To enter a place so magically seductive you'll never forget it, step outside
the door of the Imperial Hotel in central Osaka and travel some 30 minutes to
Kyoto by fast, frequent JR trains just 43 kilos away, and a stunning contrast to
youthful, energetic and continuously engaging Osaka. To set the tone for
your visit, stroll through the lush, emerald-hued moss gardens in
the rustic Giouji Temple, where you may feel you're inside a scroll painting.
We urge our guests to plan to experience the quintessential Japanese setting,
the sublime Katsura Imperial summer villa (shown above and below),
by applying in advance through our Imperial Hotel, Osaka for
permission. It is most assuredly well worth such formalities. The 17th century
sukiyazukuri style teahouse in the villa gardens (above) boasts stylized
checkerboard patterns that feel thoroughly contemporary. It is perched on
a slight hill overlooking the villa's extraordinarily designed and
meticulously landscaped ponds and quiet gardens.
The main wing of the summer villa, above, was conceived to
enjoy expansive views of the entire grounds and is a portrait of
the very purest of Japanese architecture, and a breathtaking testimony to
an aesthetic of beautifully balanced restraint and simplicity found nowhere
else in the world. Savor in silence its heavenly fluidity of flow and line.
The veranda is enclosed in removable white shoji papered sliding door panels.
The understated beauty of the magnificent Ryoan-ji Temple and
rock garden (no advance application required), will also
leave you floating in your own sky. And Kyoto, so close to Osaka,
offers an endless choice of many, many more dazzling sights.