Shugakuin Rikyu Imperial Villa is the most spacious and, in some ways, the most pleasing of Kyoto’s four imperial properties.
Shugakuin Imperial Villa Garden
Way up in the northeast of town, in the shadow of Mt. Hiei, Shugakuin Rikyu Imperial Villa occupies a vast swath of land on a hillside overlooking the flat plain of Kyoto. As with the other three imperial properties in town, it’s necessary to apply through the Imperial Household Agency to visit and you must join a guided tour (exploring freely and at your own pace is strictly forbidden, which detracts somewhat from the experience). Still, the leafy walkways and beautiful pond, along with the great views over the city make a visit worthwhile for those with more than a few days to spend in the city.
Yabusoe, Shugakuin, Sakyo-ku
Guided tour hours:
9am, 10am, 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm (50min)
An audio guide is available for non-Japanese speakers.
Advance reservation required through the Imperial Household Agency
Non-smoking area: Yes
15min walk from Shugaku-in Rikyu-michi Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 5 from Kyoto Station.
See hotels near to Shugaku-in Rikyu Imperial Villa on Agoda.com
Telephone: 211-1215 (8.45am-noon, 1pm-5pm, Mon-Fri)
Official Website (English)
Near To Here:
Shugakuin Rikyu Imperial Villa is located in Kyoto’s Northern Higashiyama district. See our complete list of things to do in Northern Higashiyama, including places to eat, nightlife and places to stay.
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)