"Imperial Palace" Imperial Palace(Kokyo Gaien National Garden) Tip by sunnywong


The Imperial Palace is the heart and soul of Tokyo. Built on the very spot where Edo Castle used to stand during the days of the Tokugawa shogunate, it became the imperial home at its completion in 1888. Destroyed during air raids in 1945, the palace was rebuilt in 1968 using the principles of traditional Japanese architecture. But don't expect to get a good look at it; most of the palace grounds are off-limits to the public, with the exception of 2 days a year when the royal family makes an appearance before the throngs: New Year's Day and on the Emperor's birthday (Dec 23). You'll have to console yourself with a camera shot of the palace from the southeast side of Nijubashi Bridge, with the moat and the palace turrets showing above the trees. The wide moat, lined with cherry trees, is especially beautiful in the spring. You might even want to spend an hour strolling the 4km (3 miles) around the palace and moat.

But the most important thing to do while in the vicinity of the palace is to visit its Higashi Gyoen (East Garden), where you'll find what's left of the central keep of old Edo Castle, the stone foundation.

Address: Marunouchi district
Directions: Subway Station: Nijubashi-mae (1 min.) or Hibiya (5 min.)
Phone: +81 3-3213-1111
Website: http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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