A Guide to Kyoto’s Wooden and Traditional Architecture – Katsura Imperial Palace (桂離宮)
There have been few buildings that captured the imagination of both Japanese and international architects, to the degree which it did as the Katsura Imperial Palace (桂離宮), located in Katsura in Western Kyoto.
Ever since its introduction to a wider international audience by the German architect Bruno Taut in the 1930s, the Katsura Imperial Palace had often been referenced by prominent figures of the modernist movement. The Katsura Imperial Palace has somewhat of a reputation, and is sometimes synonymous with Japanese architecture. It is not hard to see why, as it deeply embraces many elements of the Japanese approach to building and space.
Many of the buildings within the complex were built in the aforementioned Suikiya style (数寄屋). With its ample use of wood and other material, the balance and integration of interior spaces and the surrounding garden, along with the clean lines and details that would highlight the delicate and masterful craftsmanship, Katsura reflect the simplicity and purity of nature many would come to associate with Japanese architecture.

Even though Suikoushya International Craft School is now up and running in France, our Kyoto workshop will still continue to operate and we want to welcome you when you’re in Kyoto!

Here in Kyoto you can explore the many different wooden architectural treasures of Japan!


Katsura Imperial Palace (桂離宮)~Kyoto Traditional Architecture guide~