The Imperial Palace Area皇居エリア
Part of the Imperial Palace. Walk through a magnificent park set in the center of Tokyo.
The Imperial Palace, where their Majesties the Emperor and Empress reside, is situated in the center of Tokyo. The palace is surrounded by a water-filled moat and tree-covered grounds - a precious taste of nature within the bustling metropolitan city. Kokyo Gaien (Imperial Palace Outer Garden), Kokyo Higashi Gyoen (Imperial Palace East Garden) and Kita-no-maru-koen Park are all open to the public free of charge. If you wish to visit the area around the palace itself, you need to make reservations in advance. Reservations may be made over the Internet.
A popular photo spot is located in front of the beautiful Niju-bashi Bridge that stretches over the moat in the outer gardens near Tokyo Station. In the vast Imperial Palace East Garden stands a stone wall that has been there since the time when the Imperial Palace was known as Edo Castle, a place where samurai warriors lived from the 17th to 19th centuries. A great favorite among tourists is the viewing of the garden's seasonal flowers, such as azaleas and hydrangeas. In the Sannomaru-Shozo-kan (Museum of the Imperial Collections) where Emperor Hirohito's art collection is exhibited, you will see beautiful kimonos and Japanese paintings. In Kita-no-maru-koen Park, on the north side, is the Nippon Budo-kan, famous for concerts by foreign artists, the Science Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art.
The moat situated near this park is called Chidori-ga-fuchi, and it is a classic spot for viewing the glorious cherry blossoms. This is the area in Tokyo that boasts of having the largest number of people coming to view the cherry blossoms during the beginning of April. The National Theater, which presents Japanese classical performing arts such as Kabuki and Noh plays, and Kyogen (traditional short comedies), is within easy walking distance from Chidori-ga-fuchi.
From Narita :
[Rail] 1h from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station by JR Narita Express Line.
From Osaka :
[Air] 1h from Itami or 1h 10 min from Kansai International Airport to Haneda Airport.
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi). A 15-minute walk from Tokyo Station, or a 5-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Otemachi Station.