Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Outdoor | Avg price: ¥0 | English Available: None (Unknown)
Beautifully landscaped garden in heart of Tokyo
The gardens of the Imperial Garden were, for me, one of those places that impressed me much more than I had expected. The beautifully landscaped gardens are particularly resplendent in Autumn when you can see some reds. Also, the avenue of the public park has gingko trees which are golden in November. The stone gates in quintessential Japanese castle style add to the aesthetics. As do the various water features. Moreover, if you don't have a lot of time it is possible to do a shorter route. However, if time allows walking the full route showcases different scenery and attractions. There is a small museum and several gates to appreciate too.
A dose of tranquility
This is a spot that I've visited a few times, and to be honest is one I'm surprised doesn't get more love from people! One of the best things about visiting here multiple times is that it's different in each season, and it gives you a new appreciation for nature. My personal favorite time of year for a visit is autumn, with the vibrant changing leaves in all their glory. Pop by if you're in the area!
A Sense of Peace
I really like visiting the imperial palace whenever I am in the area. Sure, there is the fact that it is the imperial palace, but for me, it is the rare feeling of being in an empty open field with a clear open sky that is so special here, especially in the middle of central Tokyo. It really is just wide open and it is a great place to bring some snacks and sit on the grass for a picnic. It is also close enough to big stations when you are done and want to go for a meal.
Impressive Edo Castle ruins
For castle fans and Japanese history nerds, this is a must-see spot. The main highlights are the Fujimiyagura tower built in 1659 and the massive gates and stone walls built without mortar. The size of the castle site today is much reduced. The surrounding area has many neighborhoods suffixed with -mon, giving you an impression of how vast the site was. Walking around the castle can take a few hours, and although you can't normally go into the grounds, there is a lot to see and photograph. The Imperial Household Agency website has a reservation system for viewing the Imperial Palace grounds which occupy the castle site. https://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html
Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Within walking distance of Tokyo Station you can find the Imperial Palace. Unfortunately, the palace itself can not be visited and also the area around the palace is only open during two days of the year (for New Year and the Emperor's birthday). However, the eastern garden of the Imperial Palace is open to the public (except Mondays & Fridays). Right at the entrance of the garden, the bags of the visitors are first checked for safty reasons, so you should not be surprised. The area that can be visited is relatively small, but still beautiful. In the heart of the garden is a small pond, which is covered with water lilies and can be crossed over small wooden bridges. Throughout the year many different flowers and plants are blooming in the garden. There are also some remains of the old castle complex and Edo Castle. Especially the old tea houseis very nice, but unfortunately can not be visited from the inside. For a walk, the garden is nice, but you should not expect too much. Also it is very overrun by tourists.