Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Early in the morning, after having our breakfast from the Toyoko Inn, we started our journey to the Imperial Palace. We took a one day pass for the Tokyo city travel and get on the train to Tokyo station.

We walked towards the Imperial Palace which can be accessed by a 5-minute walk from the station. Crossing a park covered with various flowering plants and fountains. In 7 minutes we reached the east gardens of the Imperial Palace.

The current Imperial Palace is located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by stone walls. It is the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. The palace buildings and inner gardens are not always open to the public. Only on January 2 (New year) and December 23 (Emperor’s Birthday), visitors are allowed to enter the inner palace grounds and meet the Imperial Family, who make several public appearances on a balcony. The Imperial Palace East Gardens are always open to the public. There are two bridges(Nijubashi) that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds.

The Imperial Palace East Garden is the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defense, the Honmaru (main circle) and the Ninomaru (secondary circle). The main buildings are not remaining today, but the moats, walls, entrance gates and guardhouses are still there. A wide lawn and the foundation of the former castle tower can be found on top of a small hill.

In the place of the former buildings in the Ninomaru (at the foot of the hill), a nice Japanese style garden has been created.From the foundation of the former castle tower, we could see the palace building.

The garden in front of it had so many cherry trees full of flowers. We walked through the garden around the castle which took about two hours.