January 20, 2014

Beauty on Earth : Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto Omiya Imperial Palace, Sento Imperial Palace - Kyoto, Japan

Warning : Lots of beautiful pictures ahead.

On my last trip to Japan, Rockstar and I managed to visit Kyoto and a visit to Kyoto is not complete without visiting the Imperial Palace. It was so beautiful!!!!! One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The weather was perfect. We did get caught in a couple of light drizzle but ducking into small shops bursting to the brim with all sort of delectable knick-knacks were a great way to pass time. 

We entered the grounds of the Imperial Palace via the south east gate and stroll through the outer public garden before reaching the palaces. 

South East Entrance

A beautiful apple green coloured tree.

One of the many beautiful walkways in the park

An old gnarled tree near the office

A tiny gate hidden along a small walkway that we spotted. Didn't managed to explore as we were short on time :(

Sunlight shining but the forest below remind hidden from its rays

The wide pathway right in the middle of the garden

Even though lots of website says that we will need to reserve our visition slot at least 3 months in advance (which we did not), we still managed to get slots. Thank God for that. We just walked right up to the office, located on the north west corner of the garden and decided on which slots we wanted. 

We visited the Kyoto Imperial Place early the next morning. Sadly, I could not find  any of the pictures I took there. Not sure what happened to them :(

That same afternoon, we visited the The Kyoto Omiya Palace and Sento Imperial Palace . It's located in the same area. The Kyoto Omiya Palace is build for the empress dowager to live in and the Sento Imperial Palace is the garden adjourning to the Kyoto Omiya Palace. The structure were destroyed by blaze and were never rebuild. What remains was only 2 tea-houses located in the garden. This tour only came in Japanese but thankfully we were provided with English audio guide free. 

The Kyoto Omiya Palace carriage house. It's the entrance where guest were dropped off from their carriages. 

Closer look at the Kyoto Omiya Palace roof

First glimpse of the Sento Imperial Palace. What a beautiful serene place!

Trees changing colours. Autumn is almost here. 

Sento Imperial Garden is a national heritage and we were not allowed to stray off the path. 

A bridge hidden by the foliage

One of the number of bridges we cross. They all had different names to signify different meanings. 


Stayed behind the group so that I could take more photos of this beautiful garden. 

Ducks 'duh!'

The wisteria trellis covered bridge right in the middle of the garden

I think that is the 'Bridge with Eight Stones' or something like that

Yet another bridge :)

The one and only tiny waterfall in the garden

The stone covered ocean beach. The story behind is that the stones were carried from afar and each person/village that carried a stone to this garden were paid with 1 bag of rice. The beach is called the '1000 bag of rice beach' or something like that. 

A far end look at the south pond, the ocean shore and the wisteria trellis covered bridge

A macro shot of the tiny mosses covering almost the entire grounds. They take great care in maintaining the growth of the moss as its a national heritage/

Far end of the pond opposite the ocean shore. Such beautiful colours!
We had to leave when the tour completed. None was allowed to stay in the garden. As we walked out, Rockstar and I were awe to silence. Just playing images in our mind. Thank God for camera to capture the beauty of the gardens although I got to say that what I captured were just mere representation of the actual beauty. 

A structure resting quietly beside a pond in the public garden area

Homeward Hotel bound

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