Days in Tokyo – Roaming the Tokyo Imperial Palace (Imperial Palace East Gardens)

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The jacket that I am wearing is also freshly bought from Uniqlo the day before, it’s only $20ish because it is a sale item. Hehe. To get to Imperial Palace, we took the Marunouchi Subway Line from Ikebukuro Station to Otemachi Station. Once exit from the station, turn to the left and it’s just a 3-5 minutes walk to Imperial Palace.

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The current Imperial Palace 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. 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 to 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.

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The inner grounds of the palace are generally not open to the public except on January 2 (New Year’s Greeting) and December 23 (Emperor’s Birthday). So all the pictures above are actually taken in the Imperial Palace East Gardens. πŸ˜€

The Imperial East Gardens 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.

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This is the remaining foundation of the former castle tower, 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 fire and has not been rebuilt ever since.

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