We were actually here the day before when the palace grounds were open to the general public but we didn’t realise that it was only for a couple of hours. We arrived close to 10.30am and were devastated when we were informed by the guards that the gates would be closed in a matter of minutes. The garden was closed on that day as well and we left pretty disappointed (or rather it was just me) that things already weren’t going to plan*.
Access to the palace grounds is normally done by booking a tour well in advance. But every two days of the year – 2nd January and 23rd December (the Emperor’s birthday) – the grounds are open to the public. We were lucky enough to be there on the 23rd December but i guess unlucky enough that i didn’t do my research well.
We went back the next day to explore the East Garden. This is the only part of the palace grounds that is free and doesn’t require a reservation. There wasn’t much to see, it being winter, and it was pretty cloudy and hazy that day so we were quite sceptical on getting decent shots. But i guess it turned out okay since i have an unexplained love for framing my shots with creeping, naked branches.
Embracing the beauty of a snow-less winter.
* I can be quite the perfectionist when it comes to sticking to an itinerary. I have the tendency to feel like the time and effort i took to research and lay out a particular itinerary is wasted when things don’t go according to plan. I know, call me crazy.
Open Tue-Thurs & Sat-Sun, 9am-4pm (Nov-Feb); 9am-4.30pm (Mar-Apr & Sept-Oct); 9am-5pm (May-Aug)