Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the residence of the Imperial Family until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1869, is located in Kyoto Gyoen Park. Within the Imperial Palace grounds, which are enclosed by a roofed earthen wall, are the Seiryo-den (Palace Hall) and the Kogosho (Minor Palace), which are highly reminiscent of this dynastic age.
Other than five-day Open Days during spring and fall when the Imperial Palace is open to the general public, you must apply in advance to receive permission to view the palace. The Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office, located inside the walled park surrounding the palace, controls entry to the Palace.
Same-day permission is usually granted only for people joining the guided tour conducted by the Agency. To make a reservation for the tour you have to fill out an application form in person and present your passport.
You can also apply online at the following website: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html
Guided tours in English are given at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Monday to Friday and at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of the month. Once you receive permission, you should arrive at the meeting point 20 minutes prior to the start of the tour.
* Address: 3 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City, 602-0881
* TEL: +81-(0)75-211-1215
* Access: 5-minute walk from Imadegawa on the Karasuma Subway Line
5-minute walk from City Bus Stop Karasuma-imadegawa
* Parking: Available at Kyoto Gyoen
* Entrance Fee: free (an advance application is necessary)
* Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
* Hours: Guided tours in Engilsh 10:00 or 14:00
* Time Required: 60 minutes
* Closed: 12/28-1/4, and Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays
(open on Saturdays in March, April, May, October, November and on third Saturdays in the others)
* Application: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/guide/kyoto.html