Tokyo Imperial Palace

The Tokyo Imperial Palace, located in the heart of Tokyo, is the Japanese Emperor’s main residence. The entire area of the castle and garden complex is about 3.4 million sq meters. This mammoth area includes a palace complex of seven wings, few gardens, various music halls, dining halls and bridges. Most of the temple complex was destroyed by earthquakes, fires and world war bombing. But a lot of it has now been rebuilt into a pleasant landmark surrounded by vast expanses of open spaces. While the general public cannot go inside the castle, certain sections do open up on 2nd January and 23rd December (Emperor’s birthday). There are also castle tours offered year-round, but they need to be booked with the Imperial Household Agency. Even without the tour, you can still walk around and explore the area.

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          (walking from Tokyo station towards the palace)

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                             (the imperial palace complex)

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           (immaculately clean walkways in the palace area)

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                                 (the eastern side parking lot)

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          (skyline overlooking from the palace complex)

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(the ring road around the imperial palace has a biking lane which is a great way to see the complex)

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                          (Seimon Ishibashi Bridge)

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    (Lovely artwork on the path leading to the Seimon Ishibashi bridge)

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  (Water moats were a good way to protect the palace and keep the enemy at bay)

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   (interesting stone structures outside the Imperial Household Agency)

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                         (the main palace hall)

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                (barricades at the entrance of the palace)

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                (plankton like growth in the moat water)

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                            (Nijubashi or Double Bridge)

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         (Clear blue skies and the Tokyo Skyline seen from Palace complex)

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       (Near the entrance on the south eastern side of the complex)

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   (only a king can own vast expanses of space in the middle of downtown Tokyo)

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                           (Imperial Palace Main Hall)

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          (beautiful still reflection of the water from the moats)

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 (Wadakura fountain park – opposite the palace complex – great relaxation)

 (fountain was constructed to commemorate royal wedding)

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                     (Flowerbed at Wadakura park)

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                           (Colourful flowers at Wadakura)

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                           (nearby business district)

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                      (The iconic Tokyo Railway Station)

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       (immaculate streets near the Tokyo station)

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                           (The Tokyo Railway station)

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Items: Tokyo Imperial Palace (official website)

Price: Price to visit Imperial Complex is free, Palace Complex tour is 416 or 700 yen (advance reservation required)

Location: 1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan, 100-8111

Timings: East Garden timings are 9 am to 4:30 pm

Telephone: +81-3-3213-1111

Type: Tourist/History/Cultural

How to get there: Take JR line to Tokyo Station. Once at the station, walk 5 mins west.

Language: Mainly Japanese.

Also visit: Tokyo Station, Nihonbashi Kite Museum.

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