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Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto

3.9
#3 of 66 in Parks in Kyoto
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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1,721 reviews
Google
4.2
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace is the former Palace of the Emperor of Japan, before July 2016, participate in view to the plasticity of approximately, later the plasticity in Johannesburg cancelled, why change can participate without the plasticity of approximately views (except special days), due to the fully furnished apartments in Japan still have a Royal family, so conservation of Kyoto Imperial Palace is very good, and participant views,
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  • Very nice tour even though a lot of the structure are currently under renovations. The tour is all outside, it takes over an hour to go through it and its' HOT. Hats or umbrellas and a beverage are re...  more »
  • It was a lovely experience to take a walk in the park and through the imperial Palace. We didn't go on a tour but just wandered around on our own. You cannot go in to the Buildings but it is also fine...  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.
  • Excellent organisation. It is free to visit the gardens. You cannot go inside, but there is plenty to see. The facilities are brilliant, and everything is running smoothly.
  • 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.

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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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