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

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 ¥5,889 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
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! (2,303 reviews)
"あいにくホテル内のレストランが休業中。近くでワインと食事をテイクアウトして部屋で食事。ワインオープナーもすぐに持ってきていただき、部屋も快適で楽しめました。"

Reviewed on Sep 29, 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 ¥41,584 per night from Oct 26 to Oct 26
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
Shangri-La Tokyo
Shangri-La Tokyo
5 out of 5
Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 1-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥32,000 per night from Nov 9 to Nov 9
Located in Marunouchi, this luxury hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Tokyo Imperial Palace and within 3 mi (5 km) of Tokyo Bay and Ueno Onshi Park. Tokyo Dome and ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (427 reviews)
"it was a very nice stay in Shangri-La Tokyo especially our family enjoyed a lot the service in Horizon Floor as well as lobby floor restaurant Piacere."

Reviewed on Jan 20, 2020

Shangri-La 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 ¥5,355 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 27
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 ¥5,889 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
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 ¥41,584 per night from Oct 26 to Oct 26
Palace Hotel Tokyo
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 ¥32,000 per night from Nov 9 to Nov 9
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 ¥36,000 per night from Oct 21 to Oct 21
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 ¥33,073 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
The Tokyo Station 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 ¥36,000 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel
5 out of 5
1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
The price is ¥23,749 per night from Oct 29 to Oct 29
Imperial Hotel
Keio Presso Inn Tokyo Station Yaesu
Keio Presso Inn Tokyo Station Yaesu
3 out of 5
1-4-1 Kyobashi, Tokyo, Tokyo
The price is ¥6,545 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Keio Presso Inn Tokyo Station Yaesu
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.