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Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Kyoto

(4.7/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web)
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
  • very relaxing walk between the Green and among beautiful gardens well tended. We visited in winter and certainly in spring or autumn deserves better
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  • Villa made a workman's-bi Emperor. Owns tranquil countryside, and owns a large arable land. Scenery through the mountains surrounding the city further below Kyoto urban area, including the Mt. Hiei has been realized. Idyllic space and time is inconceivable to the nouveau riche real luxury.
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  • Tickets we could get good luck on the day, so I went for the first time. You can enjoy slowly 1 hour and a half on the tour.
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Google
  • Shugaku-in Villa is Constructed by the order of the Emperor Gomizunoo in the mid-seventeenth century, Shugakuin Imperial Villa consists of three villas (Lower, Middle, and Upper). Its incorporation of the surrounding natural scenery into the garden design is typical of Japanese architecture. ( TGM Kyoto )
  • 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.
  • I made a terrible walking route to here when Google maps wasn't available for offline mode. I would avoid coming here during summer.
  • Must go even it is your first time to Kyoto, but by reservation only. Recommend to book the early morning session.