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Application Guidelines for Tours of Visiting
Sento Imperial Palace, Katsura Imperial Villa and Shugakuin Imperial Villa
(Free of Charge)

Individuals wishing to visit Sento Imperial Palace, Katsura Imperial Villa and Shugakuin Imperial Villa should apply for permission in accordance with the following guidelines (Separate application guidelines apply to visits to Kyoto Imperial Palace. Japanese citizens must use a different application process.):

1. Qualification
  • Anyone 18 years of age or older
  • Groups of up to four individuals
2. Date of the Tour

The tours are generally conducted on every day except the following days:

(1)  Saturdays, Sundays, and National Holidays, with the following exceptions:
• Tours are available on Saturdays in March, April, May, October and November (including Saturdays that are also holidays)
• Tours are available on the third Saturday of each month (even if that day is also a holiday)
(2)  From December 28 to January 4 of new year
(3)  Any day when Imperial Court functions are scheduled or other unavoidable circumstances occur.
3. Applications
To join the tour, please choose one of the following ways for application.
In case of full booking, your application will not be accepted.

(1)  Applying in person

Please bring your passport or Alien Registration Card to the counter in the Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office.
For same-day applications, only one Japanese individual is permitted as an interpreter (this individual counts toward the group limit of four).
[Period to receive your application]
From the first day of three months before the tour date up to the day of your visit.

The office is open from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays (closed on Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays, and days from December 29 to January 3).

(2) Applying by Internet
Website address: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english
  Visit our above-mentioned website and fill in the required information. Upon completion of the application, you will receive the results of the lottery selection process by email.
[Period to receive your application]
From 5:00 a.m. on the first day of three months before the tour date up to four days before the tour date.
*Due to maintenance of our server, page for the application is unavailable from 0:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. daily.
4. Others
(1) Applications through a travel agent or related industries are not accepted.
(2) Once an application has been accepted, no changes can be made.
(3) Tour time, frequency and tour routes are subject to change or cancellation due to Imperial Court functions or other unavoidable circumstances.
(4) Further information is available from the office below-mentioned.

        Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office
        3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto     602-8611     JAPAN
        TEL: +81-75-211-1215

Updated on September 1, 2006.
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