Imperial Palace Garden

The new Imperial Palace was completed in 1888. The emperor moved here from a temporary residence in Akasaka.

It was officially named "Kyujo" (the Palace Castle) from 1888 to 1948.

In 1948 The Kyujo (popularly called the Meiji Palace) was badly damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and was lost to fire during air raids in World War Ⅱ in 1945.

However it was rebuilt in the same style afterwards. The name of the castle was formally changed to "Kokyo" (the Imperial Palace) in 1948.

The Imperial Palace Outer Garden once hosted the residences of provincial feudal lords. Today it offers a spacious plaza and cultivated lawn surrounded with numerous beautiful black Pine trees.

Kokyo-Gaien used to be part of the Imperial Palace Grounds and was opened to the general public as National Garden in 1949.

The Imperial Palace Outer Garden, is a general term for three sections.

(1) The Kokyo-Gaien area located directly in the front plaza of the Imperial Palace.

(2) The Kitanomaru Garden area located north of the Imperial Palace.

(3) The Peripheral area of the Imperial Palace along the 12 scenic moats that surround the Kokyo-Gaien, the Kitanomaru Garden and the Fukiage Gardens.

There are about five-kilometers of moats around the Imperial Palace, making it a popular spot for running while enjoying the great views of the palace surrounded by nature. The remaining stone walls, water-filled moats and castle gates are Important Cultural Assets of Japan and all are designated as Special Historic Relics.

The Nijubashi forms the main entrance leading to the Imperial Palace, It has long been regarded as a symbol of the Imperial Palace. There are actually two separate bridges that connect the Inner Garden of the Imperial Palace with its Outer Garden. One is the "Stone Bridge of the Main Gate" in the foreground. The other is the "Steel Bridge of the Main Gate" in the background.

The Seimon-Tetsubashi was called the Nishinomaru-Gejo-Bashi in the Edo period. The original bridge was built of wood in 1614 by Tokugawa Hidetada, the second shogun. It was a two-tiered wooden structure, but was replaced with a steel bridge during the Meiji era in 1888. The present steel bridge was reconstructed in 1964.

When visitors stand in front of, or at the corner of the Nijubashi moat, they can see the two separate bridges in line. These two separate bridges (the stone and steel bridge) appear to look a single two-storied bridge. Therefore in the Meiji era, people mistakenly began to call it the "Nijubashi." 
Nijubashi Google map

Imperial Palace Garden Google map
Imperial Palace Garden Address :
1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-8111
TEL : 03-3213-1111

5-minute walk from subway Each Line Otemachi Station. (Exit C13a)

Admission is Free

Opening hours:
From March 1 to April 14
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (entry up to 4:00 p.m.)
From April 15 to the end of August
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (entry up to 4:30 p.m.)
From September 1 to the end of October
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (entry up to 4:00 p.m.)
From November 1 to the end of February
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (entry up to 3:30 p.m.)

Imperial Palace Opening hours

The Garden is closed on the following days and occasions.

Every Monday and Friday (open on National Holiday except the Emperor's Birthday, December 23)
In the event that a National Holiday falls on a Monday, the Garden will be closed on the Tuesday immediately following the National Holiday.
From December 28 to January 3
In circumstances where it is deemed necessary to close the Garden due to Imperial Court functions or other occasions.