Once Kyoto was the capital of Japan for a long time, and Kyoto residents are still proud of it. Although the capital was tranferred to Tokyo along with Meiji restration (明治維新, the establishment of the new government atfer the downfall of Tokugawa shogunate), we often refer to Kyoto as the place where the emperors resided.
At the time of moving to Tokyo, they say that the emperor said he'll be back to Kyoto soon, and that's why we joke today that the emperor hasn't come back yet. However, in any sence, it's not hard to imagine that the transfer of the capital must have been enormous shock to everybody. Since then, Gosho (御所, the emperor's residence, the imperial palace) became a very important place to us Kyoto residents.
Historywise, the Emperor Kanmu (桓武天皇) established the Heiankyo (平安京) in 794, and the palace was first bulit around the intersection of Senbon and Marutamachi streets, and then transferred to the current location in 1331. In 1869, Meiji restration took place, thus the emperor had to move to Tokyo. Now the Gosho is under the management of the Imperial Household Agency (宮内庁) as one of the first class facility/site of Japan.
This year, Japan had the commencement of the new era called Reiwa (令和) era. Visiting and observing beautiful buildings with siginificant historical impoartance, such as Shishinden (紫宸殿, ceremony ) and Seiryoden (清涼殿), can be a wonderful opportunity to learn the traditional court culture of Japanese. Please try YUMEYAKATA kimono and visit the Gho near by.
5mins. on foot from Subway Imadegawa station
5mins. on foot from Karasuma-Imadegawa, Kyoto city bus
Kyoto Expert Certificate 1st Grade