Kyoto Imperial Palace
Palace of Palaces, the Original Seat of Japanese Power
As we’ve traveled to various countries within Southeast Asia recently, we’ve had opportunities to take a look at the various palace grounds. With that said, we knew we just had to try to pay a visit to the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, the previous capital of Japan before Tokyo. Before making a visit out there, check the times for the tours in the language that you want. For us, the EN tour was happening at both 10 am and 2 pm.
Since we got a little bit of a late start, we decided to go for the 2 pm tour. When you get the the gates, you’ll immediately notice that there is a sign that you can only enter with a guided tour, no self tours allowed. Do not fret, just turn around and walk towards the information center where you can get your tickets for the tour you have in mind.
Once you get back to the gates, show your ticket to the guards and you’ll be shown to the ticket booth where someone will review your ticket and usher you towards a large waiting room. From there, your tour will begin.
The map provided and the wireless mic on the tour guide were both very helpful. Throughout the tour you’ll get a chance to hear all about the history of the palace, see the various rooms used by royalty and even get a better understanding of why the colors of the tatami mats are important and other such aesthetic choices and their cultural significance.
Regardless, you’ll have a chance during the whole 1 hour tour to take plenty of pictures so just relax and immerse yourself in a piece of Japan’s history.
- There’s lockers in the waiting room for you to store your luggage if you’re traveling heavy.