We wanted to see the Imperial Palace but a week prior to our trip, I learned that you needed to book an appointment for it. The same goes with the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. To book a tour, you would need to apply in advance with your passport at the Imperial Household Agency Office who organizes the tours. It is located on the northwestern corner of Kyoto Imperial Park. They say reservations are often possible for the same day. The office is open Monday-Friday at 8:45am to 12:00 and 1:00pm to 5pm. You can also make reservations online here. I checked the schedule but the next available appointment was in 2 weeks. So we just decided to see the Imperial Park anyway. We were there on a Saturday at 5pm.
The grounds are really pretty and well kept. It’s also frequented by actual locals who were biking, playing or walking their dog. We even saw a group playing games that looks like a team building activity.
We could only see the walls of the Imperial Palace.