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Writer:Yuta Sakaguchi

Hi, I’m Yuta. I grew up and live in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo. I once lived in Kichijoji, located in the western part of Tokyo. I love walking around a street and taking pictures. On my article I introduce attractions mainly of Tokyo with many wonderful pictures. Please enjoy them!

The Imperial Palace Area with many remains of Edo Castle

January 9, 2015

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Niju-bashi Bridge with stone bridge of the Main Gate and Fushimi Yagura turret

The Imperial Palace is the former Edo Castle. There are many attractions such as the remains of the castle (11 existing gates, 3 existing turrets, moats etc.) and Ninomaru Garden. It is a must-see place in Tokyo.
It was originally the castle of Tokugawa Shogun (the hereditary military dictator of Japan) family and nowadays it is used as the Imperial Palace. The government office of Bakufu (Shogunate government) was also placed in the castle during the Edo period (1603 - 1868). At that time Edo (the former name of Tokyo) was the center of politics because Bakufu in Edo was the effective ruler of Japan, but the capital was Kyoto where the Emperor lived. After the collapse of the Edo Bakufu by the Meiji Restoration, the Emperor Meiji moved to the former Edo castle in Tokyo (Edo was renamed). The central administrative organizations were also placed and Tokyo became the capital in name and reality.
On this article I would like to introduce the Imperial Palace, the outer garden of the Imperial Palace, the East Garden of the Imperial Palace and Kitanomaru Park, which are surrounded by the inner moat of the former Edo Castle.

The area is approximately 1.8 square kilometers. The circumference of the area except for Kitanomaru Park is 5 kilometers and it is popular as a running course. By the way the range of the former Edo Castle is wider than the Imperial Palace Area. It contains Kanda River in the north, Ichigaya in the west, Shinbashi in the south and Sumida Ribver in the east. In Ichigaya the outer moat still remains.

You cannot enter the Imperial Palace usually. If you reserve in advance, you can visit a part of the Imperial Place and see the main palace where State Affairs are carried out, the office building of the Imperial Household Agency and Fujimi Yagura turret (the East Garden of the Imperial Palace) nearby. It is prohibited to go near Gosho, the residence of the Emperor. Inui street in the east of the Imperial Palace was open to the public for 5 days each in the beginning of April and the beginning of December 2014.

The main attractions are located in the outer garden of the Imperial Palace and the East Garden of the Imperial Palace. The remains of the former Edo Castle can be seen such as Sakuradamon Gate, Niju-bashi Bridge, Tatsumi Yagura turret (the above is in the outer garden of the Imperial Palace), Fujimi Yagura turret, Otemon Gate, Hirakawamon Gate, Ninomaru Garden and bansho (guard house) (the above is in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace).

Sakuradamon Gate is the largest gate of the former Edo Castle. Niju-bashi Bridge with stone bridge of the Main Gate and Fushimi Yagura turret is the most famous sightseeing spot in the area.


Tatsumi Yagura turret, Kikyomon Gate and Fujimi Yagura turret


Sakuradamon Gate

The East Garden of the Imperial Palace where the castle tower and Honmaru Palace (the keep of a castle) was once located, is open to the public in the daytime and you can visit there for free. There is no castle tower now and only the foundation remains. Similarly Honmaru Palace was burned down and there is a large square now. Fujimi Yagura turret is the largest turret still existing in the former Edo Castle and replaced the castle tower after it had been burned down. As mentioned above you can see Fujimi Yagura turret nearby if you apply for visit. Otherwise you can see it from a distance or the back of the turret can be seen from The East Garden of the Imperial Palace. Ninomaru Garden, which is a Japanse garden, is also recommended.


Hirakawamon Gate


Hyakunin Bansho (guard house)


Ninomaru Garden

The outer garden of the Imperial Palace and the East Garden of the Imperial Palace are accessible by a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station. So if you stroll around there with Tokyo Station and Marunochi, where Naka Dori Street is located, you can see the traditional, modern and contemporary part of Tokyo together.

The Imperial Place Area is surrounded by moats and there are a lot of green. Along Chidorigafuchi a walkway is built. You can relax walking there. Kitanomaru Park, which is open to the public every time, is also enjoyable to stroll around. Because the park has a rich natural environment such as a lot of green, a stream and a pond, and attractions such as Tayasumon Gate, Nippon Budokan and Crafts Gallery of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. This area is a relaxing place for office workers from nearby buildings.


Chidorigafuchi Moat


Nippon Budokan


A stream in Kitanomaru Park


Crafts Gallery of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo



Link

Inui Street in Imperial Palace
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/321/

The outer garden of the Imperial Palace
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/322/

The East Garden of the Imperial Palace
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/323/

Kitanomaru Park
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/324/

Chidorigafuchi Moat and other moats
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/325/

Summary of Marunouchi
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/326/

Tokyo Station
https://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/327/

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