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Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto

(1,600+ reviews on the web)
Government Building Historic Site
Explore an important chapter in the nation's history at Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former residence of the country's royal family. Join a guided tour to access the 19th-century palace complex and explore its array of buildings and gardens. Afterwards, you can stroll through the lush grounds of the surrounding park, which ranks as one of the city's most popular outdoor leisure spots. Keep in mind that you must apply ahead of time for permission to tour the palace--check the website for details to avoid disappointment on the day of your visit. Kyoto Imperial Palace is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Kyoto Edition.
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9 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Kyoto, Tokyo & Osaka BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Japan BY A USER FROM MEXICO July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM MEXICO July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Japan BY A USER FROM MEXICO July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM POLAND October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Japan BY A USER FROM ISRAEL October, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Tokyo & Kyoto BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Japan BY A USER FROM ISRAEL October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Kyoto & Tokyo BY A USER FROM INDIA September, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The palace is absolutely beautiful. I'd advise you to wear some comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting a little dirty. All of the walkways/paths are covered with white gravel, which will cause ...  more »
  • Great place to visit. Unfortunately there are no furnitures, as in almost all the Japanese temples. Btw you can really feel the history. Warmly suggested.  more »
  • This is a free activity and well worth it! We had a free tour at 10 with a lovely friendly and knowledgable guide. Beautiful grounds so take your time to enjoy!  more »
Google
  • This is a place for those interested in Japanese history, gardens, and architecture. It is full of information (in many languages) about the grounds and how it used to be the capital of Japan. The gardens are beautiful. There are not many artifacts, it is a tour of only the buildings and you learn of their purposes. A beautiful park surrounds the grounds. Be careful because there is only one gate to enter the palace and we ended up walking a long way around the wall.
  • While in Kyoto for two weeks, my fiance and I spent 2 wonderful lazy afternoons on the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The entire property is stunning, having been diligently manicured for centuries (literally). This is a great spot for a quiet picnic lunch, or a lazy Sunday relaxing with a book. For us, it was a perfect low-energy experience to give us a break from the tourist crowds.
  • You need to book this place to enter the palace grounds. When we reached the gates of the palace, both Dawn and I instinctively knew that the tour is going to be amazing. There were security personnel guarding the entrance and we were required to bring a printed copy of our signup form to be allowed to enter. Yes, we were required to sign-up to be allowed to visit the Imperial Palace (we signed up six months earlier) and slots are limited. There's a much bigger park surrounding the main compound outside, but the real deal is at the centre. We signed up for the English tour together with 20+ people and while we were in the main compound, we were not allowed to wander off. We had to follow an arranged route with security keeping an eye on us, but the opportunity to step into history? Worth it. We walked past halls that Japanese emperors from a few hundred years ago once walked on, buildings where emperors were coronated. It was a humbling experience and looking at how the place is still revered until today, a privilege as well. Our tour guide also did a great job of walking us through the place, letting us know what are the different functions of the buildings and gates, most of it which are older than me at least by a few hundred years. For a history fan like me, this place was awe inspiring.
  • Emperor Palace in Kyoto. Entrance to the area is free. This was the center of Japan before. It is like a big park now. You need to apply to enter some of the buildings inside before you visit. Don't get across small gutters around buildings or the alarms will sound loudly.
  • It is a beautiful place to visit. You can see different style of Japanese traditional architecture through the different buildings in this complex. We cannot go inside the buildings.