Imperial Palace

Visit the home of japan‘s Imperial family

The Imperial Palace in Tokyo is not only a historic landmark but also the residence and offices of the Emperor of Japan. Tucked away behind moats and thick stone walls, this magnificent palace is a symbol of Japan’s rich history and cultural heritage. For over a century, it has been the home of the Emperor and his family, and it continues to serve as a place of significance for the Japanese people.

The history of the Imperial Palace dates back to 1868 when the capital of Japan was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo after the Meiji Restoration. This relocation marked a significant moment in Japanese history, as it signified the modernization and westernization of the country. The Imperial Palace was also moved to Tokyo during this time, and it has remained there ever since.

The palace itself 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 either station. Alternatively, you can also walk there from Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi exit in just 20 minutes. If you plan on joining the Imperial Palace tour, you can meet your guide at the Kikyomon Gate, which is a 10-minute walk from Nijubashimae Station or Otemachi Station.

The Imperial Palace is a grand complex that consists of several buildings and gardens. While the innermost grounds of the palace are not open to the public, there are still plenty of attractions to see. One of the highlights is the Outer Gardens, where visitors can catch a glimpse of the double Nijubashi bridge, which leads to the stately entrance of the inner palace. The gardens are beautifully landscaped and offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

To fully explore the Imperial Palace, it is recommended to join one of the guided tours. These tours run twice each day, except on Sundays, Mondays, and public holidays. Reservations are highly recommended, and they can be made through the Imperial Household Agency’s website. However, please note that visits and advance applications have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is essential to check the website for the latest information.

During the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to see the Kyuden, or the main palace, as well as the Fujimi-yagura watchtower. These architectural marvels showcase the grandeur and elegance of Japanese design. Although the tours are usually conducted in Japanese, there are apps available in six languages to provide information and commentary during the tour.

If you happen to visit Tokyo during the New Year’s season, make sure to be at the Imperial Palace on January 2. On this special occasion, the palace gates are opened to visitors, allowing them to witness the Imperial family’s New Year’s greeting. It is a rare opportunity to see the inner palace grounds and witness this traditional ceremony.

In conclusion, a visit to the Imperial Palace is a must for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. This iconic landmark offers a glimpse into the lives of Japan’s Imperial family and showcases the country’s rich heritage. From the grandeur of the main palace to the tranquility of the gardens, the Imperial Palace is a testament to Japan’s past and present. So, if you find yourself in Tokyo, don’t miss the chance to explore this historic site and immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese tradition.

Address And Maps Location:

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

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