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Tokyo Imperial Palace

This site was first a shogun residence, then the home for Japan’s emperor. Destroyed in World War II, it was reconstructed to its original splendor.

Tokyo Imperial Palace remains the primary residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. Much like residences for heads of state around the world, the palace buildings and inner gardens are not open to the public. However, twice a year (December 23 and January 2), you can enter the inner palace gardens to see the Imperial Family waving from a balcony.

The ancient name for Tokyo was Edo. From the 1600s to 1867, shoguns ruling Edo occupied this site in central Tokyo, living in Edo Castle. In 1868, when the shogunate was displaced, Japan moved its capital from Kyoto to Tokyo and occupied the Edo Castle site. After fire destroyed much of the complex, they built a new imperial palace in 1888.

Take note of the stone walls and towers and the Nijubashi bridges crossing the moat from outer to inner palace grounds. They are reminiscent of structures on the site hundreds of years ago when moats and ramparts served a critical protective function.

To the east of the residence is the Imperial Palace East Garden, which is open to the public daily, except Mondays and Fridays. The venue offers peaceful green spaces and ponds with a landscaped Japanese garden. Relics from early castle walls are visible. Nearby are the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, the MOMAT Kogeikan Crafts Gallery and the Science Museum.  

Just north of the palace is Kitanomaru Park, a public area that is the site of Nippon Budokan Hall. The Budokan is a world famous martial arts, wrestling and music performance center that has hosted international stars from The Beatles to Taylor Swift. The Yasukuni Shrine is a short walk northwest.

The palace is located in the center of Tokyo on a 1.3-square mile (3.4-square kilometer) site. It is just a few minutes from Tokyo station. Otemachi station is the closest to the East Garden and Kudanshita is closest to Budokan.


Guide to Exploring around Tokyo Imperial Palace


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Tokyo Imperial Palace

See all 3,594 Properties near Tokyo Imperial Palace
The Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Shiodome NT$3,401
The Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Shiodome

The Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Shiodome

1-6-3 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Minato, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ginza Wako Building, Kabuki-za Theatre, and Zojoji Temple. Hibiya Park and Tokyo Tower are also within 2 mi (3 km). Shiodome Station is only a 5-minute walk and Uchisaiwaicho Station is 14 minutes.

    Imperial Hotel NT$8,297
    Imperial Hotel

    Imperial Hotel

    1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Tokyo hotel is located in the historical district, within 2 mi (3 km) of Tokyo Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower. Tokyo Dome and Ueno Park are also within 3 mi (5 km). Hibiya Station is only a 4-minute walk and Uchisaiwaicho Station is 6 minutes.

      The Tokyo Station Hotel NT$10,170
      The Tokyo Station Hotel

      The Tokyo Station Hotel

      1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Marunouchi, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Marunouchi Building and Tokyo International Forum. Tokyo Imperial Palace and Imperial Garden Theatre are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tokyo Station is only a 2-minute walk and Otemachi Station is 6 minutes.

        Tokyu Stay Ginza NT$2,414
        Tokyu Stay Ginza

        Tokyu Stay Ginza

        4-10-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Ginza, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kabuki-za Theatre and Ginza Six. Tokyo International Forum and Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Higashi-ginza Station and Ginza Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          HOTEL MUSSE GINZA MEITETSU NT$2,957
          HOTEL MUSSE GINZA MEITETSU

          HOTEL MUSSE GINZA MEITETSU

          7-12-9 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Ginza, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ginza Six and Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre. Tokyo International Forum and Hibiya Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Higashi-ginza Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tsukijishijo Station is 7 minutes.

            Palace Hotel Tokyo NT$16,053
            Palace Hotel Tokyo

            Palace Hotel Tokyo

            1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Marunouchi, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Wadakura Fountain Park, Museum of the Imperial Collections, and Masakado Kubizuka. Imperial Palace Garden and East Garden are also within 10 minutes. Otemachi Station is 7 minutes by foot and Nijubashimae (Marunouchi) Station is 8 minutes.

              The Peninsula Tokyo NT$17,700
              The Peninsula Tokyo

              The Peninsula Tokyo

              1-8-1 Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Yurakucho, this luxury hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Tokyo Imperial Palace and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Tokyo Tower. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Sensō-ji Temple are also within 6 mi (10 km). Hibiya Station is only a 2-minute walk and Ginza Station is 8 minutes.

                Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower NT$6,084
                Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower

                Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower

                4-1 Kioi-Cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Chiyoda, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Suntory Hall, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and Tokyo Midtown. Nippon Budokan and Yasukuni Shrine are also within 2 mi (3 km). Kojimachi Station is 6 minutes by foot and Akasaka-Mitsuke Station is 8 minutes.