Katsura Rikyu

Katsura Rikyu sitting serene and tranquil in the light of the moon

No wonder they call it the “Moon House”

As you walk walk along the extended katsura fence, a building appears.
Colloquially referred to as Moon house, Katsura Rikyu is the perfect model of traditional Japanese architecture. This building’s greatness lies in its magnificent views of the moon. Katsura Rikyu is also be recognized for its political significance. The famous architect Bruno Taut was captivated by Katsura Rikyu and lavished it with praise.

Examples of Katsura Rikyu’s renown be found in its use of varying sizes of paving stones to expand the appearance of narrow spaces, and its moon viewing platform that when sat upon allows the observer to see the moon passing in the sky and the moon reflected in the pond. Katsura Rikyu boasts many spots called Gankou that provide unseen yet calculated design. The area’s surrounding pond intricately casts shadows and reflect light and flickering flame on the inside of buildings creating a placid atmosphere. Even though everything has been designed consciously but never pointed out deliberately when we visited we were completely oblivious to but nonetheless charmed by its magical design. Without noticing the calculation involved we admired the technique employed in the use of the tatami mats, the ceiling, and sliding wood doors. Once we were told of its explicit design my group elicited a collective expression of acknowledgment.
A place like Katsura Rikyu perfectly engenders Japanese design and culture – a villa surrounded by serene rice fields, enveloped by bamboo grass, and encircled by a katsura fence.