Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)

Travel Guide - Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)


Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) is the former ruling palace of the Emperor of Japan. The original palace was first used as the second palace of Emperor Kogen until he was enthroned to the emperor and declared it as the official imperial palace during the Genko War in 1331. Since then, the palace had been maintained by the authorities, such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. The present building of the palace was constructed in 1855 and was used as the residence of Emperor Komei and Emperor Meiji until the Meiji Restoration in 1869. Even after Emperor Meiji moved to Tokyo, enthronement of a new emperor and other state ceremonies were still held here in the Meiji (1868 - 1912), Taisho (1912 - 1926) and Showa (1926 - 1989) Periods.
Today, the grounds of the palace are open to the public and the Imperial Household Agency hosts public tours of the buildings (Booking required). Behind the Shishin-den main hall, there are graceful structures, such as Seiryo-den hall which take you back to the brilliant court life in medieval times.

*Note: You need to join a visit tour to enter. Advance booking is required at the Kyoto office of the Imperial Household Agency. Online application is also available (Please visit the link below). Children under 18 years old cannot join the tour.

Opening HoursOpening Hours

  • Visit Tour (60 minutes): From 9:00, 11:00, 13:30, 15:00 (Booking required)
  • Visit Tour (35 minutes): From 11:00, 15:00 (Booking required)
  • Visit Tour (60 minutes, English): From 10:00, 14:00 (Booking required)


  • Visit Tour: Sundays and National holidays
  • Visit Tour: Saturdays (January - February, June - October, December) *except the 3rd Saturday
  • Visit Tour: December 28 - January 4

Price / Entrance FeePrice / Entrance Fee

  • Visit Tour: Free (Booking required) *Children under 18 years old cannot join the tour.

Access / Public TransportAccess / Public Transport

  • 5 minutes walk from Imadegawa Station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line (K06)

Address / LocationAddress / Location

  • 3, Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 602-0881


Japan Travel Mate @japantravelmate - 2015-02-02
Dates for the Kyoto Imperial Palace Spring Open Days 2015 = = no need to book, and still FREE!



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