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Imperial Palace

 The Imperial Palace (Kokyo) is located in the centre of Tokyo where once there was the Edo-jo (castle) in the 17th-19th century home of the Togugawa shogunate. In its time the castle was the largest in the world and the grounds today still occupy some 100 hectares in the centre of the city. Some of the original gates, moats, and stone walls remain in the area but little else.

Most of the buildings were destroyed in bombing raids during WWII but rebuilding was completed in 1968 and is today the residence of the reigning emperor and his family.

The Imperial Palace is closed to the public apart from the Emperor’s birthday (23rd dec) when some of the private gardens are opened up to the public. However the Imperial Palace East Garden (Kokyo Higashi-gyoen) remains open all year round and accessible via the Ote-mon - a 10 minute walk from Niju-bashi - the distinctive bridge across the inner moat which once stood as one of Tokyo’s major landmarks. Spend a few hours to walk around the palaces parks. There are lots of interesting places to visit.

Best views however are to be gaines from visiting either the upper restaurant floors of the Marunouchi Building, the 36th floor of Kasumigaseki Building or Idemitsu Bijutsukan.


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