Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
News
-
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Restaurants
-
Shopping
-
Budget Travel
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kanto - Tokyo - Central Tokyo
Tokyo Imperial Palace 
# 14   of 73 most visited
sights in Tokyo

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Moats and walls surround the imperial palace

The current Imperial Palace (皇居, Kōkyo) is located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo, a short walk from Tokyo Station. It is the residence of Japan's Imperial Family.

Edo Castle used to be the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown, and the country's capital and Imperial Residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. In 1888 construction of a new Imperial Palace was completed. The palace was once destroyed during World War Two, and rebuilt in the same style, afterwards.

From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.

Nijubashi Bridge

The inner grounds of the palace are generally not open to the public. Only on January 2 (New Year's Greeting) and December 23 (Emperor's Birthday), visitors are able to enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family, who make several public appearances on a balcony.

Furthermore, guided tours of the palace grounds are offered during the rest of the year, although no buildings are entered. The tours are held in Japanese, and an English pamphlet and audio guide are provided. The tours must be reserved in advance through the Imperial Household Agency (see links below).

The Imperial Palace East Gardens are open to the public throughout the year except on Mondays, Fridays and special occasions. More information is available on the East Gardens page.

Guided tour through the Imperial Palace grounds

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
The Imperial Palace is a 10 minute walk from Tokyo Station.

Orientation in Tokyo

Advertisement

Hotels and Ryokan
The Tokyo Station area is obviously a very convenient place to stay. Thanks to its central location, it is a convenient base to explore the entire city and offers easy access to/from Narita Airport. As the terminal station of multiple shinkansen lines, it also is the perfect base for long distance day trips. Several four and five star hotels are located adjacent to or in the close vicinity of the station, but low budget options are not available.
Read more in our Tokyo Hotel Guide
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Sakura Hotel Jimbocho
Tokyo Dome, Nippon Budokan, Akihabara, and Imperial Palace are walking distance. Free Wi-Fi, Cafe open 24 hours, big projector screen for watching the games.
Recommended Hotels around Tokyo Station - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi
5-star hotel just a few steps south of Tokyo Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is one of the city's most convenient and comfortable hotels.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Imperial Hotel Tokyo
This leading Japanese 5-star hotel is located a 5 minute walk from Yurakucho Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
By many considered Tokyo's finest hotel.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Marunouchi Hotel Tokyo
A 4-star hotel just across the street from Tokyo Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Shangri-La Hotel
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is the city's most conveniently located 5-star hotel.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
The Peninsula Tokyo
This 5-star hotel is located just a short walk from Yurakucho Station.
Reserve through
Booking

Tours and Packages
Tokyo Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Tokyo and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Imperial Palace:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 1407 users):
82/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 788):
299.  Kankakei Gorge (Shodoshima)   82/100
300.  Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto)   82/100
301.  Engakuji Temple (Kamakura)   82/100
302.  Takao (Kyoto)   82/100
303.  Botanical Garden (Nikko)   82/100
304.  Imperial Palace (Tokyo)   82/100
305.  Imperial East Gardens (Tokyo)   82/100
306.  Hama Rikyu (Tokyo)   82/100
307.  Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama)   82/100
308.  Botanical Garden (Tokyo)   82/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 921):
16.  Gion (Kyoto)   2825
17.  Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)   2758
18.  Nara Park (Nara)   2749
19.  Peace Park (Hiroshima)   2736
20.  Osaka Castle (Osaka)   2725
21.  Imperial Palace (Tokyo)   2682
22.  Todaiji Temple (Nara)   2648
23.  Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)   2549
24.  Ginkakuji (Kyoto)   2472
25.  Nijo Castle (Kyoto)   2345

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Imperial Household Agency
English version of the official website.
Application for Visit
Online application form for a visit to the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Japanese Links
Imperial Household Agency
Official website.
Application for Visit
Online application form for a visit to the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

News and Reports
December 5, 2014
Tokyo Report
by joe
November 27, 2014
Tokyo Autumn Color Report
by scott
November 18, 2014
Tokyo Autumn Color Report
by joe
November 13, 2014
Tokyo Autumn Color Report
by joe
November 7, 2014
Tokyo Autumn Color Report
by joe
June 19, 2014
Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
by raina
April 10, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
April 7, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by scott
More reports...

Related Questions
Visit Tokyo imperial palace
 3 reactions, last updated 97 days ago
Public bath near Imperial Palace (Tokyo)?...
 4 reactions, last updated 359 days ago
Imperial Palace in Tokyo
 3 reactions, last updated 476 days ago
Imperial Palace in Tokyo
 5 reactions, last updated 532 days ago
Building in front of Otemon gate
 2 reactions, last updated 602 days ago
Imperial Palace on Emperor's Day
 3 reactions, last updated 765 days ago
Visit to the Imperial Palace of Tokyo
 4 reactions, last updated 998 days ago
What time to line up on Jan. 2?
 2 reactions, last updated 1087 days ago
Emperor at Tokyo Imperial Palace 2nd...
 1 reaction, last updated 1170 days ago
Tokyo Imperial Palace
 1 reaction, last updated 1643 days ago
Couldn't get into Imperial Palace
 5 reactions, last updated 1845 days ago
Imperial Palace East Garden
 1 reaction, last updated 1939 days ago
Anime Japan 2015 tickets
 1 reaction, last updated 15 hours ago
Overnight lockers in Shinjuku
 2 reactions, last updated 2 days ago
Sushi Resturant in tsukiji fish market
 5 reactions, last updated 2 days ago
Burberry Omotesando
 2 reactions, last updated 7 days ago
Tsukiji Fish Market on Jan 18th
 6 reactions, last updated 10 days ago
Games in Sony Building
 1 reaction, last updated 11 days ago
Is Ameyoko flea market open on 1st Jan 15...
 1 reaction, last updated 11 days ago
Travelling from Narita Airport to Odaiba
 1 reaction, last updated 12 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: January 24, 2014
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - 広告について - advertising