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Imperial Palace

Top Attractions in Japan 974

Imperial Palace

Located in the center of Tokyo in the Chiyoda district, the Imperial Palace stands out as a unique ancient architecture among the urban skyscrapers. In 1868, Japan's Imperial Family moved the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo; however, the construction of the Imperial Palace is not completed until 1888. Surrounded by gardens, the Imperial Palace is composed of the main palace, private residences of the royal family, museums, along with several administrative offices.The palace was once destroyed during the WWII, but was quickly reconstructed after the war. Today, the Imperial Palace still serves as the residency of Imperial Family. During New Year and other special occasion, the imperial family would gather in the Chowaden Hall for ceremonies. The palace is partially open for visit. 


The East Garden is open to the public every day except Sundays, Mondays, and holidays. The inner ground is usually restricted except on January 2 and December 23 each year, for the celebration of New Year and Emperor's birthday respectively. Although there is no admission fee, advance appointment is required. Guided tours start at 10:00AM and 1:30PM each day. Guests can also check out an audio guide, available in both Japanese and English. The palace attracts many tourists for its scenic nature offered by the gardens, the educational information presented by the museums, and the impressive view of traditional Japanese architecture.



Opening Hours: Whole day
Entrance Ticket: Free
Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Duration: 3 hours

Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you offer any half day tour to the Imperial Palace?
    We do not have any half day tours. However, we recommend our private transfer service. Our driver speaks simple English speaking, and can assist you with reservation and ticket purchase.
  • Do I need an appointment to visit the Imperial Palace?
    If you wish to go inside the palace and visit the inner gardens and buildings, an appointment needs to be arranged in advance. You do not need an appointment to see the outer part of the palace, such as the East Garden and the Outer Gardens. The Outer Gardens is open all year round, and the East Garden is open from Monday to Friday. There are two ways to make an appointment: 1) on the official website (https://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/register/place?locale=en) 2) contact the Imperial Household Agency by phone (03-5223-8071). All appointments have limited availability.
  • Which part of the palace can I see without appointment?
    If you don't have an appointment, you can see the Nijubashi Bridge from outside.
  • Is there any age limit for visiting the Imperial Palace?
    Children under age of 18 will have to be accompanied by an adult, who will be the principle applicant when reserving an appointment.
  • Do I need to provide a phone number when making an appointment online?
    For foreign visitors, a phone number will be required when reserving an appointment. The phone number does not necessarily have to be your phone number. Instead, it can be your hotel phone number. Once your appointment is completed, an confirmation will be emailed to you.
  • How long in advance should I arrive at the palace for a same-day visit?
    In addition to advance appointment online, at-door registration is also availability to visitors for a same day visit starting 6/25/2016. To enter the palace, simply register and get a number at the Kikyomon Gate during the designated time.
  • What is the open time for a same-day visit?
    The open time is Tue to Sat at 10AM and 1PM (number will be passed out at 8:30AM and 12PM respectively). Please gather by the Kikyomon Gate before the visit time. Afternoon visits for Mondays, Sundays, and national holidays, 12/28-1/4, 7/21-8/31 are not available.
  • What is the visit time for the East Garden?
    1 Mar to 14 Apr 9:00AM-16:30PM (Last admission at 16:00PM)
    15 Apr to 31 Aug 9:00AM-17:30PM (Last admission at 16:30PM)
    1 Sep to 30 Oct 9:00AM-16:30PM (Last admission at 16:00PM)
    11 Nov to 28 Feb 9:00AM-16:00PM (Last admission at 15:30PM)
    Mondays, Fridays, 28 Dec to 3 Jan, are not open for visit.
    Entrance: by the Otemon Gate, Kikyomon Gate, and Hirakawa Gate.
  • What to see by around the Imperial Palace?
    Wadakura Fountain Park, located in the Outer Garden, is built in 1961 to celebrate the marriage of Emperor Akihito. The park has a gorgeous fountain, which water soaring as high as 8.5 feet into the air. The park is illuminated everyday starting twilight.
  • How to get to the Imperial Palace with public transportation?
    The fastest and most convenient way is to take the Tokyo Metro. Take the Chiyoda Line and get off at the Nijubashi Station by Exit 2 or B6. Or take the Hibiya Line and get off by at the Hibiya Station by Exit B6 or 2, and you will reach the destination in a 2 min walk. You can also take the Yurakucho Line get off at the Sakuradamon Station by Exit 3, you will reach the destination in a 8 min walk.
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