Kyoto Gosho was open from last Wednesday until Sunday afternoon and congregations of visitors were strictly ushered through the main inner royal courtyard of National Treasure significance. It is arguable that Kyoto Gosho is the most important historical property in Japan as it served as the Royal home and official headquarters of the ruling family from 794AD when Kyoto was first founded as the capital until around 1868 as the Meiji Restoration began.
In addition to the ‘Shishinden’ and other buildings of noteworthy architecture, of particular interest to many are the vast ancient Japanese gardens sprawling over several acres, and the colossal expanses of raked sand which as seen in the photo above covers much of the inner court area. Needless to say, nobody can be permitted to walk over the gardens, especially not over the ‘Shishinden’ courtyard.
On Sunday, there was a demonstration of a sport played by men during the Heian period, an ancient form of hacky-sack called ‘kemari’ ( 蹴鞠 ). A court dance was also demonstrated by ladies in traditional costumes.
Be sure to check it out the next time it opens, probably in early October. If you haven’t been, you really need to see it. It is one of those important places to visit when you have the chance, and I was truly stunned by the throngs of European tourists who were fortunate enough to have the opening coincide with their visit.
Martin Werner Zander, Partner, Smith’s School of English
Owner, Smith’s School in Kotoen
月謝制のスミス英会話 甲東園校 仁川 門戸厄神 逆瀬川