Appreciating the four seasons at Kyoto Imperial Palace
Text : Yumi Oki
Occupying a vast green area in the heart of the Kyoto city, Kyoto Imperial Palace, it is the place surrounded by earthen wall situated on the site of Kyoto Imperial Garden and has been the Imperial Palace for a long time from 1331 to 1869.
In the past, visitor’s permit formalities were a necessity except for public open days once in the spring and once in the fall. These days, the Palace is open all year round and no advance application are required. It usually opens from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. (Time varies with the month)
A particularly important building called Shishin-den (Hall for State Ceremonies), is a core of the Palace where official events are carried out. Two trees are planted in the south garden in front of the Shishin-den, a cherry tree on the left side and a citrus tree on the right side. They are called Sakon(imperial guard on the left) no Sakura and Ukon(imperial guard on the right) no Tachibana named after Imperial Guards who served as guards of honor by the tree. It is very refined scenery with cherry blossoms in spring and citrus blossom in summer with Shishin-den Hall in a solemn atmosphere.
Other than Shishin-den Hall, Oikeniwa garden in front of Kogosho and Ogakuonjyo and Gonaitei garden in front of Otsune-goten, both gardens are very beautiful you must see.
The Japanese garden is landscaped mainly of a pond which expressed the beauties of nature was created by Enshu Kobori, the first lord of OumiKomuro domain, a landscaper, architect and he settled this style around 1600. Keuyaki-bashi Bridge over the pond of Oikeniwa garden is very famous because Queen ElizabethⅡvisited here and fed carps from above this bridge.
You are able to feel the beauties of nature and the history of Kyoto at Kyoto Imperial Palace. You need to wear walking shoes because it’s extensive grounds.
ADDRESS: 3 Kyoto-gyoen Kamigyo-ku,Kyoto City（map）
September & March, 9:00 a.m.~4:30 p.m.(last entry 3:50 p.m.)
From October to February, 9:00 a.m.~4:00 p.m.(last entry 3:20 p.m.)
From April to August, 9:00 a.m.~5:00 p.m.(last entry 4:20 p.m.)
★TRAVEL IDEA ‘10 Things To Do in Kyoto'
① Visiting Temples and Shrines
② Buying souvenirs
③ Visiting Arashiyama・Sagano
④ Having Kyo-ryori
⑤ Wearing Kimono
⑥ Having Japanese tea
⑦ Having seafood
⑧ Visiting shops in Machiya
⑨ Being exposed to a traditional culture
⑩ Feeling nature