Nikko: A visit to the Emperor's Summer House - The Tamozawa Imperial Villa - Adventures of Anette

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nikko: A visit to the Emperor's Summer House - The Tamozawa Imperial Villa


The Tamozawa Imperial Villa  (Tamozawa Goyōtei 田母沢御用邸) is a must to stop by for visitors to Nikko who are interested in Japanese history. The story of the Imperial Villa goes back to 1632, when Empress Meisho ordered the construction of a building connected to the palace for her relatives situated in what today is Tokyo's Akasaka area. Parts of this building was deconstructed and moved to Nikko in 1899, where it was expanded to become the new Imperial Villa for Emperor Taisho. It was used as the summer residence of the imperial family for many years, until it became the hideaway of the Showa Emperor during World War 2. Since then the building was unused for many years and suffered severely from neglect, but was opened to the public in 2000 after it had undergone extensive renovation.

With its 106 rooms it is also one of the largest remaining wooden buildings in Japan, and you can enjoy the architectural mix of Japanese and Western style. Although there aren't much furniture left in the building it is still amazing to see the elegantly decorated sliding doors, the gorgeous carpets and the delicate paper walls.
Western carpet in Japanese room


A map of the summer house
The hidden garden in the center of the property


















In addition to the summer house itself you can also enjoy the garden surrounding the house, known as the Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park. We went for a small walk around the premise and were entertained by the view of a young girl walking around dressed up in her kimono by the nearby pond.


The summer house seen from the garden
After we were done sightseeing we enjoyed a cup of coffee at the small cafe inside the Memorial Park.



Address: 〒321-1434 栃木県日光市本町8−27

The Imperial Villa is located 10 minutes by bus from the JR Tobu Nikko station, and can also be reached by foot by walking ten minutes to the west of the Shin-kyō bridge along the main road.




Recommended Hotels in Nikko

Nikko Station Hotel Classic
Nikko Station Hotel Classic
Hotel Lungwood Niigata
Iwaiyado Jyuan Ryokan
Kinugawa Onsen Hotel
Kinugawa Onsen Hotel
Nikkorisou Backpackers
Nikkorisou Backpackers


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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who'd gladly trade a trip to the shoppingmall for a hike in the forest any day.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette


The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff.
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