needs pre-enrolment on a guided tour
run by the Imperial Household Agency’s staff.
There is an special open week in both spring and autumn
when it isn’t necessary to join an official guided tour.
This is Shishinden (紫宸殿), the hall for official ceremonies
and where the Imperial Throne is placed.
There is a cherry tree on the right and a citrus tree on the left,
you may see the same layout at Heian shrine
which was built as a smaller scale replica of the original Heian Palace.
In front of Shishinden is an open space
of raked pebbles enclosed by a cloister.
The view reminds me of Nara rather than Kyoto.
This garden is located in front of
Kogosho, court room, called Oike-niwa.
This is what I wanted to see more than the structures. Stones, suppose to be a beach in the garden, in the foreground of the picture are smooth and oval shaped like a bars of soap and which are a glossy pitch black in the rain. That’s what I saw in a book and I would have loved to see them like that. It wasn’t the perfect day for me, a bright, sunny and dry day which didn’t show off the rich colours of the garden.
You can’t have everything.
in commemoration of the Emperor’s golden wedding anniversary,
the Empress’ residence and its garden,
not normally open to the public, can be viewed.
It is smaller scale than the Oike-niwa garden,
and it has a cosier atmosphere
with scarlet azalea bushes making it more colourful.