皇居東御苑
 皇居東御苑
 皇居東御苑

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INFORMATION

  • address1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  • tel03-3213-2050
  • access5-minute walk from Subway "Otemachi Sta." Exit C13a
    5-minute walk from Subway "Takebashi Sta." Exit 1a
    15-minute walk from JR "Tokyo Sta." Marunouchi North Gate
Opening hours March 1 to April 14: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Admissions end at 4:30 pm)
April 15 to end of August: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (Admissions end at 5:30 pm)
September 1 to end of September: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Admissions end at 4:30 pm)
October 1 to end of October: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (Admissions end at 4:00 pm)
November 1 to end of February: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Admissions end at 3:30 pm)
*Please visit the Website to check as hours and dates are subject to change.
Closed Mondays/Fridays
*The gardens are open to the public on holidays such as National holidays, excluding the Emperor's Birthday.
December 28 to January 3
Website https://www.kunaicho.go.jp/event/higashigyoen/higashigyoen.html 

With beautiful gardens and many historic sites, The East Gardens of the Imperial Place offers visitors a feel for the history of Japan’s Edo period.

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The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are located 5-minute walk from Subway "Otemachi sta." and "Takebashi sta." Part of the Imperial Palace and occupying the site of three compounds that belonged to the former Edo Castle: Honmaru, Ninomaru, and parts of Sannomaru, the gardens are open to the public. Many sites of historical interest remain on the vast area of 210,000 square meters, and seasonal flowers look glorious when in full bloom.

The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace have three gates. Ote-mon Gate is located in the direction of Subway "Otemachi Sta." while Hirakawa-mon Gate is located toward Subway "Takebashi Sta." Kita-hanebashi-mon Gate is located on the far side of Hirakawa-bori Moat. Ote-mon Gate functioned as the main gate of Edo Castle and was used by the feudal lords who came to stay in the castle under the alternating attendance system of the Tokugawa Shogunate. After passing through Ote-mon Gate, you will find Sannomaru Shozokan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections) on your left. Entrance is free of charge, and inside you will find paintings, books, and craft items that have been passed from generation to generation in the imperial family on display.

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  • As you pass by the museum, the first things you will see are the Doshin-bansho and Hyakunin-bansho Guardhouses. These functioned like security checkpoints, and three remain in The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace: Doshin-bansho and Hyakunin-bansho, in addition to O-bansho. It seems that higher-ranking officials were posted in the guardhouses located deep inside the castle, so it was lower-ranking samurai who were on duty at Doshin-bansho, which is the guardhouse that is closest to Ote-mon Gate. Walk on a bit further, and you will come to the Ninomaru resting place. With an airconditioner and a vending machine, this is a useful spot to sit and take a break.
  • Head to the right, and you will see the Ninomaru Garden. Designed for strolling around, the garden has been restored based on designs by KOBORI Enshu, an emblematic garden designer of the Edo period. The garden have Yama-boshi dogwood trees, which have delicate white flowers, but in the fall, their leaves turn red, making for an enjoyable visit in the season of autumn leaves.
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Next is the Remains of Edo Castle. On holidays, you will see families sitting on picnic blankets and enjoying the sunshine here. Edo Castle was struck by a big fire, and unfortunately was never rebuilt, but visitors can view a restoration miniature at the annex to the Honmaru resting place, located nearby. You can get a sense of the vast grounds of the Remains of Edo Castle and, from the miniature, the many years that the city of Edo flourished. Other popular historical sites related to the remains of the O-oku women’s quarters and the Oku Corridor.

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  • To the north of the Remains of Edo Castle is the Tenshu-dai, or base of the main tower that once stood in the center of the castle. The Tenshu-dai supported the castle’s tower, which, at a height of 51 meters, is said to have been the tallest in the country. The stone foundations that remains today are 11 meters high, 41 meters running east to west, and 45 meters north to south. The Tenshu-dai is open for visitors to climb to the top and enjoy the view.
  • The Fujimi-yagura is a 16 meter-tall, three-storied keep located in the south of the castle ruins. It is famous for being the only three-storied keep that is a historic landmark of Edo Castle. The structure appears to have the same shape no matter which angle it is viewed from, giving rise to an alternative name by which it is known: All Front-sided Keep. After the castle tower was destroyed in the great fire of 1657 (Meireki 3), the Fujimi- yagura came to play an important role as a substitute. Since November 2016, Fujimi-yagura has been able to be viewed from a closer distance thanks to the construction of an open area in front of it.
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Other buildings and remains that conjur images of the former Edo Castle can be viewed inside the gardens, including The Fujimi-tamon Defence House, which was used to store weapons and documents in the old days. We invite you to visit The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace to get a close-up sense of the history of the city of Edo in the midst of a lush natural setting.

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