Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the residence of the Imperial Family until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1869, is located in Kyoto Gyoen Park. Within the Imperial Palace grounds, which are enclosed by a roofed earthen wall, are the Seiryo-den (Palace Hall) and the Kyogosho (Minor Palace), which are highly reminiscent of this dynastic age.
Other than five days during spring and fall when the Imperial Palace is open to the general public, you must apply in advance to receive permission to view the palace. The Imperial Household Agency, located inside the walled park surrounding the palace, controls entry to the Palace.
Same-day permission is usually granted only for people joining the guided tour conducted by the Agency. To make a reservation for the tour you have to fill out an application form in person and present your passport.
You can also apply online at the following website: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html
Guided tours in English are given at 10am and 2pm from Monday to Friday and at 10am on the third Saturday of the month. Once you receive permission, you should arrive at the meeting point 20 minutes prior to the start of the tour.
The tour takes about an hour !!! Well worth it if you can get here
Kyoto Imperial Palace is located in Kyoto Imperial Park along with the Sento Palace. The emperor and Imperial court resided here until 1868, so it is a great place to visit for those interested in Japanese history and royalty. The imperial court moved to Kyoto when it became the capital in the Heian Period and remained until it moved to Tokyo where the emperor lives to this day.
Unlike the other Imperial palaces and villas in Kyoto, there are tours of the Kyoto Imperial Palace in English, so foreign visitors can more easily understand and appreciate the site. On the tour, you'll see most of the gates (each which was meant for a specific type of guest), main ceremonial hall (Shishinden), the garden, the Shunkoden which housed the sacred mirror, the emperor's original residence (Seiryoden), and other structures. The tour doesn't go to the empress's residence. Still, the tour was very informative and it's a great experience to get to step into the actual palace grounds!
To tour the Kyoto Imperial Palace, apply online up to three months in advance or 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.
Kyoto Imperial Palace was the head of the country before the capital was moved to Tokyo. There are many impressive buildings and stories about the palace. The guided tour is quite informative and you get a better idea of what each building is for. The gardens are also quite stunning and relaxing. The is a guided tour at 10:00 and 13:00 in English. Try to book in advance. The tour is the only way you will be able to visit the palace.
The cost is free but don't forget to book in advance.
The Imperial palace is one of the main attractions in Kyoto and is by all a must see. It is surrounded by several Temples and a large park. It is easy to spend most of a day exploring it. It is one of the highlights of a visit to Kyoto. To enter the palace itself is kinda complicated you have to get a free ticket in a small building located like 2 blocks away in an alleyway so be peopared to do some exploring.
Kyoto Imperial palace park, where the residences of the Imperial family and court nobles once stood, is located near the center of the Kyoto city. After the capital was moved to Tokyo, the palace was turned into a park and made open to the general public. With its wide gravel streets and abundant and beautiful green trees and lawns, this park is known as an urban oasis for birds.
This spacious park is under controll of Ministry of Environment, except Imperial Palace buildings.
Free access to the park
Kyoto was the capital and residence of the Emperor and his imperial family until 1868 when everything shifted to Tokyo.
The Palace is well maintained with impressive rooftops, hallways and an exquisite garden of trees, rocks and water.
There are daily tours in English and must book in advance with your passport.
Definitely worth the trouble. It is pretty and educational experience to understand more of Japanese culture and Imperial traditions.
Although not as impressive as other sites in Kyoto, the Imperial Palace makes for a nice little tour. It is still used for some state functions such as the crowning of a new Emporer. You must apply for permission to tour the actual palace through the Imperial Household Agency which is located right across from the palace itself. People under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Located in the centre of Kyoto Gyoen (Kyoto Imperial Park). All of the present structures were built about 1855 in Heian-period architectural style, after the earlier buildings were destroyed by fire. There are six gates to the palace. Successive emperors added structures, many of which are connected by corridors. (Admission free)
Advise: Tours in English Mon-Fri at 10am and 2pm, also 3rd Sat of every month and every Sat in Apr, May, Oct, and Nov. Permission must be obtained in person from the Imperial Household Agency Office (tel. 075/211-1215), on palace grounds near the Inui Gomon Gate and open Mon-Fri 8:45am-noon and 1-4pm. Foreign visitors can apply in person in advance or on the day of the tour (before 9:40am for the 10am tour, before 1:40pm for the 2pm tour), but tours can fill up (especially in spring and fall); 1-day advance application required for all visitors 3rd Sat of every month and every Sat in Apr, May, Oct, and Nov. Must be 21 or older (or accompanied by an adult) and must present your passport; parties of no more than 9 may apply
It is noted for its striking simplicity. The present site was chosen in 1790, and the present palace was completed in 1855, after the former one was destroyed by fire. The style reflects as closely as possible the original styles.
I was there in the early morning on my last day in Kyoto before I go to the Kyoto Station for my train back to Tokyo. The place is simple, quiet and air is crisping. Saw some old couples holding hands strolling in the morning air, mothers who bring their kids for an early fun
This Compex of temples and other imperial buildings is huge in size. Apart from impressive buildings, where formar emperors ruled and today´s rulers often gather, it is situated in magnificant gardens (again)
Visiting the actual palaces requires advance permission. However the surrounding grounds are open to the general public and provide nice peaceful walk in the city.
Visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park during the cherry blossom season (mid-April)
Avoid the weekend! Bring a picnic basket and a blanket and relax under the cherry blossom trees as the Japanese do!