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Katsura Imperial Villa

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8014, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+81 75-211-1215

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 290 reviews
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  • 47
  • 14
    Very good
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
Japanese traditional beauty

I was introduced to a TV commercial and I learned about this villa long time a go. “Eternity, It is Katsura rikyu” (Katsura Imperial Villa) by Bruno Taut. To the Japanese... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 22 December 2016
Kyoto, Japan
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290 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 77: English reviews
Kyoto, Japan
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2016

I was introduced to a TV commercial and I learned about this villa long time a go. “Eternity, It is Katsura rikyu” (Katsura Imperial Villa) by Bruno Taut. To the Japanese proverb, “One look is worth thousand words”  Again, the garden and building(villa) united, and this place which forms the Japanese beauty also with your own eyes.

Thank takeshi52
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2016

Our guide, Hiro Nakajima, (https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g298564-d6748714-r433315005-Kyoto_MK-Kyoto_Kyoto_Prefecture_Kinki.html) took us there at about 10 am in the morning and he was worried if we could a get ticket as we did not reserved the tickets. Everyday, 60 same-day tickets are sold to people who go there in person, as first-come-first basis. The ticket sale starts at 11:00 am for each of the three... More 

Thank Ashikur
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016

I went to Katsura imperial villa when the maple leaves were turning red. Although we had to go there to register at 11 a.m. And attend the tour of either 1:30 p.m., 2:30p.m. Or 3:30p.m., it was still worth visiting there for one hour guided tour. You will be able to use English audio equipment during the tour.

Thank Hiro_Nakajima
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2016 via mobile

We had planned to go to the Imperial Villa on a Sunday, without prior reservations. My dad and a family friend went ahead early in the morning to line up for tickets (the ticket booth doesn't open until 11am, but they wanted to beat the line). We got a 2:30pm slot, and it was lovely. We availed of the free... More 

Thank Revina Q
Oakland, CA
Level Contributor
61 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016 via mobile

Beautiful palace grounds. Excellent one hour tour. Very good electronic guide in English. Overall amazing lake, tea houses, residents, and other buildings that illustrate the life of princes between the 16th and 18th century. Reservations required. This place is a local treasure.

Thank MTMusings
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2016

Visited Katsura Imperial Villa yesterday afternoon. It's a beautiful and meticulously maintained garden. It was built by one of the imperial princes. The balance of structures and garden was the main focus and had been paid at most attention. The admission is free but you need a reservation. You can make reservations online. I did not have an advance reservation... More 

3 Thank 22Suz
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2016

This is one of the finest examples of Japanese garden architecture anywhere in the country. A great way to beat the crowds as the number of visitors is restricted...make sure you make an appointment well ahead of time.

Thank Adam B
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
70 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2016

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.

Thank Janis Y
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
143 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2016

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 

2 Thank Amber201083
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 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.

Thank verismo

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Questions & Answers

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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?