Katsura Imperial Villa is one of the finest masterpieces of Japanese architecture and garden design.
The contruction of villa was commisioned by Prince Toshihito and finished by his son Prince
Toshitada in 1662. The complex of villa and surrounding gardens is truly stunning. It is organised
around the lake. There are five artificial small islands that are connected with land by different
bridges made of earth, wood or stone. The lake is surrounded by gardens with meandring pathways
for strolling. The main building in the complex - shoin - is a cluster of 3 buildings: Old Shoin built
by Prince Father, Midlle shoin and New Palace built by Prince Son. Apart from the main shoin
buildings there are several teahouses and viewing pavilions scattered around the gardens.