Mar. 03, 2017 UPDATE

Popular Kyoto Imperial Palace

- 京都御所 -
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A free tour in English at Kyoto Imperial Palace
Many locals are seen at Kyoto Imperial Palace courtyard freely visiting for a stroll or even for a picnic when the weather is nice. Originally the palace was home for the emperor when the capital of Japan was known as Heian-kyo, or present day Kyoto city. The palace consists of several different structures that display traditional architectural styles. Throughout history, these structures were destroyed and rebuilt multiple times. However, the palace still stands today because of the rebuilding of structure ordered by Tokugawa Shogunate in 1854 which made the speedy restructure of the palace possible. Today, English tours are offered at 10am and 2pm. To reserve a spot, making reservations online are recommended. A passport or alien registration card is needed to enter.
The Structures Through A Free Walking Tour
The Structures Through A Free Walking Tour
The guide carefully explains the history of the structures that the tour takes by. The tour guides to an important building within the palace called, "Shishinden". Also the the tour takes the visitors to Shodaibunoma, a building that was used as a waiting room to visitors of the Palace. The guide explains about the separation of rooms by ranks, and the display of beautiful paintings that are impressively painted only by black ink. Details of the structure and the layout of the palace can be closely seen through this tour.
Gardens Inside The Premises
Gardens Inside The Premises
There are two gardens the tour will take you to: Oikeniwa Garden and Gonaitei Garden. Both are well-maintained to this day. Gardens are created to be able to view the scene from many different angles. These beautiful strolling gardens feature water, bridges, and greenery. The colors of nature change throughout the year.
Stamp To Prove That You Were Here!
3Good Experiences
Stamp To Prove That You Were Here!
Are you collecting stamps throughout your trip? At the area where shiny souvenirs are sold, look for the stamp on the counter for you to stamp away. Leave a proof in your book that you have visited the Kyoto Imperial Palace!
4Good Experiences
Make Reservations Online
Reservations are required ahead of time to enter the Imperial Palace area of Kyoto Gyoen. We recommend you check the website to reserve at least 5 days in advance. Simply follow the directions on the application such as filling in your name, home country address, phone number, email address, age, gender, nationality and other information. After submitting the application, check your email for a confirmation email. Follow the link in the email to confirm your reservation. Please access their website to make online reservations from the following link:
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Reservation is required ahead of time. The walking tour is about 1 hour. There will be lockers provided free of use. Listen carefully to the guide for very informative tour. Pamphlet will be given in Japanese, English, or Chinese.
4.0 experience4.5 access3.5 photogenic4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.0 experience4.5 access3.5 photogenic4.0
The guided tour was very informative and interesting! It's about 1 hour long in a group (at the time of my attendance, there was about 50 people). I was able to put my belongings in a locker so thankfully I didn't have to carry everything while on the tour. The structures are amazing and substantial! Expect to learn some history in this formal house of the emperor.
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Kyoto Imperial Palace / 京都御所
Category Landmarks
Phone +81 75-211-1215
Address 3 Kyoto-gyoen, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 602-8611
Directions 5-minute walk from Subway Imadegawa Station
Open Hours Office hours: 8:45 - 12pm, 1pm - 5pm Tours in English are held at 10am and 2pm *Check their website for any changes and more information.
Reservations Accepted for tours
Closed Office is closed on weekends, national holidays and January 28 - Jan 4. *Tours are held on Saturdays but not on Sundays.
Notes English and Japanese tours are available at different times. Check their website for details.
Price range
Free tours
Credit cards No fee is required
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Very informative tour in English
Information Japanese, English, and Chinese
Lanuages spoken Japanese and English

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