It’s 9:00am here in Japan and we’re just packing up all our things and getting ready to go on a free guided tour of the Imperial Palace grounds, which is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan and his family. If anyone is planning on visiting Japan and wants to check out the Palace, my advice would be to book a tour well in advance, which you can do on the internet at this website.
The inner gardens are only open to the public 2 times a year; January 2 (New Years Greeting), and December 23 (Emperor’s Birthday), so if you can plan your trip around those dates I would strongly recommend it. Throughout the rest of the year the grounds are closed Mondays and Fridays. The staff at our hotel has been a wonderful help as they told us to take a taxi to the train station and take it to the Tokyo Station which is then a 10 minute walk to the Imperial Palace grounds.
Alright well we’re going to leave the hotel now so I’ll be back to let you know how everything was!
It’s 1:00pm now and we just had our guided tour of the Imperial Palace and a nice noodle lunch. The grounds of the Palace are absolutely amazing and very big. The guided tours are led by the Japanese but English audio and pamphlets are handed out so you can follow along. The Palace is located on the former site of Edo Castle surrounded by beautiful moats and stone walls. The seasonal flowers and well taken care of blossoming trees that cover the grounds are amazing to see in the center of a populated metropolitan city. The Palace itself has been rebuilt a number of times for different reasons, but most recently in 1968 after being destroyed in WW2. The gardens have a variety of fountains and buildings that are for the Imperial household agencies, different types of museums, and art and music halls where you can view beautiful kimonos and Japanese paintings.
Nijubashi Bridge at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
It is said that the Nijubashi Bridge is the most photographed scene in Japan.
That’s everything about the Tokyo Imperial Palace that we can think to tell you about from the tour, but we would definitely recommend anyone to go see the grounds if you are in Japan. We are now leaving Japan en route to Mt. Fuji by the Tomei Express Bus that’s supposed to take around two and a half hours.
We’ll be in touch when we reach Mt.Fuji!