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Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Kyoto

(300+ reviews on the web)
Garden
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. Put Shugakuin Imperial Villa on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Kyoto tour planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This Imperial Detached Villa has three separate gardens separated by cultivated fields of vegetables and grains. The paths are paved or stone walkways with quite a number of steps which would present ...  more »
  • Good experience for tour , Palace so beautiful especially autumn leave and panoramic view.But if you can't advance reserve , You need to waiting about 2 hr to reserve palace tour.  more »
  • We got an advance reservation at the Imperial Palace to come here. This place is faraway, a good hour from Kyoto Station and we have to arrive 20 minutes early to check in. But this villa is simply be...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • The Imperial Villa is one of my favorite spots I've ever visited, in Japan or elsewhere. The garden's beauty is breathtaking.
  • Great to visit the Imperial Villa/gardens. Be sure to make a booking in advance to preventie any disapointments.
  • Beautiful gardens and ponds along with a few old structures. The tour is by reservation only which can be made in person at a Office of the Imperial Household Agency or online. The tour given in Japanese but there is an audio tour available in at least English and Chinese. The tour requires a bit of walking but it is well worth it. Access is easy by taking the number 5 bus to Shugakuin-michi followed by a short walk or taking the Eizan railway to Shugakuin and a moderate walk.