The Kyoto Imperial Palace, Japanese Kyoto Gosho, was the residence of the Emperor of Japan for most of its history. The original Heiankyo Imperial Palace was built 2 kilometers west of its current location. In general, the Gosho in Kyoto refers to all buildings in the walled park area with an extension of about 1100 × 600 meters. In the narrower sense, Gosho refers to the inner palace complex in the northern half of the site. The surrounding park Gyoen is open to the public 24 hours, the palace complex can be visited by prior appointment.
From the 16th century, the Gyoen was the area where the aristocrats had their homes. With the move of the emperor to Tokyo in 1869, they were demolished. Thus, a huge parking area in the middle of Kyoto was made possible. In 1854 the palace was last destroyed by fire but rebuilt the following year in its present form. In addition to numerous buildings and halls for state affairs, the palace complex houses another small garden.