so i took the tour, which is really easy to set up, just a bunch of sending and stuff; don't even need to print out anything; at worst, you need to write down the code they gave you, but they didn't really ask me for anything besides my name.
I came about ten minutes late, which was pretty alrite, since apparently you watch a 15 minute video for a while accompanied with browsing inside the souvenir shop, going to the bathroom, or w/e. they also have 100 yen lockers; even better, the 100 yen only acts as a deposit and it is returned to you later.
the only headphones they have are english, so no luck if ya want something else. after the tour finishes, they offer to lead you back to the gate you entered from or to the eastern gardens.
well, going inside was pretty much seeing everything you had already seen if you went to one of the emperor's appearances (jan 2 or his birthday). wat's cool is adding the bit of history to it that makes it a little more worthwhile; the guide also patiently waits ready to help any of these photo moments.
otherwise, it's like touring any other castle or building, except that the imperial palace is a bit younger in comparison to its sister and Kyouto.
What is there to say...it's a big wall. With a moat. A moat that recently had a naked European man with a saggy bum in it. There are a couple of beautiful swans living in the moat, but the gardens are probably the best part. It is one of very few places in all of Tokyo you can just lay out on the grass and read a book. The city scape from this location is quite nice, too. The security guards don't have much as far as a sense of humor goes, though, so don't push it. And watch yourself in the early morning and the evening...the trail around the palace is thick with joggers.
This place would be a great place to have another much needed park in the city if it weren't reserved for the royal family. Of the 5 large green spaces in central Tokyo, 2 of them are off limits to common folk. From the outside, you can get a great look at the moat and walls that keep people out. The gates themselves are quite interesting to look at, and during cherry blossom season, the area of the palace gardens closest to Yasukuni shrine is absolutely stunning (and absolutely pack full of people trying to see the magnificent view)
I love this place! It is only 5 minutes walk from Tokyo station( marunouchi gate) and you will be amazed how different atomsphere from marunouchi office area. They have lots of nature and it is so quiet. You cannot belive you are in centre of Tokyo! People like to do running along the canal. Imperial Palace has lots of flower and the gardens are well looked after! I love to go during spring time, you can see so many lovely flowers blooming and some Japanese garden too. I like eating ice cream at stand shop in there!
If you want to have a rest in a quiet and green place in Tokyo, pretty good place to visit. highly recommended!
Another one of those stops that you will eventually make while living here, the Emperor's Palace is most popular with the runners and walkers who make their way around it in the early mornings, late evenings, and all day on the weekends. Another reviewer mentioned the dates to visit; if you get a chance, do join the hordes for one of the few occasions during the year that His Majesty greets the public. Little paper Japanese flags are handed out to all. Here is good clean patriotism at its best.
Although all you will see is the gates and the courtyard where the Emperor and his family greet you, it can be fun wondering what is behind all of those walls...
Since there isn't much to do at the Imperial Palace as you can't actually enter it, it doesn't take very long to see. Basically, you arrive, take your photo, and move onto the Imperial Palace East Gardens. The notable aspect of the Imperial Palace would be the Meganebashi Bridge.
The only times when you can enter the inner palace grounds are the Emperor's birthday (December 23) and January 2.
This is a very famous spot for visitors. The Imperial Palace is surrounded by a canal and tress. It has a very large garden outside surrounded by trees which lined up neatly. They are mainly pine and willow trees. The pine trees made the palace very "Japanesey", because it is a common plant in Japanese gardens that symbolized longevity. The walkways are made by tiny pebbles. The walk around the palace takes about 25 minutes. I walked around the palace, enjoyed the fresh air and the spacious walkways, and took some pictures of the tress and the palace buildings, then that’s it. Because you can't actually go into the palace, therefore all you could do is to walk around. But it is interesting to see how the palace looks like.