Kyoto Imperial Palace

Attraction Kyoto Imperial Palace, 3 Kyotogyoen,Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881,Japan Published on: 28-02-2016

1 hours 30 mins
08:45 AM - 05:00 PM
10:00 AM
11:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
0.00 USD

Kyoto Imperial Palace is good for

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The Kyoto Imperial Palace, known as the Gosho in Japanese, is a walled complex that sits in the middle of the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park. While no longer the official residence of the Japanese emperor, it's still a grand edifice.

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Why Kyoto Imperial Palace is special ?

The Kyoto Imperial Palace, known as the Gosho in Japanese, is a walled complex that sits in the middle of the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park. While no longer the official residence of the Japanese emperor, it's still a grand edifice.

The Palace, like many of the oldest and most important buildings in Japan, was destroyed by fire and rebuilt many times over the course of its history. Since it was first built in 794, it has been destroyed and rebuilt eight times, six of them during the 250-year-long peace of the Edo Period. The version currently standing was completed in 1855, the Heian Period architecture and style reproduced perfectly.

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What to explore at Kyoto Imperial Palace?

The main gate, which is located on the south side on Marutamachi Street, has a beautiful cypress roof, and is quite impressive. In the past, emperors received dignitaries here. Beyond this gate is a second gate, which leads to the Shishinden, or Hall for State Ceremonies

South of the Imperial Palace on Teramachi, exiting the southern Kanreimon Gate, is the Shimo Goryo Shrine, which enshrines the guardian deity of the Imperial Palace.

In the south west corner of the Palace grounds are the remains of the Kujo Residence, a once large house built for the Kujo family, who were one of the five families of imperial advisors. All that remains are the Shusuitei Tea Ceremony pavilion and the Itsukushima Shrine on an island in a small lake.

At the other end of the Palace, on the northern end, is Doshisha University. It is one of Japan's premier private universities, and has elegant 19th century brick buildings and an attractive campus.

On the east side of the Palace just outside the walls are Nashinoki Shrine, known for its pure water and Rozanji Temple, which stages a colorful setsubun festival complete with devil dance in February.

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How to get to Kyoto Imperial Palace?

Subway: From Kyoto Station, take the Kurasuma Line to Marutamachi Station. Exit 1 for the south gate. For the north gate, take the Kurasuma Line to Imadegawa Station.

On Foot: It is also possible to walk from downtown. From City Hall, walk north along Teramachi (the narrow street on the west side of City Hall) for about 15 minutes. Teramachi has many small shops and restaurants. At the end, on the left, is The Screen, a new boutique hotel. In front of you is Marutamachi Street; on the other side is the Imperial Palace.

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Selling points

  • A peek into the life of the Emperor
  • Glimpse of Life in an Imperial Palace
  • Final Imperial Palace in the Old Capital of Japan
  • Great place to visit with the tour guide
  • Love the palace,the walls and the gardens!
4 Days 3 Nights in Kyoto

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4.0 days
181.16 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
20 places




Kyoto Imperial Palace, 3 Kyotogyoen,Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881,Japan

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Tips for you

  • To enjoy the palace you really need a guide with some knowledge of its history as this would not be easy to understand.
  • The royal gardens are beautiful and you'll see the various royal palace buildings. Its very peaceful walking around this spacious place and there are security staff to make sure you stay within the group as you are not allowed to walk alone. You could also have a picnic on the grass.
    Things to do
  • Guided tours in English are given at 10 A.M and 2 P.M from Monday to Friday and at 10A.M on the third Saturday of the month
  • This is a series of buildings and you walk around the outside and look into room after room of beautiful screens and carvings. There are also figures in costumes and the coronation hall, and it's all beautiful. The grounds part has an extensive path network, and lots of different garden areas and shrines for you to view.
    What to see
  • You cannot take photos inside but many outdoor areas are available for pictures. Also you can take pictures of magnificent wall paintings from the outside.
  • In order to get into the Imperial palace tour you need to apply for a special permit.To tour the Kyoto Imperial Palace, you should apply online up to three months in advance at the following website:
  • You can also go directly to the Imperial Household Agency on the morning of the day you want to tour to see if spots are available. The tour is free, but you need to be registered and have your ticket to enter. Once get permission, you should arrive at meeting point 20 minutes before tour time. You'll need your passport and print out of booking when entering gates
  • If the weather turns, there are very few places to take shelter in and you can get caught out in the rain. Unless you want to hide in one of the outdoor public restrooms.
  • This place will close on Year End and New Year Holiday, the day when event is done, , National holidays, on other days determined by the Agency, and during 25th,December through 5th,January You should go here on time for the start as they probably won't let you in once the tour starts.
  • It’s easy to find as it is right next to one of the main (straight-line) roads, and has numerous bus-stops and a Metro Station at both ends of the grounds.
  • The lovely parklands are filled with flowering trees and grassed areas, carp ponds and cherry blossom trees. You can pack a picnic and come for the day.
    Things nearby


