Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace © Iry

What is Kyoto Imperial Palace?

The original Heiankyo Imperial Palace was located 2km west of the current location. Due to frequent fires, aristocratic homes were being used as the temporary Imperial Palace. In 1331, Emperor Kogon ascended from these homes and it was finally decided that this land would be the official Imperial Palace.

About the Gyoen National Garden and Imperial Palace

The names Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) and Kyoto Gyoen (National Garden) may be confusing. The Gyoen National Garden is the entire large garden surrounding the Imperial Palace. The generic term for the few buildings adjacent to the Shishinden Shrine Building is Kyoto Gosho Imperial Palace. Please note that visitors can enter the Gyoen National Garden freely but reservations are required to see the Imperial Palace. Reservations are accepted 3 months out by postcard, at the general information window or online. This is not a self-guided tour but a fully guided tour (English is also available) and the number of people per tour is limited and strictly enforced. Though generally, there are no tours on weekends and holidays, depending on the month, there may be some tours on those days. Please check the website for closures. Though the Gyoen National Garden, in a strong sense, is a park under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment, the Imperial Palace is under the jurisdiction of the Kunaicho (The Imperial Household Agency) and is the Imperial Family’s mansion. When visiting, please be respectful of the solemn atmosphere.


5 minute walk from Imadegawa Station on the Subway Karasuma Line.

Image Gallery: Kyoto Imperial Palace

Description: Kyoto Imperial Palace

Sights Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所)
Address Kyoto, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto Gyoen 1
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-211-1215
Duration 1Hour(s)
Closed dates Saturday Sunday Public holidays Specific dates
Admission Fee Free admission
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Groups Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Kyoto Imperial Palace