Elegant air enjoyable at Venerable place preserving ancient heritage
The Kyoto Gosho is the imperial palace where emperors had resided and worked until the first year of the Meiji era (about 150 years ago). The existing palace was rebuilt in 1855. Although the functions of the palace were transferred to Tokyo in 1869, the enthronement ceremonies of Emperor Taisho and Emperor Showa were held at the Kyoto palace in accordance with the Imperial House Law (As the law was amended after World War II, the present Emperor was enthrone at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in 1990 for the first time in history).
Located in the northern part of the center of the Kyoto Gyoen national park, the Kyoto Gosho stretches approximately 250 meters from east to west and 450 meters from north to south. The place has a total of six gates on its four sides and each of them is given a status and purpose. The front gate is Kenreimon which is opened only when the Emperor or the head of a state visits or when special events, such as the palace’s opening to the public, are held.
The most prestigious building in the palace is the Shishinden used for the most important ceremonial events such as the enthronement of an emperor. It is a solemn building without glamorous decors. The Kogogutsunegoten is on the northern side of the palace, while there is a graceful garden, with a big pond, in front of the Shogosho. Changes in the style of architecture since the Heian period (794 to 1185) can be observed in the palace.
Although entry into the Kyoto Gyoen park is free, advance registration with the Imperial Household Agency is required to visit the Kyoto Gosho. But the registration in unnecessary when the palace is open to the public once in spring and autumn.
Address: Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Phone: 075-211-1215 (visitor section at Kyoto office of Imperial Household Agency)
Hours open to visitors: (For regular course taking about 60 minutes): 9:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 15:00 (For shorter course taking about 35 minutes): 11:00 and 15:00 (in case of 100 visitors)
Admission Fee: Free (advance registration needed for visit except for public opening in spring and autumn)
Closed: Sundays, Saturdays, National holidays (open on every Saturday in March, April, May, October and November and third Saturday in other months), year-end and new-year holidays (Dec. 28 - Jan. 4), and when the palace needs to be closed for events or other purposes (advance inquiry recommended)
Directions: 5-minute walk from Imadegawa Station or Marutamachi Station of Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line