List of Japanese imperial residences

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This is a list of residences occupied by the Japanese Imperial Family, noting the seasons of the year they are traditionally occupied.

Members of the Japanese Imperial Family inhabit a range of residences around Japan. Some are official imperial palaces; others are used as private residences, although they are all owned and maintained by the state. Other imperial palaces are no longer residences (e.g. the Akasaka Palace). Some remain in irregular use for imperial occasions. Some of the Imperial Palaces and villas enjoy legal protection such as the Akasaka Palace which is a National Treasure or the Heijō Palace, which is a Special Historic Site and listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.

The occupied imperial residences are cared for and maintained by the Imperial Household Agency. Former palaces or sites are under the administration of various ministries or local authorities.

Current Imperial Residences by members of the Imperial Family[1][edit]

Residence Location Notes

TIM The Emperor and Empress[edit]

Official[edit]

Tokyo Imperial Palace Tokyo Official Tokyo residence; used also as the private residence. Houses the Three Palace Sanctuaries and the Fukiage Ōmiya Palace, the residence of the late Dowager Empress Kōjun. Certain parts such as the East Gardens and the Kitanomaru Garden are open to the public. Only twice a year, for the emperor's birthday and New Year's is the public allowed to enter the grounds up to the Kyuden, where the imperial family appears on the balcony. The enthronement ceremonies of the current Emperor took place at the Tokyo Imperial Palace in 1990.
Kyoto Imperial Palace Kyoto Technically still the "senior palace" of the monarch; the main building on the palace grounds includes, among other halls, the Shishinden (紫宸殿, Hall for State Ceremonies), Seiryōden (清涼殿, lit. 'cool, refreshing hall'), Kogosho (小御所, Court Room), Ogakumonsho (御学問所, Imperial Study or Library), and a number of residences for the Empress, high-ranking aristocrats and government officials. Enthronement ceremonies to the Chrysanthemum Throne last took place in Kyoto in 1928.

TIH The Crown Prince and Crown Princess[edit]

Official[edit]

Tōgū Palace Tokyo Official Tokyo residence; located in the larger Akasaka Estate where a number of other members of the imperial family reside

TIH The Prince and Princess Akishino[edit]

Official[edit]

Aoyama Detached Palace Tokyo Official Tokyo residence; located in the larger Akasaka Estate

TIH The Prince and Princess Hitachi[edit]

Official[edit]

Higashi Residence Shibuya, Tokyo Official Tokyo residence since December 1976

TIH The Prince and Princess Mikasa[edit]

Official[edit]

Akasaka Estate Minato, Tokyo Official Tokyo residence since November 1970

HIH Princess Tomohito of Mikasa[edit]

Official[edit]

Akasaka Estate Minato, Tokyo Official Tokyo residence since December 1982


HIH The Princess Takamado[edit]

Official[edit]

Akasaka Estate Minato, Tokyo Official Tokyo residence since December 1986

Current Imperial Residences by type of residence[edit]

Residence Location Member(s)

Official[edit]

Tokyo Imperial Palace Tokyo The Emperor and Empress
Akasaka Estate Tokyo The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Prince and Princess Akishino, Prince and Princess Mikasa, Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, Princess Takamado
Higashi Residence Tokyo Prince and Princess Hitachi
Takanawa Residence Tokyo the late Princess Takamatsu, currently unused

Imperial Estates[edit]

The Imperial Stock Farm (Goryo Bokujo) Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture
Momijiyama Imperial Cocoonery Tokyo Imperial Palace Imperial sericulture farm, domain of The Empress, who is personally responsible for the running and ceremonial feeding and harvesting ceremonies for silk production. Part of the silk harvest is donated by her to the Shōsōin repository.[2]
Saitama Imperial Wild Duck Preserve (Saitama Kamoba) Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture
Shinhama Imperial Wild Duck Preserve (Shinhama Kamoba) Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture

Privately used[edit]

Sentō Imperial Palace Kyoto all members
Katsura Imperial Villa Kyoto all members
Shugakuin Imperial Villa Kyoto all members
Nasu Imperial Villa Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture all members
Hayama Imperial Villa Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture all members
Suzaki Imperial Villa Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture all members

Former Imperial residences[edit]

Residence Location Date(s)
Akasaka Palace Minato, Tokyo Official residence of the Crown Prince and his family (1909–1974), now the State Guesthouse (迎賓館 Geihinkan?)
Heian Palace Kyoto Original imperial palace of Heian-kyō (794–1227), completely destroyed by fire and not rebuilt
Fukuhara Palace Hyōgo-ku, Kobe Imperial palace of Fukuhara-kyō (1180), abandoned, destroyed over time and not rebuilt
Nagaoka Palace Mukō, Kyoto Imperial palace of Nagaoka-kyō (784–794), abandoned, destroyed over time and not rebuilt
Heijō Palace Nara Imperial palace of Heijō-kyō (710–784), abandoned and destroyed over time. Partly reconstructed in the late 20th century, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara" since 1998
Shigaraki Palace Kōka, Shiga Imperial palace of ? (745), abandoned and destroyed over time
Naniwa Palace Osaka Imperial palace of Naniwa-kyō (744–745), abandoned and destroyed over time
Kuni Palace Kizugawa, Kyoto Imperial palace of Kuni-kyō (740–744), abandoned and destroyed over time
Fujiwara Palace Kashihara, Nara Imperial palace of Fujiwara-kyō (694–710), abandoned and destroyed over time
Kiyomihara Palace Asuka, Yamato Last imperial palace in Asuka (672-694) before the court moved to Fujiwara-kyō
Okamoto Palace Asuka Imperial palace of Asuka (672)
Shima Palace Asuka Imperial palace of Asuka (672)
Ōmi Palace or Ōtsu Palace Ōtsu, Shiga Imperial Palace of Ōmi-kyō (667–672) before the court moved back to Asuka
Tachibana no Hironiwa Palace Asakura, Fukuoka Imperial Palace of Asakura (661–667) before the court moved to Ōmi-kyō
Later Okamoto Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (656–661) before the court moved to Asakura
Kawara Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (655–656)
Itabuki Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (654–655)
Nagara-Toyosaki Palace Naniwa-kyō Imperial Palace of Naniwa-kyō (645–654) before the court moved back to Asuka
Itabuki Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (643–645)
Kudara Palace Kōryō, Nara Imperial Palace of Koryo (640–642) before the court moved back to Asuka
Umayasaka Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (640)
Tanaka Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (636–640)
Okamoto Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (630–636)
Oharida Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (603–630)
Toyura Palace Asuka Imperial Palace of Asuka (592–603), later rededicated as nunnery Toyura-dera
Takatsu Palace Osaka Imperial Palace of Naniwa-kyō (4th century), founded by Emperor Nintoku. Other palaces also mentioned but not confirmed.

References[edit]