Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Jobs
Friends
Shopping
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Food
-
Budget Travel
-
Shopping
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Central Kyoto
Kyoto Imperial Palace 
# 9   of 59 most visited
sights in Kyoto

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

The Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所, Kyōto Gosho) used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. It is located in the spacious Kyoto Imperial Park (京都御苑, Kyōto Gyoen), an attractive park in the center of the city that also encompasses the Sento Imperial Palace and a few other attractions.

The current Imperial Palace was reconstructed in 1855 after it had burnt down and moved around town repeatedly over the centuries. The complex is enclosed by long walls and consists of several gates, halls and gardens. The enthronement ceremonies of Emperors Taisho and Showa were still held in the palace's main hall, but the present Emperor's ceremony took place at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

The palace grounds can be entered only on guided tours (in English or Japanese) held by the Imperial Household Agency. Tours take about one hour and lead past the buildings and gardens, but none of the buildings can be entered. Advance reservations (see details below) are mandatory and can be made online or at the Imperial Agency Office, which is also located within the Kyoto Imperial Park.

The Hall of State Ceremonies within the Kyoto Imperial Palace

Besides the Imperial Palace and the Sento Palace grounds, a few other historic sites are located within Kyoto Imperial Park, including the Kaninnomiya Mansion, a former residence of court nobles that is open to the public in the park's southwestern corner. Not far away stands a small branch shrine of Miyajima's famous Itsukushima Shrine on a small island of a pond.

The 1300 meter long and 700 meter wide park also serves as recreational space for both tourists and residents, featuring attractive, broad gravel paths, lawns and tree groves. A pretty group of weeping cherry trees stands beside Konoe Pond in the park's northwestern corner and is usually in bloom for two to three weeks from late March to mid April.

People walk and cycle along the gravel paths of the Kyoto Imperial Park

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Kyoto Imperial Palace is a ten minute subway ride from Kyoto Station along the Karasuma Subway Line. Get off at Marutamachi or Imadegawa Station. Imadegawa Station is closer to the Imperial Agency Office and the entrance gate of the Imperial Palace.

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hours and Fees
Free tours of Kyoto Imperial Palace are held several times daily in English and Japanese. No tours are held on Sundays and national holidays. Most Saturdays are also unavailable. Check with the agency for an up to date schedule.

To book a tour, you need to apply in advance with your passport at the Imperial Household Agency Office in the northwestern corner of Kyoto Imperial Park. Reservations are often possible for the same day. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:45 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.

Additionally, a small number of tour spots are available for reservation over the agency's website (see links below), however, these often get booked out far in advance. Online reservations must be completed several days before the intended visit.

For a few days in spring and autumn (typically from April 4 to 8 and from October 31 to November 4), Kyoto Imperial Palace can be entered without advance reservation and without joining a tour.

Advertisement

Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Ryokan Hirashin
3min walk to Shijo Karasuma Sta. Spacious Japanese-style rooms. 140 years of history. Public baths renovated in 2006.
Hotel Sugicho
A ryokan in the center of Kyoto town. From 4000yen. 4 train stations are within walking distance. Try the Kyoto Kaiseki.
Japanese hotel, Ryokan Nishiyama
Experience the real Japan at our affordable ryokan. Close to major tourist spots in Kyoto.
Hotel Sanoya
3 min from north exit of JR Kyoto Sta. but in quiet area. Cozy, clean Japanese rooms with bath. Internet PC in lobby.
Ryokan Wakamiya
Inexpensive, cozy inn with helpful staff. 7 min walk from JR Kyoto Sta. Free Internet PC. Communal baths on top floor.
Recommended Hotels around Kyoto - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Kyoto Imperial Palace:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 810 users):
82/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
274.  Tokyo Tower (Tokyo)   82/100
275.  Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama)   82/100
276.  Kongobuji Temple (Mount Koya)   82/100
277.  Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
278.  Bunraku Theater (Osaka)   82/100
279.  Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto)   82/100
280.  Gion Yamakasa (Fukuoka)   82/100
281.  Shinnyodo Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
282.  Blue Pond (Furano)   82/100
283.  Daigoji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
34.  Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo)   1730
35.  Himeji Castle (Himeji)   1695
36.  Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kyoto)   1690
37.  Arashiyama (Kyoto)   1661
38.  Marunouchi (Tokyo)   1635
39.  Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto)   1598
40.  Itsukushima Shrine (Miyajima)   1498
41.  Tokyo Dome City (Tokyo)   1493
42.  Minato Mirai (Yokohama)   1489
43.  Heian Shrine (Kyoto)   1488

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Imperial Household Agency
Official English website.
Application for Visit
English application page.

Japanese Links
Imperial Household Agency
Official website.
Application for Visit
Japanese application page.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Kansai Region
Kyoto

Eastern Kyoto
Northern Kyoto
Western Kyoto
Southern Kyoto

Central Kyoto
Kyoto Station
Kyoto Tower
Honganji Temples
Nishiki Market
Pontocho
Kyoto Manga Museum
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Sento Palace
Nijo Castle
Nijo Jinya
Kyoto Aquarium

Emperor
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Sento Imperial Palace
Shugakuin Imperial Villa
Katsura Imperial Villa

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Kyoto: Access and Orientation

News and Reports
April 15, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
April 11, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by sean
April 8, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by sean
April 6, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
April 3, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
April 3, 2014
Uji Cherry Blossom Report
by schauwecker
April 1, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by sean
March 29, 2014
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
by scott
More reports...

Related Questions
Surroundings of Kyoto Imperial Palace
 2 reactions, last updated 287 days ago
Imperial Palaces & Villas
 1 reaction, last updated 443 days ago
Kyoto Trip (Kyoto Imperial Palace)
 4 reactions, last updated 742 days ago
Booking Kyoto Imperial Palace tour
 7 reactions, last updated 766 days ago
Kyoto Imperial Palace tour
 5 reactions, last updated 775 days ago
Imperial Palace Kyoto guided tours?
 2 reactions, last updated 1187 days ago
Question about Kyoto Imperial Palace.
 2 reactions, last updated 1512 days ago
Kyoto Imperial Palace Guided Tour
 5 reactions, last updated 1669 days ago
Trafica card for non flat fare kyoto
 3 reactions, last updated 2 days ago
Fushimi Inari Yotsutsuji intersection
 3 reactions, last updated 2 days ago
Ohara return to central Kyoto
 2 reactions, last updated 3 days ago
Arashiyama walk
 1 reaction, last updated 5 days ago
Randen, Keifuku from Ryoanji to...
 1 reaction, last updated 5 days ago
Bus 205 to Kinkaku Temple at 8.30am...
 3 reactions, last updated 8 days ago
Flowers at end May in Kyoto?
 1 reaction, last updated 12 days ago
Miyako Odori - How to buy tickets?
 10 reactions, last updated 17 days ago
Nanzenji to ginkakuji
 6 reactions, last updated 18 days ago
Kyoto 1 Day Bus Pass
 5 reactions, last updated 19 days ago
Kyoto - Late cherry blossom
 1 reaction, last updated 21 days ago
Kyoto's 500 Yen City Bus Pass
 7 reactions, last updated 21 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: January 13, 2014
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - 広告について - advertising