We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Katsura Imperial Villa

Open today: Closed
Review Highlights

I think this my favourite site in Kyoto. The garden was stunning, even in winter, and we got so... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Melbourne, Australia
Memorable and beautiful grounds

This was a highlight for me. Our tickets were booked on line months ago. We took the train and... read more

Reviewed 14 January 2019
Melbourne, Australia
via mobile
Read all 408 reviews
All photos (569)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good17%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
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.
Closed today
Hours Today: Closed
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
Katsuramisono, Nishikyo-ku, Nisikyo, Kyoto 615-8014, Kyoto Prefecture
+81 75-211-1215
Improve This Listing
Reviews (408)
Filter reviews
118 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews audio guide beautiful garden japanese architecture traditional tea houses hour tour guided tours are other attractions kyoto city royal household take photos train station wood and stone shugakuin katsuya tickets application landscape
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 118 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I think this my favourite site in Kyoto. The garden was stunning, even in winter, and we got so much more out of it thanks to the on site tour guide who spoke good English. If you enjoy gardens or Japanese architecture, this is a...More

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank Melbmeg1
Reviewed 14 January 2019 via mobile

This was a highlight for me. Our tickets were booked on line months ago. We took the train and walked from the station to the grounds. Google maps was a bit wonky that day and we were directed to a back gate. Anyhow, we managed...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank MLY18
Reviewed 12 January 2019

We booked the slot for 30 November 9am as soon as tickets became available and it was well worth. The gardens and surrounding dwellings (traditional tea houses) were stunning. We were lucky as the weather was nice and the colours and the views were just...More

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank poplarkins
Reviewed 18 December 2018

I went there first thing in the morning, trying to squeeze as much time to enjoy this place. The walk within the confinements of the palace is somewhat guided, but every corner, every building, every garden is something to really watch and appreciate. It's one...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Ehrlichmann P
Reviewed 18 December 2018

My friend from Kyoto recommended this place instead of going to the palace in city centre and what a treat! It is so beautiful, detailed, and quintessentially Japanese I felt like I had gone back in time. The guide was brilliant and it's well worth...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Maria T
Reviewed 16 December 2018

Visit this impressive garden and enjoy interesting ja entertaining stories in excellent English. Easy journey by Kyoto City Bus 33 from the north side of Kyoto Station, bus stop information available in the bus.

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank Elina S
Reviewed 20 November 2018

very peaceful and quiet. so pleasant with the leaves starting to change colors. One of the best gardens in Japan.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Lori N
Reviewed 6 November 2018

The word "villa" is in fact somewhat misleading. Rather than a grand country house, it is a collection of top-of-the-range traditional tea houses surrounding an exquisite, large Japanese-style garden. On a ranking of Japan's attractions, I would place it second only to Nikko, although they...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Steven G
Reviewed 27 October 2018 via mobile

This visit will give you a view into the faded grandeur which once was part of Japanese life. The entry begins with a bag search and a walk along a wide gravel pathway to the gate. A series of beautiful gardens and some spectacular buildings...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank travelpig_9
Reviewed 20 October 2018

If you visit one place in Kyoto make it this one. Book a place on the one hour tour at the Imperial Household Office in the NW corner of the Imperial Palace grounds. Lovely gardens and views.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank stevebruntlett
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 2 nearby hotels
ESTATE TOKYU Nishikyogoku
26 reviews
.87 miles away
Rhino Hotel Kyoto
179 reviews
1.78 miles away
Yamato Ryokan
14 reviews
1.93 miles away
The Hedistar Hotel Kyoto Nijo
2 reviews
1.96 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 151 nearby restaurants
81 reviews
.11 miles away
Katsura Bakery
.12 miles away
11 reviews
.13 miles away
.14 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 27 nearby attractions
Katsura Jizo
7 reviews
.27 miles away
Yatsuhashian Kakehashi - Namayatsuhashi Making Experience
5 reviews
.88 miles away
Nishi Kyogoku Sports Complex
30 reviews
.70 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
7 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Pv2017 | Reviewed this property |
we went in March. It was lovely then but then again they had a very hot spring so we were lucky to have the start fo the cherry blossoms but I think that the gardens were designed for all seasons and I am sure winter will be... More
1 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from smakino715 | Reviewed this property |
冬の桂離宮は、また、観るところ、たくさんあります。 行けば、おとぎの国のような世界が、広がっていることでしょう。是非、行ってみてください。
Google Translation
19 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from setsucollis | Reviewed this property |
My friends in Tokyo tell me that yes , you can go without a booking ( as mentioned by Gumer Q's response ) , but still recommend booking in case the day you go is full . It is quite a distance to go and miss out . If you are... More