This is where Empress Dowager Eisho actually lived. The interior of the residence was remodeled in a Western style to receive His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII ) of the United Kingdom on the occasion of his State visit to Japan in 1922. Today, their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess stay at this Palace during royal visits.
Upon leaving the Kyoto Omiya Imperial Palace from the side gate of the south garden, the entire view of the North Pond comes into sight. The islet, situated to the east of the pond, adds a depth of perspective to the view as seen from the west, In addition, the top of Higashiyama Mountains, tinted a misty violet hue, can be seen above the trees on the opposite side of the pond, and blends in with the rest of the natural landscape as the surrounding scenery.
This is a teahouse that was a gift presented by the Konoe family in 1884. It has a large round window and a thatch and shingle roof. The teahouse appears to lie in a world of its own, with the tea garden divided by an inner gate, and a trellis separating the tea garden from the Sento Imperial Palace garden. In the tea garden there is a seat with an arbor on the outer side of the inner gate.
It is said that one of the most famous poets of the Heian period (794-1191), Kino Tsurayuki (ca.868-945), lived in this area. The name of this pool originates from Kino's childhood name, " Akokuso". A monument to Kino's memory lies on the bank located at the other side of the stone bridge.
This is a bridge that spans the canal that connects the North Pond and South Pond. In autumn, the maple trees are a riot of dazzling autumnal colors.
There are two islets in the South Pond, offering a clear geometric contrast that results from the differing forms of the monument, bridges, trees, boulders and the teahouse. The bridge, yatsuhashi (zigzag bridge) is covered with a fujidana (wisteria trellis) and it extends from the west shore to the islet. There is a stone
bridge connecting the two islets and there is an arched bridge leading to the east shore. These different styles of bridges also contribute to the visual contrast. There is a waterfall near the bottom of Momijiyama, or Maple Hillock.
This is a teahouse that is located in a north-facing position in the southernmost part of the garden, from which one can enjoy the entire view of the South Pond. The name originates from a poem by well-known Chinese poet Li Bo (701-762).
Li Bo's poem is written on the tablet. The characters in the frame are ones by Wen Cheng-ming (1470-1559) of Ming dynasty China. The eastern garden has hand-washing basins and Korean lanterns that bear the signature "owl".
Looking to the South Pond and Shoreline from the Seikatei
There are 111,000 rather flat and oval stones that are laid out from the shoreline into the pond. It is said that each stone was transported for one sho (about 0.5U.S. gallons) of rice. To the west of the shoreline is a small shrine dedicated to poet Kakinomotono Hitomaro, many of whose works can be found in the famous poetry anthoｌogy the Manyoshu (Ten Thousand Leaves), compiled in the 8th century. The view from the Seikatei looking to the South Pond is one of the most renowned spots in all of the Sento Imperial Palace grounds, as it becomes gloriously abloom with cherry blossoms in spring.