Tokyo Imperial Palace (1/6)
Tokyo Imperial Palace (2/6)
Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens (3/6)
Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens (4/6)
Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens (5/6)
Tokyo Imperial Palace (6/6)


The historic home of the Emperor of Japan


Tokyo Imperial Palace

Free Appointment required

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan and his family. It is located in the former site of Edo Castle in central Tokyo, which used to house the shogunate and the old residence of the shogun during the Edo Period (1603-1867). Consequentially, the palace is surrounded by large moats, huge stone walls and extensive grounds, most of which are now used as public parks.

Being the residence of the Emperor the palace itself is generally closed to the public, except on January 2nd (as new year's celebration) and December 23rd (as the Emperor's birthday), when the Imperial Family even makes an appearance. Free guided tours to the inner grounds are, however, offered throughout the year, but visitors must book it in advance through the Imperial Household Agency. No buildings are entered during the the tours and these are conducted in Japanese, although English audio guides are available.

Imperial Palace East Garden

Free 9:00 - 16:30

The Imperial Palace East Garden, known also as Higashi Gyoen, is the main park of the palace grounds and is open to the public without prior reservations. It occupies the area of the former Honmaru and Ninomaru (first and second defense circles) of Edo Castle and have a total surface of 21 hectares. Aside from the moats and walls, nowadays only the foundations of the main tower remain of the castle.

The East Garden offers a wide variety of vegetation, including a collection of trees with at least one representative from each of Japan's prefectures, and is particularly popular among visitors during Spring for cherry blossom and plum blossom viewing. Visitors are given a token upon entering, which must be returned at the exit for control purposes. The garden is closed on Mondays and Fridays.


Otemachi Station
Chiyoda,Tozai,Hanzomon,Marunouchi,Mita Lines

Tokyo Station
Yamanote,Keihin-Tohoku Lines Railpass


The Tokyo Imperial palace and gardens are located a few steps away from Otemachi Subway Station or in a 10 to 15 minute walk from Tokyo Station.