Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the residence of the Imperial family until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1869, is located in Kyoto Gyoen park. Within the Imperial Palace grounds, which are enclosed by a roofed earthen wall, are the Seiryo-den (Palace Hall) and the Kogosho (Minor Palace) – reminiscent of the dynastic age.
Other than five days during spring and fall when the Imperial Palace is open to the general public, you must apply in advance to receive permission to view the palace.
The Imperial Household Agency, located inside the walled park surrounding the palace, controls entry to the Palace. Permission is usually granted on same-day only for the people joining guided tour held by Agency. To make a reservation for the tour you have to fill out an application form in person and show your passport. Guided tours in English are given at 10am and 2pm from Monday to Friday and at 10am on the third Saturday of the month. Once get permission, you should arrive at meeting point 20 minutes before tour time.