Although it tops the list of must-see sights for many tourists, the Imperial Palace leaves many underwhelmed. In fact, you are prohibited from entering any of the buildings on the rather sedate hour-long tour. The original building burned down in 1788, as did several of the replacements. The present structure dates from 1855. It's hardly palatial, though fine in its way; the ingenious cypress-bark roof is particularly attractive. And the parklike setting is pretty, shady,
To see the palace, you must receive permission to enter from the Imperial Household Agency. You can usually arrange a same-day visit by showing your passport at the office in the park's northwest corner, or you can make a request online. Guided tours in English begin at the Seishomon entrance, inside the park. Tours run weekdays at 10 and 2.
Oct 21, 2005
I call it a tease -- because it is beautiful -- but you never get to go inside. The tour weaves through the exteriors of the various buildings -- and you get much of the history. The problem is -- you keep wanting to see the inside (which you can't). The exterior architecture is beautiful and I found this stroll garden very beautiful. Our tour guide was excellent -- she was so sweet and informative with sprinkled humor. Not the most interesting site
in Kyoto -- but I think worth seeing.