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A couple of Kyoto questions

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Re my trip to Kyoto and Tokyo next month:

Last week I tried to get tickets to the Imperial Household Palaces/Villas and the only one w/ availability Was the Kyoto Imperial Palace -- so I booked that. But for the others, I know can't enter the bldgs w/o a reservation, but can one visit the gardens? I haven't been able to find the answer on line or in a couple of guide books.

And - what are the chances taxi drivers speaking English - Slim to none? Possible? Probable? Should I print out cards w/ the destinations I'm likely to want to take cabs to?

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