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Tamozawa Imperial Villa (田母沢御用邸, Tamozawa Goyōtei) blends traditional Edo and early modern Meiji Period architecture throughout its 106 rooms. The villa was erected in Nikko in 1899, using parts of a residence that originally stood in Tokyo.

Before being moved to Nikko, the building served initially as the Tokyo residence of a branch of the Tokugawa family and was later temporarily used as the Imperial Palace. In Nikko, it was enlarged into a summer residence and retreat for the Imperial Family, but suffered neglect after World War II. In the year 2000, the villa was opened to the public after extensive renovation works.

In addition to the building's long line of illustrious occupants, Tamozawa Imperial Villa is one of the largest remaining wooden buildings in Japan. The interior of the villa is a curious mix of Japanese and Western styles. Many floors are carpeted, and elaborate chandeliers hang from the ceilings. Yet the villa's Japanese elements, such as sliding paper doors and tatami flooring are prominent as well.

Although still impressive in size and grandeur, Tamozawa Imperial Villa currently occupies only one third of its original area. It now functions as a museum and memorial park, and is well equipped with multilingual displays for visitors. The manicured Japanese style garden, that surrounds the villa, has several maple trees which offer autumn colors usually around late October and early November.

Mix of Japanese and Western styles

Access

From JR or Tobu Nikko Station, take a Tobu bus bound for Chuzenjiko Onsen or Yumoto Onsen and get off at the Tamozawa bus stop. The bus ride takes about 10 minutes and costs 310 yen one way.

Tamozawa Imperial Villa can also be reached in about a 20 minute walk from Toshogu Shrine.

How to get to and around Nikko

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from November through March)
Admission ends at 16:00.

Closed

Tuesdays (or following day if Tuesday is a national holiday)
December 29 to January 1

Admission

510 yen

Hotels around Nikko

Recommended Hotels
Chuzenjiko Kanaya Hotel
Upscale mountain lodge style hotel in rustic log cabin buildings set in the forest.
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Agoda Japanican Booking
Nikko Kanaya Hotel
This historic hotel was one of the first Western style hotels in Japan. It is conveniently located across the street from the temples and shrines of Nikko.
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Agoda Japanican Booking
Turtle Inn Nikko
Inexpensive inn popular among foreign tourists, conveniently located 15 minutes walk from Nikko's temples and shrines.
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Tours and Experiences

Page last updated: January 7, 2016