A little history:
The Imperial Palace Kyoto was rebuilt in 1855. The Imperial Palace has been burned and rebuilt eight times in different parts of the city. Although the capital had already moved to Tokyo, the coronation ceremonies of the Taisho and Showa Emperors were held in the main hall of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
The original buildings caught fire in 1854 and were not rebuilt. In its place, the Omiya Palace was built in 1867. Now it serves as an accommodation for the current Japanese prince and princess upon their visits to Kyoto. In the past, the Royal nobles lived in the walled area. But when the capital moved to Tokyo, these homes were demolished.
The Imperial Palace in Kyoto is divided into three parts:
The Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)
Sento Imperial Palace (Sento Gosho)
The Imperial Park (Kyoto Gyoen)
The Imperial Palace:
The complex is walled with high walls. It has multiple doors, lounges, and gardens. This is only accessible by guided tours that require a prior reservation. You cannot enter the buildings, and you can only see them outside and enjoy their vast gardens. It is absolutely fantastic. Every corner is impeccable and imposing. The Palace is not very big, but it is impressive and well preserved, but the most attractive of the palace are the gardens.
The Sento Palace:
There are free tours to the Sento Imperial Palace (Sento Gosho). It is a beautiful complex across the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The Sento Palace tour takes place four times a day except for Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday). To sign up for a tour, you need to register, with your passport, at the office of the Imperial House Agency. The tour guide takes you through the Sento Garden, which covers from the north and south ponds of the enclosure.
The Imperial Garden:
In addition to the Imperial Palace, the Sento Palace, there are other historical points in the Imperial Garden. For example:
The Omiya Mansion, noble residence open to the public in the southwest of the park.
A small temple derived from the famous Miyajima temple, known as the Itsukushima Shrine. It is located inside a small pond.
The Park is 1300 meters long and 700 meters wide. In it, we can find cherry trees, ponds, groves, and roads.
When does it close?
Imperial Palace closes on Mondays (if Monday is a national holiday, it goes to Tuesday). It remains closed from December 28 until January 04. It also closes occasionally to celebrate special events.
Entry to Imperial Palace is free. Upon entering, your bags and backpacks are checked. There is a rest center, free Wi-Fi, and, of course, vending machines to sack.
How to get to the Imperial Palace:
The Kyoto Imperial Palace is near the Kyoto Station. It can be reached by subway through the Karasuma Line. Get off at Marutamachi (it takes 7 minutes). Imadegawa Station is also closer to the Palace entrance.
Take a guided tour.
It is suggested to reserve your visit through Kyoto Imperial Palace Tours. You must do it well in advance.
Consider the weather forecast before making your reservation.