Asia > Japan > Tokyo

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace is the residence of Japan's Imperial Family. It is located on the former site of Edo Castle. Imperial Palace is a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo.

Tokugawa shogun, who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867, used to seat in Imperial Palace. The shogunate was overthrown in 1868 and the country's capital and Imperial Residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. During World War II, the palace was once destroyed but it was rebuilded later in the same style.

Nijubashi Bridge

(Nijubashi Bridge)

Visitors can view the Nijubashi brodges from Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace. The in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. It is made of stone. The bridge in the back was earlier made of wood with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.

The inner gardens and palace buildings are not open to the public. Visitors are allowed to enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family only on January 2 (New Year's Greeting) and December 23 (Emperor's Birthday). During the rest of the year, guided tours of the palace are offered. The Imperial Palace East Gardens are open to the public throughout the year except on Mondays, Fridays and special occasions.