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

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

The Imperial Palace East Gardens (皇居東御苑, Kōkyo Higashi Gyoen) are a part of the inner palace area and are open to the public. They are the former site of Edo Castle's innermost circles of defense, the honmaru ("main circle") and ninomaru ("secondary circle"). None of the main buildings remain today, but the moats, walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses still exist.

Edo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Emperor Meiji also resided there from 1868 to 1888 before moving to the newly constructed Imperial Palace.

The foundation of the former castle tower

A wide lawn and the remaining foundation of the former castle tower can be found on top of the hill, where the castle's innermost buildings once stood. The castle tower was completed in 1638 as the tallest castle tower in Japan's history. But only a few years later in 1657, it was destroyed by citywide fires and has not been rebuilt ever since.

In place of the former buildings in the secondary circle of defense (ninomaru) at the foot of the hill, a nice Japanese style garden has been created.

Ninomaru Japanese garden

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
The Otemon entrance to the East Gardens is a short walk from Otemachi Station on the Chiyoda, Tozai, Marunouchi, Hanzomon and Mita Subway Lines. It can also be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from Tokyo Station.

Orientation in Tokyo

Hours and Fees
Hours:9:00 to 16:30 (until 17:00 from mid April through August; until 16:00 from November through February). Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.
Closed:Mondays, Fridays, New Year (Dec 28 to Jan 3) and some special occasions. If Monday or Friday is a national holiday, the gardens are closed on the following day instead.
Admission:Free

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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
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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.
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Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is one of the city's most convenient and comfortable hotels.
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Imperial Hotel Tokyo
This leading Japanese 5-star hotel is located a 5 minute walk from Yurakucho Station.
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Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
By many considered Tokyo's finest hotel.
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Marunouchi Hotel Tokyo
A 4-star hotel just across the street from Tokyo Station.
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Shangri-La Hotel
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is the city's most conveniently located 5-star hotel.
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The Peninsula Tokyo
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Tours and Packages
Tokyo Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Tokyo and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Imperial East Gardens:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 1185 users):
82/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 783):
297.  Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto)   82/100
298.  Engakuji Temple (Kamakura)   82/100
299.  Hama Rikyu (Tokyo)   82/100
300.  Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
301.  Imperial Palace (Tokyo)   82/100
302.  Imperial East Gardens (Tokyo)   82/100
303.  National Museum (Dazaifu)   82/100
304.  Kongobuji Temple (Mount Koya)   82/100
305.  Botanical Garden (Tokyo)   82/100
306.  Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama)   82/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
23.  Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)   2512
24.  Ginkakuji (Kyoto)   2439
25.  Nijo Castle (Kyoto)   2313
26.  Chinatown (Yokohama)   2259
27.  Minami (Namba) (Osaka)   2209
28.  Imperial East Gardens (Tokyo)   2196
29.  Great Buddha (Kamakura)   2116
30.  Nihonbashi (Tokyo)   2044
31.  Shinagawa (Tokyo)   2004
32.  Kita (Umeda) (Osaka)   1912

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.
Closing Day Calendar
A calendar showing the dates when the East Gardens are closed.

Japanese Links
Imperial Household Agency
Official website.
Closing Day Calendar
A calendar showing the dates when the East Gardens are closed.

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