Kyoto, Japan Oct. 01 Sun 4:39PM
The Kyoto Imperial Palace, or Kyoto Gosho, was the residence of Japan's Imperial Family before the capital moved to Tokyo in the 19th century. Today, the Imperial Palace is a part of Kyoto Imperial Park, or Kyoto Goen. This park is a wide respite in a quiet part of the city, with jogging paths, benches, and at the center, the Imperial Palace. The park is also famous for its many weeping cherry trees and other types of cherry blossom trees, and in spring is enveloped in soft pink.
The Imperial Palace was reconstructed in the 19th century after it burned down and was moved around Kyoto multiple times over the centuries when Kyoto was capital. The Imperial complex now consists of the main palace, gates, secondary halls, and gardens. Although the current Imperial Palace of Japan is in Tokyo, the Kyoto Imperial Palace holds historical and cultural importance, as Kyoto was the capital for about one thousand years.
Today, you can view the Imperial Palace from the outside or apply for a guided tour held by the Imperial Household Agency. Advance reservations are mandatory!
Also in Kyoto Imperial Park are a few other historic sites, including the Kaninnomiya Mansion, where court nobles used to live. The Kanninomiya Mansion is open to the public. There is also a brance of the "shrine in the water" in Miyajima, Hiroshima, Itsukushima Shrine, on a small pond in the park.