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
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Imperial Palace
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.
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Luv_ Rachmaninoff_No2
    Irvine, California529 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 June 21, 2023
  • fwaffarn
    Dana Point, California71 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 June 30, 2023
  • Chris R
    24 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 July 11, 2023
  • Sue S
    Kingston, Canada374 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 October 11, 2023
  • Bobbie W
    Warwick, Rhode Island1,693 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 October 17, 2023
  • iexpect
    129 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 October 24, 2023
  • E C
    Victoria, Australia321 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 November 14, 2023
  • Pang L
    Henderson, Nevada5 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    The somewhat boring Imperial Palace
    This place is a little over rated. The tour schedule changed to 1 pm from 3:30. Luckily we got there at 12. The whole place was renovated which did not show much charisma. There was not much to see except to follow the guide and walk around. Maybe March is the wrong time to visit. The eastern garden could be more attractive if more flowers are blooming. I suppose during the celebration time, this place could be more symbolic or meaningful to visitors.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written March 9, 2024
  • David H
    Canberra, Australia26 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Imperial Palace - tranquility in the middle of the city
    We visited Japan in early spring hoping to see the cherry blossoms bloom. Unfortunately cold weather in Feb/early March meant that only a few trees were in flower. The Imperial Palace gardens would be amazing with blooming cherry trees. The gardens unfortunately were a bit drab - hues of browns and greens but the history of the Palace area was interesting. Definitely worth going. The visit is free and could be done in less than an hour. Closed Mondays and Fridays - a trap we were caught by!
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written March 11, 2024
  • John and Deb K
    Karratha, Australia776 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beutiful Gardens
    Beautiful grounds, well worth a wander around. Although if you want to get up close to the palace you need to pre-book or line up early as there are only 2 tours a day. Also important that if you book any tour in Japan make sure that you have whats app on your mobile as that's how all the tour guides and companies, even the hotels contact you.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written March 31, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles2,820 reviews
Excellent
811
Very good
1,038
Average
684
Poor
208
Terrible
79

Ciro D
Spokane, WA5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
Impressed by the beautiful garden and the architecture. We spent 1 hour inside hearing the explaination of our tour guide
Written June 12, 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.

Gustavo Barros
Sao Paulo, SP22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
The size of the entire Imperial Palace complex is really impressive when seen up close. It took us a long time to walk around the outside and inside. The garden is very pretty, but I didn't think the whole tour was anything special.
Written June 10, 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.

Bernard W
Dallas, TX1,905 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I was a bit confused with the information about the Imperial Palace, so following is my take: One cannot enter the Imperial Palace. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are accessible. It is a large area to enjoy both gardens, moats, guard houses, structures from buildings to gates left from the Edo Castle (1800s). There is some signage in English, as well as an area map. This is a no-fee area.

Outside of this East Garden by an entirely different entrance, twice a year (in 2024 it was March 28 - 31) one can enter the grounds of the Imperial Palace to walk a path to see the cherry blossoms (Sakura) that is basically backside to the East Gardens. This is free and takes about a half hour to walk. One enters near the Kokyo Gaien and exits a different gate. One does not see the Imperial Palace.

Outside the Imperial Palace grounds from the Tokyo Gaien large plaza, one can View the Nijubashitwo bridges that form one of the entrances to the inner palace grounds. The Imperial Castle is located on the former site of Edo Castle, which is surrounded by an imposing stone wall and moat system. There are two bridges to this Castle entrance. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its double arches. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is named.
Written June 4, 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.

Henry W
Dallas, TX3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
While feeling the history of Japan, you will forget that it is located in the middle of Marunouchi.
And...no matter where you take a photo, it's a really picturesque place.
Written May 31, 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.

Juliet M
Crouch End, UK40 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We did the Imperial Palace free tour. This covers the outsides of the building only and you walk around a road being shuttled to the side by a whistle blower. The tour was so huge that often it was difficult to hear the guide.
There’s a lot of hanging about waiting for them to organise the groups. I would give it a miss tbh.
Written May 29, 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.

SOH KIEN PENG
Singapore, Singapore9,202 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
We flew to Tokyo by ZipAir and arrived at Narita Airport at about 9 am. Our guide received us at the airport and the 12 of us look forward enthusiastically to our 10-day Central Japan tour.

But the very first day in Tokyo was disappointing. Visiting the Imperial Palace was like visiting our Istana in Singapore. Like the Istana, the Palace is only opened on special days of the year and we are unable to go beyond the Nishinomaru Gate.

The Palace is surrounded by the Nijubashi moat and from the garden beside the moat, I could only see the Fushimi Yagura, the inner citadel of the Edo Castle and the Nijubashi bridge. From the Iwaidacho Police Post, I could see another stone bridge Seimon Ishibashi. But that was all I could see of the Palace. I would not be able to tell the world that I have visited the Imperial Palace of Japan. What I have seen is just an exterior view of a part of the Imperial Palace. Just like the story of the blind man and the elephant, I can only describe the Palace based on this angle that I saw. It seems to me a waste of time visiting this attraction.

On the way back to our coach, we visited the Kokyo Gaien National Park and took some group photos at the park. The park has very tall beautifully sculptured trees but not very special.

We also came across a statue of one Kusunoki Masashige, a famed samsurai who was a loyal subordinate to the imperial emperor sacrificing his life in the overthrow of the kamakura shogunate. He became a popular legend in Japan representing loyalty and virtue just like the Chinese patriotic general Ye Fei.

I thought a visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine (靖国神社) would be interesting with no intent to honour WWII war criminals but to see what this shrine looks like as it is located near to the Palace. But I think no one wants to relive the past memory of the history of war atrocities.

The historic lesson is that we should not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.
Written May 20, 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.

msa23_2000
Chino Hills, CA1,421 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
There are expansive gardens and we walked a bit. While I did enjoy it, it was my least favorite area of Tokyo I visited - I suppose I was wanting more. As Tokyo is just a huge city, I do enjoy walking into gardens, but these were just ok compared to others (like the botanical gardens in Shinjuku). I guess for an Imperial Palace, I had higher expectations. It’s not bad by any means, but if you have limited time in Tokyo, this wouldn’t be my priority.
Written May 12, 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.

fizzy1991
Nashville, TN5,954 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
It’s more of a walk around because you can’t see the palace much at all. The gardens are a nice walk but not manicured like you would expect. Unless you are in the area this is NOT a must see.
Written May 1, 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.

ccsfamily
Geneva, IL316 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
The palace and gardens were a short walk from our hotel so we walked over one morning. You can only see the palace from a distance and can only see a portion of the gardens and grounds. It is lovely to take a few photos as the bridge is beautiful and the part of the grounds you can access as nice to walk through. We enjoyed Hibiya park across the street more.
Written April 28, 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.

YXG.TRAVEL
Bristol, United Kingdom531 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The stars are for the beauty. The layout and the Gardens of the Palace are beautiful without a doubt. However there's nothing to do in there at all and it can be quite boring if you're with alot of people. If you're a couple this is definitely worth doing. It's more of a romantic setting not a 6 guys on holiday setting!
Written April 27, 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,504
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Imperial Palace - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Chiyoda HotelsChiyoda Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Chiyoda
All things to do in Chiyoda
Day Trips in Chiyoda
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars