Kyoto Sights

Shugaku-in Imperial Villa (Shugaku-in Rikyu)

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Published 12/10/2015

Fodor's Review

The Imperial Villa was in active use until about 100 years ago when it became part of the Imperial Household Agency, thereby requiring permission to enter. The grounds are extensive, and masterpieces of gardening. The maples and cherries are especially pretty in their seasons, but year-round the Imperial retreat is an essay in the respect the Japanese have for nature. The goal wasn't to have gold and diamonds decorating their lives, but well-trimmed pine trees, painted wooden doors, and stone-strew pathways.

You can apply for permission to visit the villa online or at the Kyoto office of the Imperial Household Agency—if you haven't applied before your arrival in Kyoto, your hotel concierge can also assist you. Visitors are asked to arrive, identification ready, 10 minutes prior to the appointed tour time. Although the approximately 80-minute tours are in Japanese, free English-language audio guides are available. Be aware that the route involves some steep inclines.

Sight Information


Yabusoe Shugaku-in, Kyoto, Japan



Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Weekdays 9–3

Published 12/10/2015


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