Katsura Imperial Villa

Katsura Grounds 400
Katsura Imperial Villa
Photo by: Freakland, Creative Commons

The Katsura Imperial Villa is an estate built between 1620 and 1663. Located in the southwestern part of Kyoto, the building was an attempt to mix the architectural styles of the Heian period with the then popular innovations of designs from the tea ceremony. The paths found the villa were all leading to the central constructions as well as the gardens peppered with small enchanting pavilions and tea huts that give the place a picturesque view. The foundations of the main buildings were constructed according to the special landscape organized to follow the new theme with three additional structures following the shoin-zukuri style.

Some of the buildings and gardens to be found in the Katsura Imperial Villa are the Old Shoin, Middle Shoin, and New Palace which were each constructed following the shoin and irimoya kokerabuki style of roofs. The Old Shoin construction displays elements following the sukiya style in its various places like its verandas. One famous space in which the Old Shoin is well-known for is its moon-viewing platform. This clearly displays that fact that the central theme of the detached place of Katsura is for its visitors to glimpse beautiful views of the night orb. The Middle Shoin and New Palace, on the other hand, have their walls painted with ink paintings from the ancient school of Kana Tan’ya. The garden’s central pond has the Katsura River as its water source and is surrounded by tea houses, lanterns, bridges, sand, and hills.

The main Katsura Imperial Villa is situated in the western part of Kyoto and can be reached by taking the Karasuma Subway Line from the Kyoto Station to Shijo Station. After reaching the station of Shijo, have a transfer to go to Hankyu Kyoto Line to reach the Katsura station. Once you reach the station, a 15 minute walk is just needed to reach the main villa.

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