The Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa, located at about a 10-minute drive from JR Tobu 'Nikko' station, is a royal residence built as a retreat for the Emperor Taisho, who was a royal prince at the time in 1899. The area of the site is as large as about 4495.868 square meters, the largest of the mansion of the Meiji period. This article introduces the history and highlights of Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa.
About Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa
“Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa” is located in a scenic area surrounded by cedar trees, with a view of Mount Nantai in the north. It was built as a retreat for Emperor Taisho, who was the Crown Prince at the time in 1899, and including Emperor Taisho, it was used by the Emperor and Prince for over three generations.
The building is a reconstruction of a part of the old Kishu Tokugawa house’s Nakayashiki (current third floor area), which was used with things such as the detached Akasaka palace (facility in Tokyo that welcomes state guests), of the villa of Mr. Nenpo Kobayashi, who is from Nikko and a banker in the Meiji era, and the rest being newly constructed. The extension and reconstruction was repeated after that, and it is now how it is today. It is a building group using architectural styles of the three eras of Late Edo period, Meiji, and Taisho and is the largest of the imperial villas of the Meiji and Taisho periods. It is designated as an important cultural asset of the country. In addition, there is a rest area “Miyabi” (April ~ November 10:00 ~ 15:00), and items such as “Gyokuza Set” for 590 yen with Nikko famous confectionary Hinowa and Matcha as a set, “Tamozawa Set” for 560 yen with Mizuyokan and Matcha, and “Premium Soft Cream” for 360 yen.
Highlights of Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa
There are several places, such as “Gogaku Monjo”, the emperor’s study, and “Kogo Gozasho”, which was used as the emperor’s study. Among these, “Ekkenjo”, which was added in the Taisho era, is a must-see. The floor and ceiling of the room used when the Emperor meets an official visitor is a Japanese residence-style called “Shoinzukuri”, while there are English carpets on the Tatami mats, comprising between a Japanese and Western style. “Otamatsukijo”, which is used for enjoying things such as billiards for fellowship with leaders of foreign countries, is a must-see. There is a pocketless pool table which is a rarity nowadays. The floor is a Keyaki wood mosaic. It is made by combining wood of Itame and Masame, and there are no gaps even now.
Seasonal Flowers of Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa
A variety of flowers bloom throughout the seasons. The weeping cherry tree in the garden is a must-see. It blooms from the middle to the end of April. In addition, the “Arctic Iris” was gifted to Tochigi prefecture due to the wishes of the Emperor in 2004, and it is in full bloom from late May to mid June. The colored leaves in the fall are also recommended.
Access to Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa
From JR Tobu Nikko Station, it is about 10 minutes via Tobu bus bound for “Yumoto Onsen”, “Chuzenji Onsen”, “Okuhosoo”, or “Kiyotaki”, get off at bus stop “Nikko Tamozawa Villa Memorial Park”, and about a 1 minute walk from there.
- Spot name: Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa
- Street address: 8-27 Honcho, Nikko-shi
- Access: Refer to above
- Wi-Fi: Available at the counter and villa shop
- Language: English, French, Chinese (simplified), and Korean pamphlets available
- Ticket: 550 yen
- Business Hours: April to October: 09:00 ~ 17:00 (reception until 16:00), November to March: 09:00 ~ 16:30 (reception until 16:00)
- Closed: Tuesdays (close on the next day in case of Public Holiday) and Japan New Year Holiday (29th December - 1st January)