MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

The No Entry Tokyo Imperial Palace

It was with little expectation that we made our way to the Imperial Palace via Tokyo station, since we knew that the place was closed to the public. Except for two days a year - the 2nd of January and the 23rd December!

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However, we did not know that we could only walk around the outskirts and only view the complex system of stone walls, moats and watch towers from the outside.

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When we got there, a lengthy walk in the baking sun along the impenetrable palace walls just to get within viewing distance of the palace's most famous landmark, the double-barrelled bridge, did not improve things.

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I think we were too expectant even, since we were thinking of the Queen's residence in London, which although also closed off for most of the year, takes up less space and allows visitors to walk in the grounds around it. With Tokyo's Imperial Palace, we got the impression that there was so much more to see behind the walls - which were inaccessible to the public.

Anyhow, we took a few shots of the famous bridge, and then made our way to the publicly accessible East Gardens, which turned out to be closed. (Closed Mondays and Fridays.)

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Though hot, the excellent weather was still a positive point, along with the fact that the Imperial Palace outskirts give a feudal sense of Japan. The outskirts are wide open and spacious (great if you need a break from the busy urban areas) and provide great distant views of the surrounding Tokyo city.

More photos from the outskirts of the Imperial Palace on Flickr


This entry posted in : History. Japan. Tourism.

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