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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See what travellers are saying
  • Jonnyjubb
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom202 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
  • Luv_ Rachmaninoff_No2
    Irvine, California83 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 Island1,387 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
    127 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
  • Pang L
    Henderson, Nevada6 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 9 March 2024
  • David H
    Canberra, Australia13 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 11 March 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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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 bubbles2,803 reviews
Excellent
807
Very good
1,034
Average
678
Poor
206
Terrible
79

Raintree_Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand3,910 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Unless you arrange a special tour, you can't really enter the palace grounds, other than the East Gardens. Tourists are all taken to the viewpoint at the Nijubashi Bridge for the obligatory photo of the Fushimi Watchtower. Good to add to your Instagram collection, but you don't need to spend more than a few minutes.
Written 12 April 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.

Shannon
Suva, Fiji1,048 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
If you're in Tokyo for a short stay then skip this. The tourist access is only along the road that goes through the Sakashita Mon gate, between the gardens of the imperial palace and the imperial palace and exits at inui-mon gate . So you only see the behind of structures and some sakuras. Quite a few trees had blossomed on our March 30 visit. Theres no benches and a handful of potty toilets along the way. Not recommended.
Written 9 April 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.

Daphne M
Cardiff, UK222 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Our first day in Tokyo feeling very jet lagged we decided to take a walk to the Imperial Palace. The park was beautiful with the cherry blossom in full bloom. Couldn’t believe how peaceful it was given its location amidst the skyscrapers of the city. Had a late breakfast in the Starbucks conveniently situated on the park with beautiful views. Lovely place to unwind.
Written 9 April 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.

John and Deb K
Karratha, Australia739 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
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.
Written 31 March 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.

Austinprogress
Austin, TX203 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Useless, you walk with crowds on asphalt and you see literally nothing. Big crowds in front of the 1 blooming cherry tree. Forget it.
Written 30 March 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.

David H
Canberra, Australia13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
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!
Written 11 March 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.

Pang L
Henderson, NV6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
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.
Written 9 March 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.

Emma C
Godalming, UK2,361 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.

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