Imperial Palace Outer Gardens

Imperial Palace

Visit the home of japan‘s Imperial family

Tucked away behind moats and thick stone walls, the residence and offices of the Emperor of Japan occupy an enviable spot in central Tokyo. The Imperial Palace, which serves as the official residence of the Emperor, is a symbol of Japan’s rich history and cultural heritage. Steeped in tradition and surrounded by beautiful gardens, the palace is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture.

The Imperial Palace moved to Tokyo in 1868, following the Meiji Restoration. Before that, Kyoto had been the capital of Japan for around 1000 years. However, with the restoration of the imperial rule, the capital was moved to Tokyo, and the Imperial Palace was established as the new residence of the Emperor and his family.

The palace is located in central Tokyo and is easily accessible from Nijubashimae Station or Otemachi Station. Visitors who wish to see the entrance to the palace should head towards the Sakashita-mon Gate, which is a 15-minute walk from Nijubashimae Station or Otemachi Station. For those coming from Tokyo Station, the Marunouchi exit is just a 20-minute walk away.

Guided tours of the palace are available daily at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The tours last approximately 1 hour and provide visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the historic grounds and learn about the imperial history of Japan. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, as the tours can be quite popular.

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The innermost grounds of the palace are generally not open to the public, except for guided tours and special holidays. However, visitors can still catch a glimpse of the palace’s grandeur by visiting the Outer Gardens. Here, you can see the double Nijubashi bridge, which leads to the stately entrance of the inner palace. The gardens are beautifully landscaped and offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo during the winter season, make sure to be at the palace on January 2 for the New Year’s greeting. On this special occasion, the palace gates are opened to visitors who can come in and marvel at the inner palace grounds and witness the Imperial family greeting their subjects. It’s a unique cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed.

During the tour of the palace, visitors will have the opportunity to see the Kyuden, or main palace, and the Fujimi-yagura watchtower. These historic buildings are meticulously maintained and offer a glimpse into the imperial lifestyle. The tour guides provide interesting insights into the history and significance of each building, making the experience educational and enriching.

The Imperial Palace is not only a historic site but also a living symbol of Japan’s imperial history. The Emperor and his family still reside in the palace, and it serves as the official venue for various state functions and ceremonies. The palace grounds are also home to several other important structures, including the Imperial Household Agency and the Imperial Palace East Gardens.

Visiting the Imperial Palace is an opportunity to witness the rich traditions and cultural heritage of Japan. The palace’s architecture, gardens, and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. Whether you join a guided tour or simply explore the Outer Gardens, a visit to the Imperial Palace will leave you with a deeper appreciation for Japan’s imperial legacy.

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In conclusion, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a remarkable testament to Japan’s rich history and cultural heritage. Tucked away behind moats and stone walls, the palace serves as the official residence of the Emperor and his family. With its beautiful gardens, historic buildings, and guided tours, the palace offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Japan’s imperial history. Whether you’re interested in architecture, history, or simply want to experience the grandeur of the palace, a visit to the Imperial Palace is a must when in Tokyo.

Address And Maps Location:

1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to


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