Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto has had an imperial palace for over 1,000 years, though not on the same site.  The current palace has been rebuilt 10 times due to fire and these buildings date back to 1855 or so.  This is a small part of the outside wall, with lovely tree.

The Palace has many gates, each with a different purpose - this is a rarely used one, I believe for the Emperor's family

A more commonly used gate for vistors

A state visit gate for use by Presidents and Kings, accompanied by the Emperor

A brand new entrance for a new building, not yet finished.  Beautiful.

Speaking of gates, it's always nice to have gold doors.

The entry gate to the coronation area - all Japanese Emperors have been crowned here except the current Emperor - his coronation was so large and had so many important foreign visitors that it had to be held in Tokyo, which is unfortunate, as it breaks 1,000 years of tradition.

The actual coronation stage.

What fun is a palace in Japan without lovely Japanese Gardnes ?? 
This is my favorite garden picture - I want one of these at my house !

Bridge closeup.

That was the "public" or regular gardens, but the Emperor also had a smaller private garden.

Inside the palace are beautiful rooms with elaborately painted walls - most of which are nature scenes.

Another interior view - walls and doors were usually painted in interesting scenes that lasted hundreds of years.

A pretty picture of a palace roof, trees, and the sky.

Roof detail showing blocks that hold the roof up !

A close up of one of the prettiest trees of the trip.

Another colorful view of nature's beauty.


More leaves, this time in red.

A stylized view