TripAdvisor View more

When you visit Kyoto, you have a lot of places you would like to see. There are so many temples and shrines in and around Kyoto. You probably need at least 3 days to spend in Kyoto to see most of the famous places over there. However, one of the recommended places in Kyoto is the Kyoto Imperial Palace. If you can hire a tour guide, you can easily go and see any heritage places, but if you have only a guide book and limited time, it is worthwhile to visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace. When you want to visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace, you need to apply for permission. It is rather complicated for Japanese to apply for the permission, but in the case of overseas visitors, it is rather easy because you just bring your passport or Alien Registration Card to the counter in the Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office 20 minutes before the tour starts. The tours conducted in English start at 10:00 a.m and 2:00 p.m every day except for Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays. The tours will take approximately 1 hour. What the best thing is that it is conducted free of charge. One of the reasons to take overseas’ visitors to the Kyoto Imperial Palace is that I also can enjoy tour without explaining about the heritage, because the professional tour guide for the Kyoto Imperial Palace explain everything related to the Imperial Palace for an hour. At the same time, even it was explained in English, I learn a lot about it and its history from the tour guide. The Kyoto Imperial Palace is located in the Kyoto Gyoen which is one of the 3 National Gardens and National Cemetery managed by the Ministry of the Environment. The other 2 are Shinjuku Gyoen, Kokyo Gaien National Garden and Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery. See this site ( for more in detail. You can get to the Inui-Gomon Gate fromKarasuma-dori Street and then move on to Seisho-mon Gate where you have to show your identification and walk to the Waiting Room. You can wait there until the guide shows up for a while. While you are waiting, you can buy some souvenirs in the shop inside the office. When I have been there for the first time, I arrived there just before 10:00am when the guide is started, I had no time to see and buy souvenirs. Unique souvenirs seem to be sold at the shop. I missed buying souvenirs I can buy only at that shop. At 10:00am sharp, a lady guide who speaks English like a native speaker started to explain about the outline of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Then she took us to the first view point which is Okurumayose where she stopped and explained about it. I forgot about her explanation but what were impressed were ancient houses and their decorations. I have seen various historical and traditional houses, but it was different. It was the place the Emperors lived in the past. For further detail, you see more in the following websites. Kyoto Imperial Palace Rich in tradition, Kyoto Imperial Palace preserves the look and ambiance of the Palace as it had been in the time of Japan's ancient imperial dynasties. The current Palace was rebuilt in 1855 and comprises several structures--including the Shisinden, the Seiryoden, the Kogosyo, the Ogakumonjyo, and the Otsunegoten--that reflect the architectural styles of various periods. The Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Travel Guide – Kyoto Imperial Palace Kyoto Gyoen I visited the Kyoto Imperial Palace on Oct. 17, 2012.

FourSquare View more

it was ok but.... there are more beautiful things in Kyoto so dont waist your time there. Visit the one in Tokyo instead. Dont forget to get a reservasion through the government's website to access in

Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the palace of Japan's Imperial Family till the capital was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1868. It is located in the capacious "京都御苑" Kyoto Imperial Park. This park is pretty incredible and located in the center of the Kyoto city. Since my university is placed in front of Kyoto Imperial Palace, in spring I often dropped into here with my friends in our spare time for the view of cherry blossom. In addition of that, you can enjoy their ancient atmosphere. If you go there, you will see some local people who are playing, exercising, walking around, killing their time and other. This place is not only sightseeing spots.

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