The Kyoto Imperial Palace and it's park are the heart of Kyoto.
The Imperial Palace recalls Kyoto's proud hetitage as capital of the country and seat of the imperial court for over 1,000 years. We visited the Palace as part of a guided tour. We saw beautiful entrance gates, ceremonial halls and a pond garden. We were not allowed inside any building, though.
The park is very large and a favorite spot for walking, bike riding and dog walking.The grounds were beautifully manicured and the stones raked, but the park was subdued in it's drab winter coat. Sagging limbs were propped up with poles, sometimes very long ones! (see photo)
However spring is only weeks away and a few early fruit trees were blooming (peach/plum?). Japanese walkers and bikers stopped to admire the brave, early bloomers and gathered excitedly under the boughs, taking iPhone pictures.
I was approached by a man who learned English in Hawaii and wished to say "Hi" and ask where I was from. I said, "The United States, from Wyoming", and he said, "That's a very famous place." No argument there!