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The large park-like area in Chiyoda ward of Tokyo that spreads up to 3.41 sq. km. is the Tokyo Imperial Palace …

The large park-like area in Chiyoda ward of Tokyo that spreads up to 3.41 sq. km. is the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the primary residence of Japan’s emperor. The location is the former site of Edo Castle which is surrounded by water-filled moats, tree-covered grounds and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo. In 1868, the country’s capital and Imperial Residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. The Imperial Palace was once destroyed during World War 2 and then rebuilt in the same style.

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From the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace which is called Kokyo Gaien, you can see a great view of Nijubashi (Double Bridge), a popular photo spot, which serves as an entrance to the inner palace grounds. Visitors can only enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family on January 2 (New Year’s greeting) and December 23 (Emperor’s Birthday) when they give their public speech in the palace’s balcony.

 

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The Imperial Palace’s outer garden, east garden and Kita-no-maru-koen are all open to the public free of charge except on Mondays and Fridays but you need to make reservations in advance. The viewing of the garden’s seasonal flowers like azaleas and hydrangeas is what makes tourists visit there any time of the year. Aside from that, there is a nearby moat called Chidori-ga-fuchi which is said to have the largest number of people coming to view the cherry blossoms during sakura season in early April.

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Station

Takebashi Station, Otemachi Station, Nijubashi-Mae Station, Tokyo Station

Price

FREE

Open

9:00~17:00

Closed

Monday, Friday