Imperial Palace / 皇居


The fomer site of the Edo Castle, the imperial palace situates in the center of Tokyo.
The history of the Edo castle began in 1457. It is said that Doukan OHTA/大田道灌, built the first Edo Castle in the current Chiyoda-ku. After the battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, opened the shogunate in Edo, ordered the various feudal loads creation of the Edo castle. In 1606, the first donjon base/天守台 was built.
In the Edo period, from 17th century to the middle of 19th century, it was the residence of the TOKUGAWA shoguns and their family, and had been as the center of Japanese military and political. The residences of feudal loads and shogunate vassals were located around the Edo Castle.
After the Meiji Restoration, it was converted to the Imperial Palace in the Meiji first year (1868). At that time, it was called Tokyo Castle, and it came to be called the current Imperial Palace in 1948.
Now today, Emperor and Empress live in there. There is a building of the Imperial Household Agency. Site area is approximately 1.15 million square meters. The outer periphery of the Imperial Palace, including the Outer Garden and East Gardens, is about 5 km. The street around the palace grounds is also very popular as one of the jogging course. East district of the Imperial Palace is open to the public as East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.
Although it is located in the center of Tokyo, their peaceful environment filled with nature is maintained.


Birdview of Imperial Palace

A : Imperial Palace
B : Outer Garden of the Imperial Palace / There is a large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, and you can see the Nijubashi, meaning double bridge, approaching to the entrance of them. There is a bronze statue of Masashige KUSUNOKI, one of famous samurai warriors who overthrew the Kamakura shogunate in the 14th century. People enjoy jogging on the pavements of the plaza where lots of beautiful pine trees are planted.
C : East Gardens of the Imperial Palace / This is located in the east part of the Imperial Palace where main buildings of Edo Castle used to stand. The place was renovated as the Imperial Gardens at the time of construction of the Imperial Palace, and was opened to the public in 1968.
D : Kitanomaru park

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