Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

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  • Imadegawa-gomon Gate of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

    Imadegawa-gomon Gate of Kyoto Gyoen

  • Info board about Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

    Info board about Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

  • Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

    Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

  • Entrance of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

    Entrance of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

  • Sakaimachi-gomon Gate of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

    Sakaimachi-gomon Gate of Kyoto Gyoen

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Facts & Figures

Kyoto Gyoen National Garden or Kyoto Imperial Palace Park is a beautiful and spacious place in the centre of Kyoto. The park with over 50000 trees has a rectangular form with a length of 1,3km (north to south) and a width of 700m (east to west). It is a popular place for locals and tourists alike, especially during the cherry blossom season in spring. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto >
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The park includes also the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sento Imperial Palace, the outer nine gates and former houses of court nobles. Approximately 63ha of the area are open for the public. A special permission is needed to enter the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

  • Kyoto Gyoen National Garden:
  • Open - daily, 365 days a year
  • Admission Fee: free
  • Imperial Household Agency Office:
  • Opening Hours - 8:45am to 12:00am and 1:00pm to 5:00pm (Mo - Fr)
  • Guided Tours Kyoto Imperial Palace:
  • Standard tour route (1hr) - 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:30pm, 3:00pm
  • Short tour route (30min) - 11:00am or 3:00pm
  • English Tours (60min) - 10:00am or 2:00pm
  • Closed - National Holidays, most Saturdays, always on Sunday

My tips for local activities

Explore the best parts of my favourite city Kyoto with a local guide. The personalized tour can take between 2 - 8 hours. Check out this page > for more details.


Before this area was turned into a park it was a town with 200 houses for court nobles. Once Kyoto lost its capital status to Tokyo in 1869, the whole area began to decline. Emperor Meiji (1867 – 1912) complained about the state of this property and gave the order for its reconstruction. The Kyoto Gyoen National Garden and Imperial Palace garden you see today is the result of these efforts. In 1949 Kyoto Gyoen was designated as a national garden.

Location Show map

Map of Japan

Kyoto Gyoen National Garden is located in Kamigyo Ward in the center of Kyoto.
Address: Kyoto Gyoen 3, Kamigyo-ku, 602-0881 Kyoto City

How to get to Kyoto Gyoen National Garden?

  • 10min from Kyoto St. to Marutamachi or Imadegawa St. by Karasuma Subway Line

Sightseeing spots at the Kyoto Gyoen


Kyoto Imperial Palace - Kyoto Imperial Palace was home of the Emperor and its family until 1868. Which marks the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. Read more >

Sento Imperial Palace - The secondary palace complex was built in 1630. It became the retirement place for Emperor Go-Mizunoo (1596 – 1680).

Garden of the Former Konoe-tei Residence - You will find this spot in the northwest corner of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden. Enjoy the huge cherry trees, Kanoe Pond and meadows there. It is the perfect place for a relaxing picnic. The residence is long gone, but the garden could be preserved.

Niijima Mansion - It was the home of Joseph Hardy Neesima or Niijima Jo (1843 – 1890) and his wife. He was the founder of the Doshisha University. The two-story wooden building was completed in 1878. It is a beautiful combination of Western and Japanese style architecture. In 1985 the mansion was designated by Kyoto City as a tangible cultural property.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)


Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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I have visited Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
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