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K?kyo, Tokyo

3.0 stars


The Imperial Palace (Kyokyo)

Home of the Imperial family, the Imperial Palace is the heart and soul of Tokyo. Built on the very spot where Edo Castle used to stand during the days of the Tokugawa shogunate, it became the Imperial home upon its completion in 1888 and is now the residence of Emperor Akihito, 125th emperor of Japan. Destroyed during air raids in 1945, the palace was rebuilt in 1968 using the principles of traditional Japanese architecture.
I was disappointed that most of the palace grounds were closed to the public (with the exception of two days a year when the royal family makes an appearance before the masses) so had to console myself with a camera shot from the southeast side of Nijubashi Bridge. Here the moat and the palace turrets show above the trees. Most Japanese tourists make brief stops here to pay their respects but the most important thing to do in the palace's vicinity, is to visit its Higashi Gyoen (East Garden), where you'll find what's left of the central keep of old Edo Castle. [more ]

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