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Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)
Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)

Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)

Kyoto-Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 601-8151

The Basics

Although Japan’s royal family haven’t lived in the Kyoto Imperial Palace(Kyoto Gosho) for more than 150 years, the imperial furnishings have been preserved and reflect the life of the royals in the mid-19th century. The beautifully landscaped Kyoto Imperial Park surrounding the palace contain jogging trails, picnic benches, numerous plants and water features, and is one of the finest public gardens in the city.

Travelers can visit the Imperial Palace independently, or as part of a full- or half-day sightseeing tour of Kyoto. Such excursions also tend to include sites such as the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji), Kiyomizu Temple, Gion, and Nijo Castle. The palace is located in Kyoto City, to the north of Kyoto Station, so is a convenient stop on sightseeing tours of the city.

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Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Walking Tour
Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Walking Tour
star-4.5
$127.48 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Walking Tour
I would recommend this walking tour tour to those who want to see the most of Kyoto but don't have much time. The tour company was excellent. After making teh booking they kept me informed with a detailed itinerary of sites and times, pictures of meeting point with the guide (including her name, Meg, photo and phone number). Meg was an excellent guide. She spoke English well and had a very good knowledge of each sight. She was mindful of the comfort of her guests in such humid conditions. The Imperial Palace, Higashi Honganji Temple and Nijo Castle were amazing.
Susan K, Oct 2019

Recent reviews from experiences in Kyoto

star-5
Exclusive Tour
Anke, Nov 2020
Biking Tour in Kyoto
Had the luxury of being the first and only guest for months. Thanks a lot for conducting this private tour and not canceling! Had a great day with Tiery who showed me all of the hot spots in Kyoto and also gave me some first Japanese language training. Also overall booking experience, organization and the bike was perfect.
star-5
Kyoto on foot
Peter_E, Mar 2020
Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
Excellent walking and public transport tour Helped us find spots we didn’t even know existed. Our guide was most informative about history and also everyday life in Japan.
star-5
City unscripted personal guide
foglerbob, Jan 2020
Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
Eko was outstanding! Kind, friendly, knowledgeable, and completely accommodating to our wish list of sites to see. Our first personal tour experience, and we will do nothing else in the future.
star-5
Great half day tour to Kyoto from Osaka
Diane A, Dec 2019
Kyoto Half-Day Private Tour (Osaka departure) with Nationally-Licensed Guide
I booked this half day tour at the last minute and i am glad for it. We used public transport to get around and in the process we learned how to use the subways and railways. Our guide Mr Suga is very patient and helpful. Did everything to make the tour easy and enjoyable for my elderly husband whilst trying to cover as many places as we wanted. He is knowledgeable and explained the history and interesting points of each attraction we visited. Thank you, Mr Suga!
star-5
Family trip
Yeeling W, Oct 2019
Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour
Had a great 2 day tour with Yasuna! She was very patient with us (a mixed group of varying fitness levels: an elderly granddad of 80+ and a young kid of 8). Loved seeing Ryoanji.
star-5
Wonderful Experience!
LosAngelestravelor, Oct 2019
Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour
Our walking tour with Elle was spectacular! Her knowledge of all the places we visited was impeccable. She is friendly and made our experience so very pleasant. I would recommend anyone visiting Kyoto to schedule with Elle!
star-4
Very Interesting and an Excellent Tour Guide
Curt M, Oct 2019
Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Walking Tour
Our favorite was Nijo Castle but the comparison to the Palace was very interesting. Our guide was friendly, informative and interesting. There was a lot of walking so be prepared for that too.
star-5
Great overview of the city
Macdhome, Nov 2019
Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
Justus was a great guide, knowledgeable and insightful on historical and cultural details. We used taxis to get round, not cheap but we saw a lot more of the city.
star-5
Good tour to get acquainted you have limited time.
happy3659, Sep 2019
Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour
Great guide with excellent English and very accommodating. Met us on time and took us where we wanted to go.
star-5
An Amazing & joyful experience
Sin128, Aug 2019
Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour
27 July 2019, though it was a rainy day, this 4.5 hour trip was pleasant and memorable. My guide, Kaori San, was very knowledgable and planned well so that I could go and see the places that I enjoyed very much. The temples and shrines in Kyoto were beautiful. That was a very joyful afternoon. Many thanks to Kaori San. I highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Wonderful 1-day tour of Kyoto
wongabe, Jul 2019
Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour
This tour was a great way to see some of the main sites of Kyoto. Our guide Aki was fantastic - knowledgeable, spoke fluent English, and very accommodating on this tour. Your guide will suggest what sites to see on your tour - with rule of thumb being 4 different attractions/sites. I would highly recommend this tour, and our guide Aki!
star-5
Kyoto
Eric_G, Feb 2020
Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
Juraj (pronounced “your I”) was an absolutely amazing tour guide. He catered the tour to the types of sites we wanted to see and was so knowledgeable about the sites, the history, and the legends. We had ample time at each location and learned so much about the area. In addition to the tour highlights, he showed us little local places to eat, to shop, and to explore. At day’s end, he recommended a fantastic local hot pot restaurant, which was both delicious and reasonable. Definitely ask for Juraj on your next tour of Kyoto, Tokyo, or Osaka. In addition to being a great guide, he is also a really nice and interesting person, which made the day fly by.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Admission to the park is free.

  • While the gardens can be visited independently, the palace buildings can only be entered by prior arrangement with the palace authorities.

  • The palace is very close to Nijo Castle, and the two places can be visited together in a convenient morning or afternoon of sightseeing.

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How to Get There

The Kyoto Imperial Palace(Kyoto Gosho) is located between two JR Subway stations, Imadegawa and Marutamachi, both of which are a short walk away. Imadegawa station is a bit closer to the entrance gate.

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When to Get There

The palace is closed Mondays, as well as from December 28 until January 4, plus some other public holidays. From April to August, it is open from 9am until 5pm; in September and March, from 9am until 4:30pm; and from October to February, from 9am until 4pm. Last admissions are allowed in 40 minutes before the grounds close.

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Visit Kaninnomiya Mansion

While it’s not easy to go inside the Imperial Palace itself, visitors can go inside Kaninnomiya Mansion, a restored Edo-period luxury home within the Imperial Park. There were once hundreds of such mansions around the Imperial Palace, but this is the only survivor. The mansion, teahouse, and gardens with a pond are worth visiting—plus, they’re also free.

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