Imperial Palace Outer Gardens

A tranquil ring of nature and moats around the royal palace

The Kokyo Gaien National Garden is a place of serenity and beauty, a tranquil ring of nature that surrounds the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. This expansive garden is a testament to japan‘s rich history and cultural heritage, with its knotty black pine trees, imposing statue of samurai warrior Kusunoki Masashige, and stunning views of the famous Nijubashi Bridge.

One of the highlights of the garden is the bronze statue of Kusunoki Masashige, a famous samurai known for his unwavering loyalty to Emperor Go-Daigo. The statue stands tall and proud, a symbol of bravery and honor. It serves as a reminder of Japan’s feudal past and the values that were held dear by its warriors.

The garden is also home to around 2,000 pine trees, which add a sense of elegance and tranquility to the surroundings. These trees are meticulously cared for, with their branches trimmed and shaped to perfection. Walking among them is like stepping into a different world, a world where time stands still and nature reigns supreme.

Another notable feature of the garden is the Wadakura Fountain Park, a place of respite and celebration. The park is adorned with fountains and a waterfall that were built to commemorate weddings. The cascading water and serene atmosphere make it a popular spot for visitors to relax and take in the beauty of their surroundings.

Getting to the Kokyo Gaien National Garden is relatively easy, thanks to its convenient location. The closest train station is Nijubashimae Station, which is just a five-minute walk away from the most famous sights in the garden. Alternatively, visitors can choose to walk from Hibiya Station, which takes approximately 10 minutes, or from Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi exit, which takes about 15 minutes.

Upon entering the garden, visitors are greeted by the Garden Plaza, a spacious area that serves as a gateway to the other attractions within the premises. From here, one can enjoy a perfect view of the Nijubashi double bridge, with the white Fushimi-yagura watchtower in the background. This picturesque scene is a favorite among photographers and tourists alike.

As visitors explore further into the garden, they will come across the Kitanomaru Garden, a vast area that encompasses the Imperial Palace perimeter’s 12 moats. The garden offers a glimpse into Japan’s imperial history, with several gates dating back to the Edo period scattered throughout the grounds. One of the most impressive gates is Sakurada-mon, the largest of the remaining gates of what was once Edo Castle. Its grandeur and architectural beauty are a testament to the craftsmanship of the time.

While wandering through the garden, visitors should not miss the opportunity to admire the equestrian statue of Kusunoki Masashige. This 14th-century samurai is a legendary figure in Japanese history, known for his loyalty and bravery. The statue serves as a reminder of the country’s warrior past and pays homage to those who fought for their beliefs.

The garden’s lush greenery and well-manicured pine trees provide a stark contrast to the modern skyscrapers that dot the Tokyo skyline. It is a reminder of the harmonious coexistence of nature and urban development, a testament to Japan’s ability to preserve its cultural heritage while embracing progress.

One of the unique features of the garden is the Wadakura Fountain Park, which offers a modern touch amidst the ancient walls. The park features a series of fountains and a waterfall that were built to celebrate the weddings of Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko in 1961, and Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in 1995. The flowing water and soothing sounds create a peaceful atmosphere, inviting visitors to sit and reflect on the beauty of the surroundings.

In conclusion, the Kokyo Gaien National Garden is a place of tranquility and beauty, a haven of nature that surrounds the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. With its stunning views, historical landmarks, and serene atmosphere, it offers a unique glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Whether visitors are seeking a moment of peace and reflection or simply want to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, this garden is a must-visit destination.

Address And Maps Location:

Kokyogaien, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to

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