Attraction 8-27 Honcho Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1434 Japan Published on: 27-02-2016
|1 hours 30 mins|
|09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|4.50 - 5.10 USD|
Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park is special ?
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.
What to explore at Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park?
In stark contrast to Nikkō’s temples and shrines is the Zen-like simplicity of the beautifully restored Nikkō Tamozawa Imperial Villa (日光田母沢御用邸記念公園). A ten-minute walk west of the Shin-kyō bridge along the main road, this 106-room residence, surrounded by manicured gardens (including a 400-year-old weeping cherry tree), combines buildings of widely different heritage, some parts dating back to 1632. Three emperors have lived in it, including Akihito, who was evacuated here during World War II. As you stroll the corridors, take time to appreciate the intricate details and the gorgeous screen paintings.
Another tranquil escape is close at hand. From the villa, take the road heading south down to the Daiya-gawa; five minutes’ walk west along the river is the Ganman-bashi, a small bridge across from which begins the riverside pathway through the Ganman-ga-fuchi abyss (含満ヶ淵). Part of this walk, along the attractive and rocky river valley, is lined by the Narabi-jizō, some fifty decaying stone statues of Jizō, the Buddhist saint of travellers and children.
How to get to Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park?
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.
- Wonderful architectural study
- Antidote to fancy shrines
- A serene beauty
- How the royals lived
- Very nice and modest imperial residense
8-27 Honcho Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1434 Japan
Tips for you
Having been to Nikko twice before, I was surprised to learn of the Tamozawa (it's in no foreign guide books I know and even Japanese friends have never heard of it) from the owner of the Nikko minshuku where I stayed. As noted, a helpful antidote to funerary shrines. You can see the Tamozawa (up hill by bus or a walk from Toshogu) after seeing Toshogu and the Taiyuenbyo in the a.m. Having been in the Tokyo Imperial Palace, this is close to what you'll see there. Plain decoration. But an amalgamation of buildings from the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, with a very nice garden to see from both inside and outside. There's an audio guide which I wish I t can't vouch for.