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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
  • 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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  • 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. 
  • 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
  • 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.