Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Katsura Imperial Villa Beautiful Garden Of Japan

Katsura Imperial Villa A typical stroll garden laid out in the 17th century. This garden is renowned as an outstanding example of Japanese landscape gardening. Addr.: Misono, Katsura Saikyo-ku, Kyoto. 20-min. walk from Katsura Sta. on Hankyu Dentetsu Line; or reached from Katsura-Rikyu-mae Bus Stop. Guided tours (in Japanese) are available. Free tours of Katsura Imperial Villa are held several times daily in Japanese only. No tours are held on Sundays and national holidays. Most Saturdays are also unavailable. Check with the agency for an up to date schedule.  The Katsura district of Kyoto has long been favored for villas, and in the Heian period, Fujiwara no Michinaga had a villa there.

Katsura Imperial Villa

The members of the Heian court found it an elegant location for viewing the moon. Prince Hachijō Toshihito (1579–1629), the first of the Hachijō-no-miya line, established the villa at Katsura. The prince was a descendant of Emperor Ogimachi, and younger brother of Emperor Go-Yozei. Once adopted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he cancelled the adoption when Hideyoshi had a son, and founded the Hachijō-no-miya house. The Hachijō-no-miya house changed its name to Tokiwai-no-miya, Kyōgoku-no-miya, and finally Katsura-no-miya, before the line died out in 1881. The Imperial Household Ministry took control of the Katsura Detached Palace in 1883, and since World War II, the Imperial Household Agency has been in control.

 The shoin of Katsura Imperial Villa is divided into three parts: the Old Shoin, the Middle Shoin, and the New Palace. The Old Shoin was built in around 1615 A.D. The construction of the shoin, teahouse and garden continued in the time of the second prince, Toshitada (1619–1662), and reached completion after some decades.


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