The Katsura Imperial Villa is a historic structure located in Kyoto, Japan. Also called the Katsura Detached Palace, the site is considered to be one of the country’s most valuable cultural treasures. The villa was built by Prince Hachijo Toshihito along the banks of the Katsura River. However, since the prince was not very wealthy, the original structure was a humble structure, which was little more than a simple teahouse. Over time, Prince Toshihito spent a lot of money on expanding the villa and making it grander.
When the prince died in 1629, the villa was neglected and its famous gardens went into decline. Although the villa had reached such grand proportions by the year 1631 that it was often referred to as a palace, it was badly maintained. All that changed a decade later when the late prince’s son, Prince Toshitada started restoring the Katsura Villa. He made major additions to the historic villa, and the place reached new pinnacles of fame. However, his subsequent heirs were unable to make much of a mark on the site and it has remained more or less unchanged since then.
Eventually the building was taken over by the Imperial Household Ministry in 1883. Since the end of the Second World War, the Imperial Household Agency has been in charge of the place. They currently operate tours of the Katsure Imperial Villa. The tour lasts about an hour and is quite interesting. Although it is conducted in Japanese, English audio guides are also available.
Kyoto once served as Japan’s imperial capital and is still full of historic buildings and no trip to the country can be considered complete without taking a tour of the place. The city has excellent infrastructure and finding good Kyoto accommodationis an easy task. Tourists who are looking for a place to stay that has all the latest modern conveniences, yet feels cosy and intimate, can try the Kyoto serviced apartments provided by places such as Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto. Not only do they have a whole list of services to make life easier for guests, the apartments boast a central location which makes it easier to find good shops and restaurants.