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The Kyoto Imperial Palace had been the residence of successive emperors until the 19th century.

When Japan's capital was moved to Kyoto in 794, the Kyoto Imperial Palace was built 1.7 kilometers west of the current location. The Kyoto Imperial Palace was moved to the current location in 1337, and since then, successive emperors, empresses and their major family members had lived here to conduct official events and ceremonies until Emperor Meiji moved to Tokyo in 1869. The Kyoto Imperial Palace was continuously expanded and maintained by successive samurai governments, and it became almost the current form around the end of the 17th century. Even after Edo, present Tokyo, became de facto capital of Japan early in the 17th century, the Tokugawa samurai administration rebuilt and repaired all the buildings whenever they needed, thus most of the current buildings on the grounds were rebuilt by one of the Tokugawa shoguns in 1855. On the rectangular grounds of 250 meters from east to west and 450 meters from north to south, surrounded by a wall, there stand many buildings such as the Shishinden Hall where the most important official events were held, the Seiryoden Hall where regular political affairs were held and the Otsunegoten Palace which was the daily residence of the successive emperors. The first photo is of the Shishinden Hall, which is an architectural style from around the 10th century called Shinden-zukuri having only pillars and no walls inside.

The second photo shows the Japanese garden in front of Otsunegoten Palace. Otsunegoten Palace is the largest building of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and its architectural structure is close to the current Japanese-style architecture called Shoin-zukuri. Successive emperors in the past must have spent their days here appreciating this garden.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。




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