Touring Kyoto Imperial Palace
Generations of emperors once lived in Kyoto Imperial Palace from the Kamakura Era to the Meiji Era in Kyoto in the center of the country. The buildings from that time were reconstructed due to fire, but currently, they are preserved as National Tangible Cultural Properties. Kyoto Imperial Palace has a huge area spreading about 110,000 sq. meters beginning with the main building of the Shishin-den (Hall for State Ceremonies) at the south end, the Seiryo-den (Emperor’s Habitual Residence), and other buildings used for ceremonial and state affairs. At the north end, there are buildings such as the Ko-gosho (Court Room) that were used for the Emperor’s daily life. In front of the Ko-gosho, there is a Japanese garden with a pond in the center where you can get a glimpse of the elegant lifestyle of those times.
There are two ways to tour Kyoto Imperial Palace. One way is by applying for a tour by mail, online or in person. You can check the homepage for the Imperial Household Agency. Since only adults aged 18 and over are allowed and there are restrictions on the number of visitors, it is suggested that applications be made early after making a check of the homepage. The second way is visiting when the palace is open to the general public during spring and autumn. At these times, reservations are unnecessary so anyone can freely enter the palace grounds. You can check the homepage for the yearly schedule.
A famous place for cherry blossoms
Kyoto Imperial Palace is known as a famous place for cherry blossoms. Starting from the cherry tree planted in front of Shishin-den, Sakon no Sakura, there are about 1100 cherry trees and weeping cherry trees in the Kyoto Imperial Gardens surrounding the palace. The period when the palace is open in the spring and many of the sakura are in full bloom is also when the plum blossoms are finishing their time and when the peach blossoms can also be seen. The deep red peach blossoms are also incredibly gorgeous. How about taking a leisurely stroll viewing the blossoms of cherry and peach all over the grounds? The palace grounds are also open to the public in the fall where you can also enjoy the autumn colors.