Katsura Imperial Villa (2)

Katsura Imperial Villa was constructed by Prince Toshihito of the Hachijyo Family at first in 1615. He built Koshoin, after that his son Prince Toshitada took over and constructed the Chushoin, Shingoten, Gepparo, Shokintei, Shokatei and Shoiken. There is no evidence that Kobori Enshu (1579-1647) was directly involved in the creation of the garden, but Enshu probably gave some advice to the Hachijyo family. Katsura Imperial Villa that we can see today was completed in 1662.

Cycad at Sotokoshikake

Sotokosikake is a small hut that where visitors could wait until the host had finished preparing tea back then. The cycads were planted in here. It might be controversial, but this place is a microcosm where is not seen from any other places in this villa.

Suhama / Sea and a lighthouse

Passing Sotokoshikae, we walked near water along the pond and reached the Shokintei, the most important tea hut in this villa. The blue-and-white checkered pattern on the sliding doors ( husuma) are very famous. The color is fading now, but the original color was bright.


tokonoma alcove

We passed a small stone bridge and went up a small hill to reach the Shokatei, a small and simple tea hut. We can see various sceneries near water's edge or on the hill, various landscapes just like on the beach or in the mountains. We are overwhelmed by the delicacy and artfulness.


from Shokatei




The room interior is also well designed down to details.



Shingoten and Gakkinoma

The Kosyoin, Chushoin, Shingoten were built out in order during the first 50 years, arrayed in the wild-goose formation. The stepping-stones are arrayed at random, which gives people who walks in and out mental preparedness.

stepping stones at Koshoin
from Gapparo

If possible, I want to visit there again someday.


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