Visits are completely by appointment
Construction was initiated in 1615 by Prince Tomohito, after which this Imperial villa was completed in 47 years. With an area of 69400㎡, you can see structures such as the Old Shoin (Drawing Room), the Middle Shoin and the New Palace, and there are other drawing rooms and tea rooms surrounding the Japanese garden pond where you can stroll around, a magnificent combination of garden and architecture. It can also be said to be the culmination of Japanese garden beauty. Under administration by the Imperial Household Agency, visits are appointment only from the 1st day of the 3rd month before the visit via return postcard or Internet to the Kyoto Imperial Palace from which people are selected by lottery and then can visit for free. Open only on weekdays, visits are only possible with an Imperial Household Agency official leading a 1-hour tour. Since the number of visitors is restricted, the garden is well-preserved and it is maintained daily by gardeners. It is a strolling garden where bridges, each with their own distinctive character, connect to 5 pond islands of varying sizes. You can enjoy the expression of the four seasons via the condensed beauty of nature. There is also the thatched-roof Miyuki Gate which is the entrance used by the Imperial Family, the tea room Gaikoshikake waiting area where you can see over the entire garden, and the Suhama beach which evokes images of a cape and a lighthouse. In the villa, there is the most formal tea room, Shokin-tei, whose external appearance from the 3 directions of east, north and west each provide different impressions. You can see over the villa from the Shoka-tei tea room on a slightly elevated hill. Also, the Onrin-do was a place to lay ashes of the dead, but currently only the building remains. And through your guided tour, you can visit Shoiken, a tea room whose moon-shaped windows are impressive, and Geppa-ro, a tea room which has been designed so that the moon can shine in through the front.