The Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace © Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO

Sakuradamon gate

Kokyo (The Imperial Palace) and Gaien (Outer Garden)

Kokyo or the Imperial Palace with and it's grounds are located on the site of the former residential palace of the Tokugawa Shoguns of the Edo period (1603 to 1867). Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Emperor Meiji moved to Tokyo from Kyoto, which had been the imperial capital for more than a thousand years. Since then, the Imperial Residence is used, where their Majesty the Emperor and Empress reside currently. At the Imperial Palace various ceremonies and functions are held. The building also comprises the Imperial Household Agency Building, the Momijiyama Imperial Cocoonery and etc. all on the grounds. Fushimi-yagura Turret and other buildings remain of the Edo Castle and are located on the grounds. A tour of the Imperial Palace is held two times a day, at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. If you wish to join the tour, you need to make a reservation in advance to the Imperial Household Agency directly, either via phone call, mail, or the Internet. There are no tours on weekends, holidays, as well as July 21st to August 31st and December 28th to January 4th. Tours are free of charge. The Kokyo Higashigyoen (Imperial Palace East Garden) and the Kokyo Gaien (Imperial Palace Outer Garden) are open to the public free of charge. In the Imperial palace's east garden you will fin Tokagakudo Concert Hall, the concert hall constructed to commemorate the Empress Kojun's sixtieth birthday, and the Sannomaru-Shozo-kan (Museum of the Imperial Collections) where pictures, calligraphy and art objects handed down the Imperial Family are exhibited. Kokyo Higashigyoen is closed on Mondays, Fridays as well as from December 28th to January 3rd. The opening hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from March 1st to April 14th and September 1st to October 31st, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from April 15 to August 31st, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on November 1st to the end of February. The most popular photo spot here is Nijubashi (Double Bridge). Many tourists visit to see Nijuubashi with the Fushimi-yagura Turret in the background. Other popular spots are Sakuradamon gate, where the Sakuradamon-no-hen (the incident outside the Sakuradamon) took place in 1860, and Otemon Gate, the main gate of the Edo Castle.


The closest railway stations are Yurakucho Station of the JR East, Nijubashi-mae Station on the Chiyoda line, Otemachi Station on the Mita line, and Takebashi Station on the Tozai line of Tokyo Metro. If you go by car, use the Nishiginza Junction of the Shuto Expressway or the Tokyo Expressway. There are two toll parking lots at the Imperial Palace.

Image Gallery: The Imperial Palace

Description: The Imperial Palace

Sights The Imperial Palace (皇居)
Address 1-1, Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone / Fax Phone: 03-3213-1111
Duration 2Hour(s)
Closed dates Saturday Sunday Public holidays Specific dates NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY
Admission Fee Free admission
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: The Imperial Palace