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Katsura Imperial Villa, Kyoto-Shi

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Contact: +81 75 211 1215
Open Hours: By appointment only
Katsura Imperial Villa was built for the Imperial family and completed in 1624 after four years of work. The palace consists of numerous fine buildings and apartments decorated with paintings by the Kano School of artists and work by master goldsmiths and carpenters. The stunning and elaborate strolling garden contains a pond with small islets and seven smaller buildings and tearooms. As with the other Imperial institutions, bookings, though free, must be made in advance at the Imperial Household Agency with a passport. This is, however, a jewel among Japanese gardens and worth the slight inconvenience of arranging your visit.