Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Kyoto

4.6
#8 of 77 in Parks in Kyoto
Take a tour of Shugakuin Imperial Villa, a set of three villas and associated gardens owned by the imperial family. Built between 1655 and 1659 by Emperor Gomizuno, the complex features three main buildings, all showcasing different aspects of traditional Japanese imperial architecture, including dark wood facades, sliding doors, elevated tatami mats, and painted wall panels. The sprawling park that surrounds boasts plentiful natural sights: waterfalls, woods, and ponds, as well as enclosed areas made into fine examples of traditional Japanese gardens. Though entry to the buildings is not allowed, many remain open so visitors can see inside as part of the tour. Using our online itinerary creator, Kyoto attractions like Shugakuin Imperial Villa can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Shugakuin Imperial Villa Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
338 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • If there is space on the day couldn't see easily, or to apply for early admission into, so I was expecting any Ministry and was unexpectedly nice Palace. Indeed after it is the Villa of the Emperor mizunoo. It is has been designed, such as views of Mt. Atago, MIYAUCHI not far away until MIYAUCHI was divided under the shugakuin imperial villa and during their Palace and on the Palace, each wrinkle and twist, especially going up on the Palace and the surrounding nature and integrated feel great. But did not explore the MIYAUCHI freely because it is under the administration of the imperial household Agency, the induction of staff round out and has to go around the system. This time in advance on the Web to the imperial household agency admission application. So on the day suddenly is a big risk.
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  • Day reception window could participate in the sliding, and check the availability on the Imperial Palace of the same Imperial jurisdiction. Cannot apply himself to go to the site, so caution is required. It was a Palace, so less decorate a tea-room wooden building. Rainy day after Green was beautiful anyway. It was unfortunately was muddy rain water pond to the contrary. For connecting the three Palace really generally were engaged in farming and countryside footpaths. Round three Palace on the gentle slope, so a good workout. Caution is required because the security is very strict in the jurisdiction of the imperial household Agency, guides lead, with police officers from behind, locked, so uncomfortable in the middle in about 1.5 hours. Guides talk was distinctive way of speaking.
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  • 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 rai...  more »
Google
  • My husband and I visited the property earlier this morning and I would highly recommend signing up if you're in the area. Be sure to sign up online a few days in advance as there is a specific selection process that takes a few days (and is not guaranteed). Our group was about 30 people in size and the tour was in Japanese but we received free headsets that gave us the necessary information in English. The grounds are beautiful and it was fun to imagine what the views and property would of looked like when emperors and princesses visited this area hundreds of years ago. Was a very nice way to spend the morning and the tour lasted about 80minutes. Mostly easy walking terrain with minimal uphill and well worth it overall!
  • I booked my tour the day beforehand at the office of the Imperial Household Agency. It all went very smoothly. The Shugakuin Imperial Villa is a bit far from downtown Kyoto, but well worth the trip. The villa’s and gardens itself are amazing. The view that the site grants over the city itself is stunning. Walking through this place gave me a wonderful insight into the luxuries of old Japanese nobility and as such is a great cultural experience.
  • One of the best gardens I've visited in Japan! I've wanted to visit one of the imperial villas in Kyoto for some time but the online bookings are go very quickly. Thanks to another google reviewer pointing out that there are slots in the afternoon tours (1:30 and 3:00) are available on a first come first served bases I was able to visit. The tour is in Japanese, but you can borrow an earphone guide for free in several languages and lasts about 1 hour 20 minutes. In order to apply for the tour you'll need your passport or a residency card. You visit 3 different areas on the tour with the final area a spectacular walk around a lake.
  • I highly recommend this tour of the breathtaking Shugakuin Imperial Villa. The tour is approximately one hour with a Japanese guide but audio tours are available in English and Chinese. Please be aware that this is a reservation only tour which must be done prior online. Otherwise you can wait for an availability on the spot for the afternoon slots.
  • Very much worth it and Free, BUT: it can only be visited with a tour. Tours in the morning NEED to be reserved, tours in the afternoon can be joined on the spot. Only 2 afternoon tours available, so check out their schedule online!! Gardens are splendid, and the villas and history totally worth your time.
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