Kyoto Imperial Palace 京都御所 and Imperial Park 京都御苑

Our first day in Kyoto was a recovery day. We took a taxi from our hotel to Nijo Castle and ended up eating dinner at a McDonald’s near our hotel. Our second day we over did, again. We thought it’d be a relaxing day of easy walking and it started that way. Our hotel was right next to the Imperial Palace Park so after breakfast we headed over and went for a walk before it got too hot. It was nice. There were lots of big walkways and trees. We even found a shrine while wandering about.

The park I’m sure would also be gorgeous in the spring during cherry blossom season since they have weeping cherry trees in the back of the park near Konoe Pond. Another fun thing to do while at the park (other than enjoy walking or biking it) is to take paper and a pencil or crayon with you. Throughout the park are little signs with maps and an engraving that you can make a stone rubbing of. They look like they’re only a part of a larger piece of art.

We also saw a three-hundred year old Muku tree that is getting a bit of help to stand up.


After awhile we headed into the Imperial Palace grounds. We went through security and were given lanyards with numbers. To reserve energy my uncle stayed in the welcome center and we wandered through the one way path looking around the palace.

We couldn’t go inside anywhere and were roped off from practically everything. It was however a pretty walk and there was information explaining different buildings and rooms, just a bit too hot to stand outside and try to read them for too long.

The imperial palace is open from 9am until about 4pm-5pm depending on the season. They stop allowing people in forty minutes before they close and are closed on Mondays and some holidays.

Visiting the park and the palace are both free.

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