Tokyo Imperial Palace

Vacation Travel Guide
Tokyo Imperial Palace featuring a garden and a lake or waterhole

This site was first a shogun residence, then the home for Japan’s emperor. Destroyed in World War II, it was reconstructed to its original splendor.

Tokyo Imperial Palace remains the primary residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. Much like residences for heads of state around the world, the palace buildings and inner gardens are not open to the public. However, twice a year (December 23 and January 2), you can enter the inner palace gardens to see the Imperial Family waving from a balcony.

The ancient name for Tokyo was Edo. From the 1600s to 1867, shoguns ruling Edo occupied this site in central Tokyo, living in Edo Castle. In 1868, when the shogunate was displaced, Japan moved its capital from Kyoto to Tokyo and occupied the Edo Castle site. After fire destroyed much of the complex, they built a new imperial palace in 1888.

Take note of the stone walls and towers and the Nijubashi bridges crossing the moat from outer to inner palace grounds. They are reminiscent of structures on the site hundreds of years ago when moats and ramparts served a critical protective function.

To the east of the residence is the Imperial Palace East Garden, which is open to the public daily, except Mondays and Fridays. The venue offers peaceful green spaces and ponds with a landscaped Japanese garden. Relics from early castle walls are visible. Nearby are the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, the MOMAT Kogeikan Crafts Gallery and the Science Museum.

Just north of the palace is Kitanomaru Park, a public area that is the site of Nippon Budokan Hall. The Budokan is a world famous martial arts, wrestling and music performance center that has hosted international stars from The Beatles to Taylor Swift. The Yasukuni Shrine is a short walk northwest.

The palace is located in the center of Tokyo on a 1.3-square mile (3.4-square kilometer) site. It is just a few minutes from Tokyo station. Otemachi station is the closest to the East Garden and Kudanshita is closest to Budokan.

Top Hotels Close to Tokyo Imperial Palace

Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo
Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo
3.5 out of 5
2-4-1 Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $47 per night from Nov 6 to Nov 6
Located in Chiyoda, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Akasaka ACT Theater and Yasukuni Shrine. Suntory Hall and Tokyo Imperial Palace are also within 2 mi ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (971 reviews)
"It was Ok nothing wroth, nothing better. I wish windows open to get fresh air"

Reviewed on Apr 7, 2021

Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
4 out of 5
1-6-3 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
The price is $54 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Located in Shiodome, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kabuki-za Theatre and Ginza Wako Building. Hibiya Park and Zojoji Temple are also within 1 ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (2,272 reviews)
"Bit outdated but well maintained"

Reviewed on Oct 19, 2021

The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo
5 out of 5
1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $482 per night from Nov 9 to Nov 9
Located in Marunouchi, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Wadakura Fountain Park, Museum of the Imperial Collections, and Masakado Kubizuka. Imperial ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (857 reviews)
"I had the privilege to stay in the Garden Suite, with access to the Club Lounge. The check-in was SWIFT. A manager came, handled my little luggage and a bell-boy took over and walked me to the Club Lounge. Hot & cold drinks & tea-time snacks were served. I spent an hour before going to the Suite. ..."

Reviewed on May 7, 2021

Palace Hotel Tokyo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Tokyo Imperial Palace

Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo
Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo
3.5 out of 5
2-4-1 Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $47 per night from Nov 6 to Nov 6
Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
4 out of 5
1-6-3 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
The price is $54 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo
5 out of 5
1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $482 per night from Nov 9 to Nov 9
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel
5 out of 5
1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $219 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
Imperial Hotel
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
5 out of 5
1-2-1 Otemachi, Tokyo, Tokyo
The price is $315 per night from Nov 28 to Nov 28
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
Shangri-La Tokyo
Shangri-La Tokyo
5 out of 5
Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 1-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $281 per night from Nov 18 to Nov 18
Shangri-La Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo
5 out of 5
1-8-1 Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $315 per night from Nov 3 to Nov 3
The Peninsula Tokyo
The Tokyo Station Hotel
The Tokyo Station Hotel
4.5 out of 5
1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is $366 per night from Nov 15 to Nov 15
The Tokyo Station Hotel
remm Tokyo Kyobashi
remm Tokyo Kyobashi
3.5 out of 5
2 Chome-6 Kyobashi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo, Tokyo
The price is $48 per night from Nov 9 to Nov 9
remm Tokyo Kyobashi
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.