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Kyoto Imperial Palace 京都御所

Kyoto Gosho Kyoto Gosho
Kyoto Gosho Kyoto Gosho

Visit the place where Japan's emperors once lived

Kyoto Imperial Palace, known as Gosho, is the former residence of Japan's imperial family. It is now an impressive landmark in the very center of Kyoto.

After serving as a home for Japan's imperial family during the ten centuries Kyoto served as the nation's capital, the family left the palace in 1868 when the capital moved to Tokyo. Visitors are now free to stroll the grounds surrounding the palace, an activity once limited to guided tours.

How to Get There

Kyoto Gosho is easily accessed by subway.

From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Line to Marutamachi or Imadegawa stations.

Architecture that encompasses multiple eras

The palace you see today was built in 1855 after a fire destroyed the previous structure. The complex is surrounded by a high wall on all sides. The palace buildings incorporate architectural elements from different periods throughout the city's history.

Where the imperial family stays in Kyoto

The Imperial Palace is actually one of two major facilities inside Kyoto Gyoen National Garden. The other, the Kyoto Sento Imperial Palace, houses the Kyoto Omiya Palace, which is where members of the royal family stay during visits to Kyoto.

The original structure of the Kyoto Sento Imperial Palace was built in 1630 as a retirement home for Emperor Gomizuno, and became a permanent residence for all retired emperors. After a fire in 1854, only the Omiya Palace was rebuilt, and on the garden grounds remain the original teahouses.

Application Information

Kyoto Gyoen National Garden and Kyoto Imperial Palace do not require application for admission. For details concerning daily operating, please check the Kyoto Imperial Palace details page .

The Kyoto Sento Imperial Palace requires an application to visit. It is recommended to visit the Imperial Household Agency's official website in order to view the latest information.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.


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Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages