Sorry for the long hiatus. We are back! For good. : )
We were looking to visit the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and ended up walking through the Imperial East Gardens instead. Little did we realise how long a walk it would be. We later came to realise that the grounds of the Imperial Palace is not open to the public*! But I was glad that we had passed through this beautiful park. If you were to ask me is the Tokyo Imperial East Gardens worth visiting, I’ll say that if you want a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s a great place to be.
*According to Japan-Guide, only on January 2 (New Year’s Greeting) and December 23 (Emperor’s Birthday), visitors are able to enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family, who make several public appearances on a balcony.
According to Japan-Guide.com, the Imperial Palace East Gardens are the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defense, the honmaru (“main circle”) and ninomaru (“secondary circle”). None of the main buildings remain today, but the moats, walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses still exist. The Edo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Emperor Meiji also resided there from 1868 to 1888 before moving to the newly constructed Imperial Palace.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
To be fair, we were quite tired after walking for what seem to be miles and miles, trying to find the Imperial Palace. We could only wish for a dessert shop to appear right in front of us, for us to slurp down a cool matcha latte. But looking back at the pictures, I thought it was quite worth it. To be surrounded by nature in the midst of dazzling skyscrapers, it made me want to look for a place like that in Singapore too.
Is the Tokyo Imperial East Gardens worth visiting?
- Opening hours: 9am – 4pm. Closed on Mondays.
- Admission is free.