Kyoto Imperial Palace

Description: 
Fans of Japanese history often take their time even from their short trip to the ancient capital Kyoto to visit Kyoto Imperial Palace located north downtown on the vast Kyoto Imperial Park to admire the rich tradition saved inside the unique look and atmosphere of the historical construction and recall the time of Japan's ancient imperial dynasties. The palace is believed to be constructed even before the 10th century, serving as the residence of Japanese Imperial family. The year 1868 remarked the historical event when the capital as well as the emperor were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. Kyoto Imperial Palace was out of its mission but it was still preserved carefully until now, although the original structure was partly destroyed due to the fire in 1855.

kyoto_imperial_palace_welcomekansai

Source: teach.ymjh.kh.edu.tw

Kyoto Imperial Palace almost keeps its original form of several buildings surrounded by a system of long walls along with some imposing gates and vast pieces of gardens. The outstanding Kenreimon with a cypress roof covering four wooden pillars used to serve as the main entrance to welcome some foreign diplomat or dignitary on special occasions. An other gate called Kenshunmon with the similar architecture, attached by a Kemari playing square. Splendid establishments of the complex are designed in classical Japanese style with wooden structure covered by low roof lines, some important buildings are the Hall for State Ceremonies Shishinden, the Emperor's Habitual Residence Seiryoden, the Court room Kogosho, the Imperial Library Ogakumonjo out of many other residences for empress, aristocrats and government officials.

 

kyoto_imperial_palace_welcomekansai

Source: teach.ymjh.kh.edu.tw

Shishinden is considered as the most significant part of Kyoto Imperial Palace, serving as the hosting place of the enthronement ceremonies of Emperor Taisho and Emperor Showa. The main space of Shishinden reaches the impressive scale of 33 meters in length and 23 meters in width, wrapped in a sotisphicated design of a long and thin hallway, a gabled and hipped roof and a beautiful white gravel garden. Several trees are planted along the main stairway, including one cherry blossom tree and one orange tree. Seiryoden nearly has the same architecture with Shishinden, the structure was made mainly from cypress. Almost all the private affairs of the Emperor take place here inside different parts of Seiryoden. While the central area was used for relaxation, the east area hosted many important political meetings. The Emperor spent time sleeping at the north area and enjoyed his meals at the west area. The remaining part was the space of the keeper of the palace.

kyoto_imperial_palace_welcomekansai

Source: teach.ymjh.kh.edu.tw

Kogosho is an other important part of the Palace, observing many national rituals. Although the main structure was burnt down in about 1954, it was recovered in 1958. Some other special rituals like reading or poetry recital take place at the Imperial Library Ogakumonjo. Shunkoden keeps a sacred mirror joining in the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Taisho in 1915 and Shodaibunoma used to be the waiting room for dignitaries on their official visits to Kyoto Imperial palace.

Open time: 
Tours in Japanese
-Standard tour route (Approximate time: 60 minutes): starting at 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm
-Short tour route (Approximate time: 35 minutes): starting at 11:00 am or 3:00 pm
Tours in English (Approximate time: 60 minutes): starting at 10:00 am or 2:00 pm
Closing day: Saturday, Sunday, Year End and New Year Holiday and Public holiday.
Admission: 

Freely access

How to access: 

Take a ten minute subway ride from Kyoto Station along the Karasuma Subway Line then get off at Marutamachi or Imadegawa Station and take a short walk to the Imperial Agency Office or the entrance gate of the Imperial Palace.