The Kyoto Imperial Palace is the former ruling palace of the Emperor of Japan. The Emperors have since resided at the Tokyo Imperial Palace after the Meiji Restoration in 1869, and the preservation of the Kyoto Imperial Palace was ordered in 1877. Today, the grounds are open to the public, and the Imperial Household Agency hosts public tours of the buildings several times a day.
The Kyoto Imperial Palace is the latest of the imperial palaces built at or near its site in the northeastern part of the old capital of Kyoto after the abandonment of the larger original Heian Palace that was located to the west of the current palace during the Heian Period. The Palace lost much of its function at the time of the Meiji Restoration, when the capital functions were moved to Tokyo in 1869. However, Emperor Taishō and Shōwa still had their enthronement ceremonies at the palace.
The Palace is situated in the Kyōto-gyoen, a large rectangular enclosure of 1,300 meters by 700 meters which also contains the Sentō Imperial Palace gardens. Most of Kyōto Gyoen is now a park open to the public.