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Imperial Palace East Garden

May 28, 2008

Imperial Palace East Garden

The Imperial Palace East Garden, or Higashi-gyoen, is rightly considered one of Tokyo’s finest gardens.

The Imperial Palace East Garden is located on the former site of Edo Castle. None of the original buildings remain but the moats, walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses that protected the former castle still stand within the confines of the garden. The castle, once the largest in Japan standing 58 meters (190 feet) high, was destroyed by fire in 1657 but the base remains and can be used as a vantage point to oversee portions of this vast garden.

The Tide view, or Shiomi-zaka, slope once commanded a view of the ocean but now leads you downs to the Ninomaru Garden which is beautifully laid out around a central pond that features many stunning bridges and stone lanterns on the surrounding path. Also on the grounds is the Suwano-chaya Tea House, originally built in 1912 and the Sannomaru Shozokan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections) that holds a collection of approximately 9,500 art pieces owned and inherited by the Imperial family.

The Imperial Palace East Garden can be accessed through one of three gates (map) within close proximity to either the Takebashi or Otemachi Stations on Tokyo Metro. Use the garden map to identify points of interest in the garden and their locations.

After spending a few hours at the Imperial Palace East Garden, why not pop across the street to the Imperial Hotel and and rest your feet while enjoying a cocktail at the Old Imperial Bar? It’s a perfect way to end the day.

Photo Credit: Flickr, In the Tokyo Imperial Palace East Garden