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Guidelines for taking part in the tours of
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 must take part in a Japanese guided tour hosted by the Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office. For foreign visitors, audio guidance (English, French, and Chinese) is available (free of charge). If you wish to take part in the tour, you are requested to sign up for the tour. Please be advised that there is limited availability on each day and the permission (entry ticket) will be provided on a first come first served basis.
Tour time & Maximum number of visitors

 
  • Sento Imperial Palace  9:30  11:00  13:30  15:00 (Duration 60min.)
        Maximum number of visitors; 50 persons per each time.
 
  • Katsura Imperial Villa  9:00   10:00   11:00   13:30   14:30   15:30 (Duration 60min.)
        Maximum number of visitors; 35 persons per each time
 
  • Shugakuin Imperial Villa  9:00   10:00   11:00   13:30   15:00 (Duration 80min.)
        Maximum number of visitors; 50 persons per each time

1. Qualification
 
  • Participant has to be 18 years of age or older.
 
  • Up to four participants may apply at one time.
 
  • Application by a proxy is not accepted.
2. Date of the Tour

The tours are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays throughout a year.
*Closed: Mondays (on the following day if it falls on a public holiday), the year-end and New Year holidays (December 28 - January 4). Any day when imperial court functions are scheduled or other unavoidable circumstances occur.

3. How to apply
Please choose one of the following procedures.
(1)  Advance application in person at the Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office.
 

  1. Applications are accepted from the first day of three months in advance until the day before the tour date, on a first come first served basis.
  2. Office cannot accept the application by phone or e-mail.
  3. You must complete the application form which will be issued at the Office. Full name, passport number, age, gender, and nationality of every member of your party will be required on the form.
  4. Your own original passport or residence card is required.
  5. No application fee. No admission.

The office is open from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays (on the following day if it falls on a public holiday), the year-end and New Year holidays (December 28 - January 4).

 
(2) Advance online application.
 

  1. Visit our website and fill in the form. http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/order/index_EN.html
  2. Online applications are accepted from 5:00 a.m. (local time of Japan) on the first day of three months in advance until four days before the tour date.
    *Due to maintenance of our server, our site is unavailable from 0:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. on the first day of the month.
  3. After your registration is completed, you will get 12 digit application number. And a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you automatically. But please note your spot is not yet secured with this application number and the first confirmation e-mail. You must wait for the result of the lottery selection.
  4. You will receive the result of the lottery selection by E-mail in a few days. The selected applicant will receive 9 digit permit number. With this 9 digit permit number, your spot is secured.

 
(3)  Same day application at Sento, Katsura, or Shugakuin.

The same-day application is accepted only at each Palace or Villa. Application will be closed as soon as tours are filled to capacity.

 

Where to apply
  • Sento Imperial Palace.
  • Katsura Imperial Villa.
  • Shugakuin Imperial Villa.
How to apply
  • From 11:00 AM, entry tickets are distributed on site at each Palace or Villa, on a first-come-first served basis. Application will be closed as soon as tours are filled to capacity.
  • You must complete the application form.
  • Your own passport or foreign registration card is required when receiving the entry ticket and entering the Palace or the Villa.
Available time and the capacity (for the same-day application)

Place Time and capacity for the same-day application
Sento Imperial Palace 13:30 (35persons) 15:00(35persons)
Katsura Imperial Villa 13:30 (20persons) 14:30(20persons) 15:30 (20persons)
Shugakuin Imperial Villa 13:30 (35persons) 15:00(35persons)

For inquiries regarding the above, please contact the following:
Information Desk of Kyoto office of Kyoto Imperial Household Agency
Phone No. 075-211-1215 (8:30-17:15) E-mail kyotosankan-info@kunaicho.go.jp

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