Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksHistoric Walking AreasArchitectural BuildingsGovernment Buildings
About
The current palace was constructed in the same spot where Edo Castle used to stand. Most of the palace grounds are not open to the public except for the East Gardens, which are accessible on select days.
Duration: < 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi
Ginza is famous for being a trendy hotspot, but it's also a downtown area with shops that were founded over a hundred years ago. Department stores and luxury boutiques line the route from Nihonbashi to Ginza. It's a long established tradition to shop and stroll while the road is closed to traffic. Luxury hotels, world class cuisine from talented chefs, and a collection of glitzy clubs will make this area popular with anyone looking for a night out.
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  • PriscillaF
    Perth, Australia1,104 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    You can still see it free without a ticket
    So to get a guided tour you need to book at least 4 days in advance or there’s availability for walk in (70 people max) on the day if you line up before 1230pm at kilyomon gate (tickets handed out at 12.30pm) to the first 70 people. So therefore start lining up by 11am! If your a walk in! I was too late and found if u walk from there past the water to the gate on the left, item on gate you can still walk through the gardens by yourself and there is a map at the shop on your left side inside the gates that are free. A bonus would be to pack a picnic and eat on the lawns as I saw another group do which looked lively. I got some really nice pictures and it’s a nice day out. I would have liked to have seen some gardeners in there doing some weeding though. My weeding OCD was massively triggered, such beautiful gardens that I kind of felt was becoming a little neglected. There are shops to purchase drinks, ice creams but nothing else good wise and you can buy merchandise. There are to let’s available too.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 April 2023
  • Jonnyjubb
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom201 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely Palace in beautiful grounds.
    Lovely gardens and great views (from a distance). Visited mid-afternoon and hadn’t realised than entry to the inner grounds was limited to two tours a day. If you want to get closer to the Palace, then make sure you double-check visiting times etc.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 April 2023
  • Emily S
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    nice for taking a stroll
    It's a great experience to visit the real palace, but if you just want to stroll around the garden, that's enjoyable too. The tourist guide is fantastic, and the gift shop is worth checking out. To get in for free, you should arrive at least an hour early because the group limit is only 70 people. But if you can't make it in time to join the group, you can still have a good time exploring the garden.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 4 May 2023
  • Luv_ Rachmaninoff_No2
    Irvine, California74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful palace close to Tokyo Station & amazing English tour guide
    We were visiting from the US where we made the tour reservations over a month in advance. We were staying near the Tokyo Station so it was very convenient 15 min walk to the Palace. People were divided into separate groups, depending on your native language, and our English tour guide took us around the walking tour on the outside of the palace, which took about an hour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Palace as well as her English was excellent & she shared many photos along the way as she was providing very helpful descriptions. We had plenty opportunities to take some beautiful closeup photos and we enjoyed the tour, one of the highlights of our trip. Definitely recommend this tour but make sure you wear comfortable shoes & make reservations early since it books up quickly (reservation period opens one month prior to your visit month)
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 June 2023
  • fwaffarn
    Dana Point, California68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pleasant half day outing
    My friend and I spent a wonderful few hours walking around the outer perimeter and the inside palace gardens. Access is free. Imposing walls, most and guard gates provide insights into historical context of this palace and its surroundings in the heart of central Tokyo. Multiple photo ops. Also an excellent venue for jogging around the outer perimeter, approx 3-5 miles depending on the route you choose.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 June 2023
  • Chris R
    27 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoy the Imperial Palace gardens
    If you want to enjoy beautiful gardens in the middle of a large city, this is the place. If you want a tour of a palace, this is probably the wrong one. Go to Osaka instead. Since there are residents, it is like expecting a tour of Buckingham Palace. There are tours twice a day which get booked up, but they are more external than internal to the palace.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 11 July 2023
  • Sue S
    Kingston, Canada381 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Underwhelming at best
    Yes it's iconic but frankly don't expect too much. You will only see the exterior of the palace. The grounds are filled with perfectly manicured grass and pine trees. Close to the bus parking lot there is a bronze statue of the a 14th century samurai. Although the historical significance is immense, there isn't much to do here. Just make sure to bring good walking shoes since you will be walking on gravel paths.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 October 2023
  • Bobbie W
    Warwick, Rhode Island1,375 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unimpressive
    While we felt we needed to check out the imperial palace, we chose not to go in. First of all, you needed to take a guided tour to get in. The wait was a mile long and we heard once inside, it’s unimpressive. Lots of manicured shrubs. The outside is a massive area with an enormous moat around the palace.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 October 2023
  • iexpect
    126 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Limited entry
    Arrived at palace to do the gardens but they were closed. Walking around the palace perimeter found a sign stating first 140 people can go in and see the palace inner grounds. We queued 2 hrs. While I understand people saying it's a bit of a disappointment not seeing in the palace I still felt privileged to see what I did.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 October 2023
  • E C
    Victoria, Australia267 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Check entry dates before you go
    Nice area to walk around, a great contrast of old vs new. No where to sit and enjoy the area and you aren’t allowed on the grass at the parks in Japan. Check opening days before you go as not all gardens have public access.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 14 November 2023
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles2,796 reviews
Excellent
807
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677
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205
Terrible
78

