Tours at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1:30pm and 3pm except Saturday afternoons, Sunday, national holidays and New Years(Dec 25-Jan 5)
Added to JGarden:
All visitor's must obtain permission in advance from the Kyoto office of the Imperial Household Agency (located on the grounds of the Gosho).
Built as a retreat for Emperor Gomizuno (1596-1680) and funded by the Tokugawas. The site is enormous and includes Lower, Middle and Upper Villas, each with distinctly different design themes.
Originally, the palace was was composed of an Upper Teahouse (Kami no Ochaya) and a Lower Teahouse (Shimo no Ochaya). The upper tea house is also called Rinuntei and has an amazing view of the large pond. What is now known as the Middle Teahouse (Naka no Ochaya) was originally the old Rinkyûji temple, joined to the palace grounds in the Meiji period (late 19th century).
A Pair of Stones
Two chunks of gray-green stone,
their shapes grotesque and unsightly,
wholly unfit for practical uses --
ordinary people despise them, leave them untouched.
Formed in the time of primal chaos,
they took their place at the mouth of Lake Taihu,
ten thousand ages resting by the lakeshore,
in one morning coming into my hands!
Pole-bearers have brought them to my prefectural office
where I wash and scrub away mud and stains.
The hollows are black, deeply scarred in mist,
crevices green with the rich hue of moss.
Aged dragons coiled to form their feet,
old swords stuck in for the crown,
I suddenly wonder if they didn't plummet from Heaven,
so different from anything in this human realm!
One will do to prop up my lute,
one to be a reservoir for my wine.
The tip of one shoots up several yards,
the other has a hollow, will hold a gallon of liquid!
My five-stringed instrument leaning on the left one,
my single wine cup set on the right,
I'll dip from the hollowed cask and it will never go dry,
though drunkenness long since has toppled me over.
Every person has something he loves,
and things all yearn for a companion.
More and more I fear that gatherings of the young
no longer will welcome a white-haired gentleman.
I turn my head, ask this pair of stones
if they'd consent to keep an old man company.
And though the stones are powerless to speak,
they agree that we three should be friends.