Katsura Imperial Villa (桂離宮, Katsura Rikyū) is one of the finest examples of Japanese architecture and garden design. The villa and garden in their present form were completed in 1645 as the residence for the Katsura Family, members of Japan's Imperial Family.
Set in wooded surroundings within the ancient perimeter of the imperial capital, Kyoto, the rikyu, or separated residence, of the Katsura Palace is the finest product of a secular and unofficial tradition. It was built in the 17th century by Kobori Enshu, tea ceremony master and architect, who sought to express his ideals of rustic simplicity and picturesque nature on a larger scale than had been attempted before. Katsura is not attributable to a single architectural style, nor to a unique project or to a single author, with its extremely heterogeneous mixture of compositional elements, but at the time perfectly integrated one with one another.