Kyoto Gyoen

Source:shalion / PIXTA

Kyoto Gyoen (Kyoto Imperial Palace Park) is a large national park where three Gosho (imperial palaces), namely Kyoto Gosho, Sento Gosho and Omiya Gosho, remain on its vast grounds stretching over 700 meters in an east-west and 1,300 meters in the north-south direction. Up until the transfer of the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo, this was the place which housed imperial families and courtiers. Visitors are allowed in the park anytime of the day, any day of the week. Trees older than 100 years, a lawn, a gravel path, and many plants including plum trees all make this park a beloved destination for strolling. Some historical buildings and gardens, such as Hamaguri Gomon as well as former residences of imperial families and their tearoom also remain here. The park also has an athletic playground, drawing many visitors looking for a place for recreation and relaxation.

Address
33 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Contact No.
+81-75-211-6348
Access
Short walk from Exit 3 of Imadegawa Station or Exit 1 of Marutamachi Station on Kyoto City Subway
Opening Hours / Holidays
None (The management office will be closed on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays)
Official Website
http://fng.or.jp/kyoto/
Time Required
30 minutes
Admission fee
Free

※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.

Source:active-u / PIXTA

Gosho: residences of imperial families and courtiers

Gosho are the residences of the imperial families and high ranking officials in court. In the park, along with the huge garden, remain Kyoto Gosho, Sento Gosho and Omiya Gosho, all of which used to be the actual residences until the capital was transferred to Tokyo.

Source:kenta57 / PIXTA

Hamaguri Gomon: an insight into history

One of the gates to the park is called Hamaguri Gomon (literally translating to Gate of Clams) and its purpose was to segregate the living quarters of the imperial families and courtiers from those of the common people. This securely closed gate opened its door for the first time when a fire broke out in Gosho in 1788, when locals started calling it “Hamaguri Gomon” comparing it to clams popping out from inside their shells when heated. The gate portrays a long history and it even has an old scar made by a bullet during a war.

 Okurumayose

Okurumayose, literally meaning “the place to draw a car/carriage,” is equal to our modern-day driveway/entrance to the house. It also served as an official entrance for the guests that were granted an audience by the emperor. The new version called “shin-okurumayose” was later added to accommodate the automobile that drove the Taisho Emperor to his enthronement ceremony in 1912.

Source:JACK SWING / PIXTA

 Shodaibu no Ma

Shodaibu no Ma was a hall which functioned as a waiting area for those making official visits to the court. The hall consisted of smaller rooms and in the descending order of its class, they were called “Tora no ma (tiger room),” “Tsuru no ma (crane room),” and “Sakura no ma (cherry room)” after the illustration on fusuma (sliding doors made with thick papers) and all three were collectively referred to as “Shodaibu no Ma” implying a room/hall for middle to lower classes serving the court.

Source:YSV / PIXTA

Shishinden

This is a main building in Kyoto’s Imperial Palace that served as a venue for many important events such as those celebrating enthronement and the attainment of adulthood for Meiji, Taisho and Showa emperors, as well as seasonal banquets. The inner part of the building holds seatings for the emperor and empress.

Three beautiful Japanese-style gardens

There are three beautiful Japanese gardens on the grounds. Oike-niwa exhibits perfectly calculated beauty viewed from any angle. Kemari no Niwa was designed specifically for its namesake, a type of football played by courtiers in ancient times. Gonaitei is adjoined to a tearoom. All three gardens appear as if they came right out of beautiful drawings.

Source:JACK SWING / PIXTA

 Plum Grove: a renowned site for viewing plum blossoms

200 plum trees are planted to make up this grove. Its reputation as a wonderful place to view plum blossoms attracts many visitors. Compared to cherry blossoms, plum blossoms are often considered humbler in appearance and emanate a fresh scent, which makes strolling in or along the grove enjoyable in its own unique way. In addition to red and white plums, there is another rare breed called “As you wish” which bears flowers in multiple colors on a single tree.

Source:Risa / PIXTA

Kyoto Gyoen

Kyoto Gyoen (Kyoto Imperial Palace Park) is a large national park where three Gosho (imperial palaces), namely Kyoto Gosho, Sento Gosho and Omiya Gosho, remain on its vast grounds stretching over 700 meters in an east-west and 1,300 meters in the north-south direction. Up until the transfer of the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo, this was the place which housed imperial families and courtiers. Visitors are allowed in the park anytime of the day, any day of the week. Trees older than 100 years, a lawn, a gravel path, and many plants including plum trees all make this park a beloved destination for strolling. Some historical buildings and gardens, such as Hamaguri Gomon as well as former residences of imperial families and their tearoom also remain here. The park also has an athletic playground, drawing many visitors looking for a place for recreation and relaxation.

※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.

Source:active-u / PIXTA

Gosho: residences of imperial families and courtiers

Gosho are the residences of the imperial families and high ranking officials in court. In the park, along with the huge garden, remain Kyoto Gosho, Sento Gosho and Omiya Gosho, all of which used to be the actual residences until the capital was transferred to Tokyo.

Source:kenta57 / PIXTA

Hamaguri Gomon: an insight into history

One of the gates to the park is called Hamaguri Gomon (literally translating to Gate of Clams) and its purpose was to segregate the living quarters of the imperial families and courtiers from those of the common people. This securely closed gate opened its door for the first time when a fire broke out in Gosho in 1788, when locals started calling it “Hamaguri Gomon” comparing it to clams popping out from inside their shells when heated. The gate portrays a long history and it even has an old scar made by a bullet during a war.

 Okurumayose

Okurumayose, literally meaning “the place to draw a car/carriage,” is equal to our modern-day driveway/entrance to the house. It also served as an official entrance for the guests that were granted an audience by the emperor. The new version called “shin-okurumayose” was later added to accommodate the automobile that drove the Taisho Emperor to his enthronement ceremony in 1912.

Source:JACK SWING / PIXTA

 Shodaibu no Ma

Shodaibu no Ma was a hall which functioned as a waiting area for those making official visits to the court. The hall consisted of smaller rooms and in the descending order of its class, they were called “Tora no ma (tiger room),” “Tsuru no ma (crane room),” and “Sakura no ma (cherry room)” after the illustration on fusuma (sliding doors made with thick papers) and all three were collectively referred to as “Shodaibu no Ma” implying a room/hall for middle to lower classes serving the court.

Source:YSV / PIXTA

Shishinden

This is a main building in Kyoto’s Imperial Palace that served as a venue for many important events such as those celebrating enthronement and the attainment of adulthood for Meiji, Taisho and Showa emperors, as well as seasonal banquets. The inner part of the building holds seatings for the emperor and empress.

Three beautiful Japanese-style gardens

There are three beautiful Japanese gardens on the grounds. Oike-niwa exhibits perfectly calculated beauty viewed from any angle. Kemari no Niwa was designed specifically for its namesake, a type of football played by courtiers in ancient times. Gonaitei is adjoined to a tearoom. All three gardens appear as if they came right out of beautiful drawings.

Source:JACK SWING / PIXTA

 Plum Grove: a renowned site for viewing plum blossoms

200 plum trees are planted to make up this grove. Its reputation as a wonderful place to view plum blossoms attracts many visitors. Compared to cherry blossoms, plum blossoms are often considered humbler in appearance and emanate a fresh scent, which makes strolling in or along the grove enjoyable in its own unique way. In addition to red and white plums, there is another rare breed called “As you wish” which bears flowers in multiple colors on a single tree.

Source:Risa / PIXTA

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