Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

A historic structure that preserves the form of the Heian imperial palace

When Emperor Kanmu (737–806) moved the capital to Heiankyo in 794, the imperial palace was located about 2 kilometers west of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden. The present Kyoto Imperial Palace is on the site of the Tsuchimikado Higashi no Toin-dono Palace, one of the temporary imperial palaces where the emperor resided at times such as after the imperial palace was destroyed by fire. The residence served as the permanent imperial palace after Emperor Kogon (1313–1364) ascended the throne in 1331.

In 1392, the Northern and Southern Dynasties united, and the Imperial Palace, which had served as the residence of the emperor of the Northern Dynasty, became the main seat of the emperor in both name and reality for about 500 years until the Meiji era (1868–1912). The building was repeatedly destroyed by fire during that time. The current building was reconstructed in 1855 to resemble the imperial palace in the Heian period (794–1185).