Imperial Palace

To visit the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, you must apply to the Imperial Household Agency in the morning and request permission to join a tour in the afternoon. Twice a year, though, in the spring and in the fall, the palace is open to the public for a couple of days. We were fortunate enough to be in Kyoto on one of the days the palace was open for public viewing.

We had to check the stroller, but that gave Wakana the opportunity to experience the thrill of riding high above everyone on Walt's shoulders.

She also enjoyed showing off her athletic prowess.

I was afraid the palace would be a mob scene, but it was actually not so bad. The crowd moved slowly forward in an orderly fashion through the gates, and past the open rooms lined with beautifully painted screens.

There were also some pretty impressive flower displays.

Most of the buildings looked as if they were kept in premium condition, but for some reason this one did not.

This is my artsy roof juxtaposition shot.

The Imperial Palace garden:

After leaving the palace, we pondered the lunch possibilities that Yoshimi had researched on the internet. We splurged on a cab, enjoyed a delicious soba lunch. and then strolled the streets of Gion.

We climbed up through the shopping street to Kiyomizu-dera as we had done in 2008. These pictures were taken at the top. Wakana is modeling a Hawaiian romper we brought for her.

It's always sad to say goodbye to Taeko and her sisters. We had such a great time with them and Wakana. Hopefully they'll be able to visit us in Hawaii one of these days.