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address1-1 Kokyogaien, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
access2-minute walk from Subway "Nijubashimae <Marunouchi> Sta." Exit 2 & 6
2-minute walk from Subway "Hibiya Sta." Exit B6
8-minute walk from Subway "Sakuradamon Sta." Exit 3
10-minute walk from JR "Tokyo Sta."
10-minute walk from JR "Yurakucho Sta."
For leisurely walks and visiting historic sites. Kokyo Gaien National Garden contains both a large grassy plaza and an abundance of historic buildings.
Kokyo Gaien National Garden is located just 2-minute walk from Subway "Nijubashimae Sta." and "Hibiya Sta." This National Garden consists of the surroundings of the Imperial Palace including the Imperial Palace Plaza, Kokyo Gaien National Garden, the Kitanomaru District, and the 12 moats. Here, we introduce the highlights of Kokyo Gaien National Garden and its abundance of historical buildings alongside a large grassy plaza.
The Imperial Palace Plaza consists the area between Uchibori-dori Ave. and the gravel plaza on the Imperial Palace side to the grassy green space between Uchibori-dori Ave. and Soto-bori Moat. During the Edo period, this area was known as the Nishi no Marushita, home to the stately homes of powerful daimyo lords, wakadoshiyori (mid-level shogunate officials), and roju (senior shogunate officials) who played roles in running the shogunate government. Following the Meiji Restoration, it was used as a military camp and housed government guards. Since 1949, a portion of these former imperial gardens have been open to the public as a National Garden. Rows of planted trees known as Ochirindai stand between the main gate of the Imperial Palace and the Sakashita-mon Gate in the Imperial Palace Plaza. These are comprised of thousands of planted black pines, making this one of the iconic images from the landscape of the Kokyo Gaien National Garden.
The Nijubashi Bridge is a key symbol of the Imperial Palace Plaza. Viewed from the plaza, the iron bridge standing at the back is known as the Seimon-tetsubashi Bridge while the stone bridge in the foreground is known as the Seimon-ishibashi Bridge. It is a common misunderstanding to assume that these two bridges are known collectively as the Nijubashi, but officially Nijubashi refers to the Seimon-tetsubashi Bridge on the far side. Because the moat was deeper during the Edo period when the Seimon-tetsubashi Bridge was first built, it was necessary to install the bridge's iron girders atop wooden logs. It is called that this look of a double structure led to it becoming known as the "Nijubashi."
Located on the same side as Subway "Hibiya Sta." is the statue of KUSUNOKI Masashige, built to honor this loyal retainer of the Kenmu Restoration (1333-1336). The statue boasts a height of nearly 8 meters including its pedestal and is considered to be one of the three statues of Tokyo along with that of SAIGO Takamori in Ueno Park and OMURA Masujiro in Yasukuni-jinja Shrine. Famous sculptors and renowned painters were involved in the statue's construction, taking nearly 3 years to construct its wooden prototype and 10 years to complete the statue itself.
The Soto Sakurada-mon Gate of Edo Castle is located between the Sakurada-bori Moat and Gaisen-bori Moat. This gate, more commonly known as the Sakurada-mon Gate, is infamous for the assassination of II Naosuke, a chief minister within the shogunate, which occurred just outside the gate itself. It was registered as a National Important Cultural Property in 1961.
Wadakura Fountain Park is located near Subway Otemachi Sta. With a total land area of 15,000 square meters, the park was built in 1995 to celebrate the marriage of His Majesty the current Emperor. The park contains a large fountain, constructed in 1961 to commemorate the marriage of His Majesty the previous emperor, fitted with powerful artificial jets of water and monuments around which water circulates. This park, which was renovated in 2015, is a great spot to have lunch or take a break at the free rest area or benches.
Kokyo Gaien National Garden covers a huge area of approximately 1.15 millions square meters. Why not spend your holidays here visiting historic sites and strolling among the natural wonders of Japan's four seasons?