Kyoto Imperial Palace Place guide

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Kyoto

Kyoto Imperial Palace

The Kyoto Imperial Palace is the former residence of the Japanese Imperial Family

About

A Treasure of Japanese Culture

The Kyoto Imperial Palace is the former residence of the Japanese Imperial Family. For more than a century, it served as the official residence of the emperor until the capital was moved to Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration. The original palace was built in 794, but was damaged due to several instances of fire, where each time it was rebuilt in the ancient style. 

The Palace that is now standing was rebuilt in 1855 and composed of ceremonial halls, residences, and beautiful gardens that reflect the grandeur of Japan's imperial dynasties. The inner sanctuaries of Japan’s original capital, which was once kept away from the masses, is now accessible and open to the public almost year-round, with no reservation required.

The expansive grounds of the surrounding Imperial Palace Park occupies a large chunk of central Kyoto, acting as a green oasis in the middle of the urban city. Visitors can go on picnics, have a bench break, jog, walk dogs, or bike through, as many locals already do.

Nearby is the Daitoku-ji, an icon of Japanese gardens filled with Zen temples and wandering lanes. The Daitoku-ji temple serves as the headquarters of the Rinzai Daitoku-ji school of Zen Buddhism. 

If you’re still looking for more ideas of what to see in Kyoto around here, head further north. There you’ll find the 8th-century Shimogamo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site among the oldest shrines in Kyoto.

Get there

  • By subway: Take the Karasuma line to access most of the sights in this area.
  • By bus: Busses are the most convenient way to visit the Imperial Palace.

3 Kyoto-Gyoen Kamigyo-ku, Kamigyo, Kyoto; Opening hours 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Tours near Kyoto Imperial Palace

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$45/person

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