The Kyoto-Gyoen National Garden is an essential part of Kyoto city. It is definitely one of the biggest (if not the biggest) parks in Kyoto. If you look at Kyoto’s map, you’ll notice that a huge rectangular green area that takes up a huge surface of the map and which lies in the middle of it. Even when looking at it from a high point (Daimonji mountain or Kyoto Tower) you can notice a big area covered with beautiful greenery. Kyoto-Gyoen National Garden is comprised of many small shrines and other facilities, however the symbols that reflect its specialty is mainly the Kyoto-Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace) and secondly the Imperial Palace.
Kyoto-Gosho (also known as the Kyoto Imperial Palace), as it can be seen now, was re-built in 1855. It is the former official residence of the Japanese Emperor. Emperors resided in it until 1869, around the time that Tokyo became the capital city of Japan. It lost its role during the Meiji Restoration when Tokyo became the capital of Japan in 1868. Nowadays, it holds occasional ceremonies and it is open to the public.
According to the Imperial household agency website, “Kyoto Imperial Palace is rectangular in shape, with the length of 1300m from north to south and 700m from east to west, covering an area of approximately 110,000 square meters.” The palace is comprised of six gates that anyone can enter either Imadegawa Street or Marutamachi Street.
Besides being such a symbolic feature of Kyoto traditionally and culturally, the Kyoto-Gyoen National Garden is a place that most people will encounter while driving, riding the bicycle or walking around that area. Many people ride their bicycles inside of it as it allows for slight exclusion from the outside city life. Besides the ceremonies and bicycle transportation, it is also used for jogging, Yoga, meditation, relaxation, eating amidst the trees, hanging out with friends etc.
It is a very convenient and soothing place that represents the extra peaceful life within the already peaceful life of Kyoto. So if you happen to be in Kyoto, visit this amazing garden and enjoy the calm and restful life that lies beyond its majestic walls.