The Tokyo Imperial Palace is home to the head of state, and is where the Imperial Family lives. It is also the former site of the Edo Castle. Filled with gardens, ancient stone bridges, and museums, the Tokyo Imperial Palace is a beautiful, historical, and important cultural landmark in Japan.
In front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two ancient, stone bridges that lead to the inner palace grounds. The inner palace grounds are not open to the public, except on January 2 and December 23, two days that commemorate the New Year and the Emperor's birthday.
However, the Imperial East Gardens are open to the public, and stand at the foot of the hill where the foundation of the Edo Castle tower still remains. The gardens have a natural pond, with groomed trees and lush greenery.
Review by Michael T, May 2013
Doing what: Tokyo Highlights Afternoon Tour and Sumida River Cruise
My wife and I really enjoyed this tour of Tokyo. The visit to the top of the World Trade Buildsing was really marvellous with a full 360 degree view of Tokyo from 40 floors up! The brief stop at the Imperial Gardens was very enjoyable, with some super views of the outer de moat area of the Imperial Palace. We loved the tour's inclusion of a Shrine and street market where there were lots of tempting Japanese souvenirs.... The Sumida River cruise was a wonderful way to end the tour with spectacular views of the Tokyo waterfront. The guide was a lovely person, highly informative and willing to answer all kinds of questions put to her!
For us, this was a super introduction to Tokyo.
Review by VILMA L, April 2013
Doing what: Tokyo Morning Tour: Meiji Shrine, Senso-ji Temple and Ginza Shopping District
Excellent. We were lucky to be able to walk around the Imperial palace gardens and see the cherries in full bloom. A lovely way to get an idea of the city in a short time.
Review by Moira M, July 2012
Doing what: Tokyo Tower, Tea Ceremony and Sumida River Cruise Day Tour
The tour gave a great overview of Tokyo, and various aspects of Japanese culture. Great views from tower, enjoyed the gardens, imperial palace, river cruise, tea ceremony and absolutely loved the lunch! Our guide did a wonderful job!
The Tokyo Imperial Palace is located in a large park-like area in the Chiyoda ward of central Tokyo. To visit the Tokyo Imperial Palace, it is important to plan a tour in advance since only the museums are available to view without reservations.