Sentō Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace & Around

The Sentō Gosho is the second imperial property located within the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park (the other one is the Imperial Palace itself). The structures are not particularly grand, but the gardens, laid out in 1630 by renowned landscape designer Enshū Kobori, are excellent. Admission is by one-hour tour only (in Japanese; English audio guides are free). You must be over 18 years old and bring your passport. Your ticket can be printed or shown on a smartphone.

The palace was originally constructed in 1630 during the reign of Emperor Go-Mizunō as a residence for retired emperors. It was repeatedly destroyed by fire and reconstructed; and continued to serve its purpose until a final blaze in 1854, after which it was never rebuilt. Today only two original structures, the Seika-tei and Yūshin-tei teahouses, remain.

You can book tickets in advance at the Imperial Household Agency office or online. Same-day tickets (for afternoon tours only) go on sale at the palace from 11am and are on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is sold.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Imperial Palace & Around attractions

1. Kyoto State Guest House

0.19 MILES

Built in 2005 to welcome foreign dignitaries, the Kyoto State Guest House is not a must-see sight, unless you have a real interest in architecture…

2. Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

0.19 MILES

The Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) and Sentō Imperial Palace (Sentō Gosho) are surrounded by the spacious Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, which is…

3. Kyoto Imperial Palace

0.21 MILES

The Kyoto Imperial Palace, known as the Gosho in Japanese, is a walled complex that sits in the middle of the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park. While no longer…

4. Raku Museum


Hidden in a residential area in the Nishijin district, this fine museum is dedicated to the art of Raku pottery, a technique involving hand building and…

5. Kyoto City Hall

0.76 MILES

Built in 1927, this imposing building takes up one block on the corner of Kawaramachi-dōri and Oike-dōri.

6. Kyoto International Manga Museum

0.83 MILES

Located in an old elementary school building, this museum is the perfect introduction to the art of manga (Japanese comics). It has 300,000 manga in its…

7. Nishijin Textile Center

0.88 MILES

In the heart of the Nishijin textile district, this is worth a peek before starting a walk around the area. There are displays of completed fabrics and…

8. Kaleidoscope Museum of Kyoto

0.89 MILES

This one-room museum is filled with unexpected wonders in a wide variety of kaleidoscopes. Not sure who will enjoy this more, children or the adults…