never bothered to try. This time, I had a guest from the UK, and I... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank OneDayOneNoodle2
Level Contributor
39 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

As with the Imperial Palace and Shugakuin Imperial Villa, you must get a free ticket in advance at the Imperial Household Agency and you must stay with the guided tour. This tour was in Japanese, but audio guides in other languages are available. The property is smaller than Shugakuin and the mountain views are more distant so the garden benefits... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Bill G
California
Level Contributor
134 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2015

Like Shugakuin Imperial Villa, one has to register with the Imperial Household Agency in order to get in. This villa is in the Katsura district which is to the north of the city, and the villa itself has some great gardens and some structures. It is said that the Tale of Genji was an inspiration for the villa's original patron,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Liars N F

Travelers who viewed Katsura Imperial Villa also viewed

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
 

Been to Katsura Imperial Villa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Katsura Imperial Villa and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Katsura Imperial Villa staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?