What Makes The Imperial Palace In Tokyo Such A Famous Place In Japan?
The Imperial Palace Tokyo
Japan without any doubt is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the world. Each year it attracts millions of tourists from around the world in general and the Western Nations in particular. The country offers some of the finest and most varied tourist attractions for people with different tastes and requirements. Yes, Tokyo continues to be the hub of attraction. Apart from being the capital of Japan, it is a huge commercial capital not only of Japan but also across the world. It is therefore not common to come across businessmen and others flocking around the country in general and Tokyo in particular. They certainly would like to make the most of their stay in the country and would like to mix business with pleasure. The list of places to visit in Tokyo is endless. However, in this article we will be talking more about the famous Imperial Palace in Tokyo. It attracts millions of tourists not only from Japan but from dozens of countries across the world.
It Is A Historical Monument
The Imperial Palace is the first residence of the Emperor of Japan. The entire areas resembles like a high-class and well maintained park. It is located in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo. It is spread over a total of around 1.15 square kilometer or roughly around 0.44 square miles. It is a priceless property and has some wonderful commercial history to it. During the early 1980’s when there was a big upsurge in the prices of properties in Tokyo, the Imperial Palace was considered to be a huge favorite. There were some reports at that point in time to suggest that the price of the Palace was almost equal to the entire real estate properties in California. Hence, there is no doubt that this is much more than an important landmark in Tokyo. It is revered and respected across the world.
Is It Filled With Tourists
Though it is considered to be an important and perhaps even not-to-be-missed building, it exactly is not agog with activity and tourists. This is perhaps got more to do with the application policy. It has nothing to do with the lack of enthusiasm as far as tourists are concerned. While it might be a regular place of visit for the local populace, for tourists it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Hence foreigners always make it a point to visit this famous and historical landmark in Tokyo. The application policy is quite strict and it limits the number of visitors each day. It is the home of the Emperor of Japan and therefore crowding is not allowed.
Prior to the Emperor of Japan it also was the residence of some of the most important Japanese figures. This included Emperor Meiji who is often credited with the various steps for modernizing Japan. The rulers of the Edo Period also lived here. Since it has been inhabited by some of the most important personalities of Japan, admittance is not so easy. Applications have to be sent in weeks in advance and access inside the palace is also restricted.
Some Actually Bypass The Palace
Because of the bureaucratic red tape involved many tourists are happy to give a miss to the main palace. They would rather love spending time in the East Gardens which is a part of the Imperial Palace. It is considered to be very attractive and offers quite a bit to the visitors. The huge green spread is very pleasing to the eye. Further it also has big open fields and shady spots where the tourists could relax if and when the sun in hard to bear. It is the perfect place for relaxing. During the cherry blossom season, you can be sure to have a feast for your eyes. The seasonal foliage will most certainly be very colorful and captivating also. You will for sure come back with some very happy and please memories. The East Gardens is open from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Arranged tours of the palace are also offered to visitors from 10 am to 1.30 pm and it happens daily Tuesday through Saturday. The arranged tours last for around one hour and fifteen minutes.
How To Reach The Palace
The Imperial Palace Tokyo is well connected and it is quite easy to reach it. The metro is the easiest way to reach this place. The nearest metro station is Nijubashi-Mae Station. The metro station offers you the chances to alight at various stations and reach the following gates, viz., The Sakashita-mon Gate, The Kikyo-mon Gate, Ote-Mon Gate and the Hirakwa-mon Gate. You also could reach the palace by road but many prefer taking the metro because of its convenient location and frequency of services.
Things To Do At The Imperial Palace
Apart from the East Garden, you also must make it a point to visit Kokyo Gaien. It basically is a public park and it more commonly used as the driveway for the Emperor. It is frequented by joggers and if luck would have it, you could see the Emperor. Chidorigafuchi Moat is another important spot to visit when on a visit to The Imperial Palace. You could enjoy some cozy boat rides (using rented boats). The place is scenically beautiful because of Sakura Trees.
Budokan is another majestic and impressive building which you must visit. It is a big martial arts venue. The Edo Castle grounds are north of the Imperial Palace. It is famous for different types of concerts. The famous Beatles performed here way back in 1966. Over the years 50 major concerts have been held here.
Do not forget to enjoy the Emperor’s Birthday if you happen to be there during the time. It is on December 23 when the inner palace is opened to the public. It also is open to public on 2nd January on account of the New Year. On these two days the Imperial Family appears on the balcony and it does send supporters of the Monarchy into frenzy. Finally if possible go a on a guided tour of the palace. The tours are conducted by Japanese guides but you have English audio headsets to translate these guided tours.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, if you visit Tokyo, then you must take some time and visit The Imperial Palace for the simple reason that it has so much history and importance attached to it. Yes, it is also beautiful and is certainly one of the most important landmarks of Japan in general and Tokyo in particular.
Did you check out our last post on Tokyo Skytree? If not then click here.