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Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace is situated on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area in the center of Tokyo, surrounded by moats and massive stone walls, a short walk from Tokyo Station.
The address of Tokyo Imperial Palace is 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111
It is Japan’s Imperial Family’s home. Edo Castle was once the residence of the shogun of Tokugawa who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. The shogunate was overthrown in 1868, transferring the capital of the nation and Imperial Residence from Kyoto to Tokyo.
Building a new Imperial Palace was completed in 1888. Throughout World War Two, the palace was once demolished and then restored in the same style.
Visitors can see the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds, from Kokyo Gaien, the wide plaza in front of the Imperial Palace. Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) is the name given to the stone bridge in front because of its appearance. The Nijubashi (Double Bridge) name comes from the fact that the bridge in the back used to be a two-level wooden bridge.
The palace’s inner grounds are normally closed to the public. Visitors can only access the inner palace grounds on January 2 (New Year’s Greeting) and February 23 (Emperor’s Birthday) to see members of the Imperial Family who make several public appearances on a balcony.
Guided tours of the palace grounds are offered during the rest of the year, although no buildings are entered. The tours take about 75 minutes and are held in English and Japanese daily at 10:00 and 13:30 except on Sundays and Mondays.
Adjacent to the inner grounds of the palace are the Imperial Palace East Gardens which are open to the public throughout the year.
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Interesting facts about Tokyo Imperial Palace
Here are some interesting facts about this impressive landmark:
- The Palace is an official residence of the Royal Family of Japan
- Most of the inner grounds of the palace are open only on two special dates, 2nd January and 23rd December.
- Most of the palace was renovated, but some original parts are almost 500 years old.