Reservation & Admission to Kyoto’s Imperial Properties
Visitors no longer have to apply for permission to visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The palace, situated inside the Imperial Palace Park, is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday and you just need to go straight to the main gate for entry. Children are permitted with an accompanying adult.
Permission to visit the Sentō Imperial Palace, Katsura Rikyū and Shūgaku-in Rikyū is granted by the Kunaichō, the Imperial Household Agency, which is inside the Imperial Palace Park. You can book tours in advance at the Imperial Household Agency office or by filling out the application form on its website. You must be over 18 years to enter each property. For afternoon tours, it's also possible to buy tickets on the same day at the properties themselves from 11am. Only a certain number of tickets are issued each day, so it's first-come, first-served. Tours run for 60 minutes and you are required to arrive at least 20 minutes beforehand. All tours are free and are in Japanese with English audio guides available. The exception is Katsura Rikyū, which costs ¥1000 and also offers guided tours in English.