The Charm of the Imperial Palace
As you make your way from Tokyo Station to Marunouchi, you will quickly notice that the area is occupied with tall office buildings. Neighboring this building-dense area is the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Palace’s surroundings are enveloped in lush greenery and is almost a parallel universe. It is located on the same site where the Tokugawa shogunate’s Edo Castle was back in the Edo Era. The entire area is over a million square meters and the palace is encircled with a moat with a plentiful water supply. Regardless of the season, the greenery is consistently remarkable. Spring, when the cherry blossoms begin to bloom in the gardens of the outer moat, is the season when many visitors are present. The beautiful environment is loved by many people, and the abundant greenery surrounding the palace has made it a significantly popular route for joggers. As you walk through the grounds of the Imperial Palace, you forget that you are in Tokyo and this is likely for its popularity amongst Japanese and foreign sightseers alike.
Imperial Palace Guided Tour
Although many choose to visit the outer areas of the Imperial Palace, you can also participate in a guided visit of the inside of the palace. The palace has 8 different entrances and out of these, visitors have the chance to visit the ‘Chinese bellflower’ gate should they wish to. The Imperial Palace tour lasts roughly around one hour and includes visits to buildings that the general public does not usually have access to. To take in a view of the palace from a different perspective, this tour is highly recommended. One can register to participate in this tour on this website and in a sequential order, you should fill out the form before completing the registration.
Those who register should take note that these tours are not open on weekends, public holidays and the New Year’s holidays. Furthermore, the online registration must be done 4 days in advance of the visit and that once registration is completed, changes in the number of participants is not permitted. Once you have completed the online registration, proof of registration will be sent to your e-mail address and can be printed out. This document, in addition to one piece of self-identification, should be brought with you on the day of the tour. During this leisurely 2km tour, you will learn about the history of the buildings and Japanese culture. Depending on the season, changes in the greenery entirely alter the overall atmosphere of the palace, and all throughout the year, it is the ideal spot to find some time to relax, a place that might be difficult to find in Tokyo.