Visiting Tokyo’s Imperial Palace

 

Tokyo’s Imperial Palace pic

Tokyo’s Imperial Palace
Image: gojapan.about.com

A career naval officer, Rear Admiral David F. Baucom has visited many places and cities around the world in the course of his work. One of the cities that RADM David Baucom has visited often and that he counts among his favorites is Tokyo.

While in Tokyo, one of the recommended places to visit is the Imperial Palace. Along with its grounds, the Imperial Palace is located on the one-time residential palace of a line of Tokugawa Shoguns from the Edo Period. Emperor Meiji moved to this location in 1868 after the Meiji Restoration. Prior to this move, the imperial capital had been located in Kyoto for over 1,000 years.

A restricted area, the palace serves as the residence of the Japanese emperor and several members of the imperial family. However, there is a free tour of the encompassing grounds that is usually completed in one hour and fifteen minutes and must be booked via the website or phone of the Imperial Household Agency. Reservations can sometimes take up to a month.

In its glory days, the Imperial Palace was the world’s largest fortress, but aside from its moat and walls of stone, little of it remains; with most of the palace that was built in the 1800s destroyed during WWII, the one that was erected in its place was completed in 1968.

One can view from a corner of Imperial Palace Plaza the iron Niju-bashi and the stone Megane-bashi bridges that constitute a famous and heavily photographed landmark. Many consider the Imperial Palace East Garden, which was a section of the Edo Castle grounds and is next to the Imperial Palace, to encompass the best gardens at the location.

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