Emma C
Godalming, UK2,360 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
I had been here before so knew that in reality there's no palace to see but I do enjoy the grounds and contrast between old and new. It was a lovely sunny day when we visited, so that added to the enjoyment. It's a nice place to walk around.
Written 6 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

E C
Victoria, Australia267 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
Nice area to walk around, a great contrast of old vs new. No where to sit and enjoy the area and you aren’t allowed on the grass at the parks in Japan. Check opening days before you go as not all gardens have public access.
Written 15 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lichfieldbloke
Shrewsbury, UK54 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The east gardens are large and quite attractive but visitors should be aware that it’s only possible to see and enter the palace on two days each year, Jan 2nd and Feb 23. And I guess tickets for those days would be like gold dust
Written 28 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sfdalton
Boston, MA3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We wrote many weeks in advance to get tickets (free) for the guided tour. I would definitely skip this. There were probably 80-100 people in our group and the guide's microphone system was meant to speak to a group of 8-15 people. We honestly did not hear one word of the tour....we don't really know what we saw. It was all outdoors; none of the tours go into any buildings. I would definitely skip this and just walk through the gardens.
Written 25 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iexpect
englishmanfrom london126 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Arrived at palace to do the gardens but they were closed. Walking around the palace perimeter found a sign stating first 140 people can go in and see the palace inner grounds. We queued 2 hrs. While I understand people saying it's a bit of a disappointment not seeing in the palace I still felt privileged to see what I did.
Written 24 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bobbie W
Warwick, RI1,375 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
While we felt we needed to check out the imperial palace, we chose not to go in. First of all, you needed to take a guided tour to get in. The wait was a mile long and we heard once inside, it’s unimpressive. Lots of manicured shrubs. The outside is a massive area with an enormous moat around the palace.
Written 17 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim S
13 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We visited with a guide and he provided the context to make it interesting but you can't see much.
If your time is limited, I would skip this stop.
Written 13 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue S
Kingston, Canada381 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Yes it's iconic but frankly don't expect too much. You will only see the exterior of the palace. The grounds are filled with perfectly manicured grass and pine trees. Close to the bus parking lot there is a bronze statue of the a 14th century samurai. Although the historical significance is immense, there isn't much to do here. Just make sure to bring good walking shoes since you will be walking on gravel paths.
Written 11 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

delagioventu
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg1,403 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Must visit of course when in Tokyo, set in a park and green surroundings, nice views, impressive how the emperor descends from a lineage of 2000 years!
Written 1 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris R
Tucson, United States27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
If you want to enjoy beautiful gardens in the middle of a large city, this is the place. If you want a tour of a palace, this is probably the wrong one. Go to Osaka instead. Since there are residents, it is like expecting a tour of Buckingham Palace. There are tours twice a day which get booked up, but they are more external than internal to the palace.
Written 11 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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IMPERIAL PALACE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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