Kyoto’s Imperial Palace blends into its surroundings so well that you could easily miss it if you’re not paying attention.
From the outside, the palace’s outer wall does not appear to contain anything particularly special. You might think there’s a nice garden on the other side, not the former nexus of the Japanese empire.
There are even houses right across the street from the palace.
Once a Palace, Now a Park
The grounds of Kyoto’s Imperial Palace have been converted into a public park. Where Japan’s nobility once lived, you can now take a relaxing stroll or ride a bike on gravel paths.
You can even catch a game of baseball here at the imperial palace.
The Inner Wall
Head a bit deeper into the palace grounds and you’ll reach the palace’s inner wall. Here, high curved rooftops and strong walls that stretch out to the horizon give you a sense of the palace’s former grandeur.
Nonetheless, you can still enjoy casual walk or ride a bike with a friend here along the inner wall.
The Palace’s Many Paths
As the sun sinks below the horizon, all is quiet along the palace’s inner wall. The gates are closed, so instead we turn down one of the many verdant paths that branch out from the palace.
Kyoto’s Imperial Palace defies expectations in that it does not stand apart from its surroundings. Instead, Japan’s former seat of power welcomes its neighbors in with open arms.
Dreaming of Kyoto
- A Look Down Kyoto’s Streets
- Exploring Nishiki Market
- Custom Kabocha Curry in Kyoto
- Down by the River
- This is Kyoto
- The Hidden Palace
- A Temple on Main Street
- At the Foot of the Mountain
- Late Night Kim Chee Fried Rice
- Falling Through Time in Gion
- Crunchy Katsu Curry in Kyoto