Japan Kyoto Imperial Palace Area

Kyoto Imperial Park

Historic heart of imperial Kyoto

Photo of Kyoto Imperial Park, Japan (At Kyoto Imperial Place Park by Daniel Ramirez)

Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, the site of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, is a natural and cultural oasis in Kyoto. Covering 65 hectares, it provides a peaceful atmosphere for visitors to enjoy gardens, historic buildings, and seasonal flowers, especially during cherry blossom season.

About Kyoto Imperial Park

Kyoto Gyoen, or Kyoto Imperial Park, was the residence of the Imperial Family during the Heian Period and has transformed from imperial and aristocratic estates to a public space of historical and natural beauty. A 3.5-kilometer wall encloses the park, which features remnants of the Edo period through its gates and pathways.

A fire in 1708 led to expansion and changes in the park. After the capital’s relocation to Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent vacancy of aristocratic residences, Emperor Meiji initiated the greening of the space.

Kyoto Gyoen includes notable properties such as the Seiryoden and the Kyoto Imperial Palace, which has hosted significant ceremonies. While the current palace structure dates back to 1855, its history extends much further, and visitors can admire the architecture and gardens from outside.

The park’s flora and fauna are diverse, with over 500 plant species and an array of wildlife, including birds and fish in the Sento Imperial Palace pond. Areas like “Mother and Child’s Forest,” “Dragonfly Pond,” and “Izumi no Creek” offer educational insights into nature.

Kyoto Gyoen hosts festivals such as the Aoi Matsuri and the Jidai Matsuri and is a tranquil spot for activities like strolls and birdwatching. Within the park are preserved noble estates such as the Kankiin no Miya and Katsura no Miya.

For a complete experience, visitors can find less crowded cherry blossom areas, take part in a tea ceremony, and explore the cultural richness of the park, including the Miyajima Shrine branch. The park is most vibrant during late March and early April when the cherry blossoms bloom.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Kyoto Imperial Park

K 06

 Karasuma Line

 5-10 minute walk (800m)

Around Kyoto Imperial Park

Kyoto Imperial Park

Park in Kyoto

open 24 hours
closed Irregularly


京都御苑, 京都

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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