The Imperial Palace is the main home of the Emperor of Japan who is not just the only monarch in the world with the title of Emperor but also belongs to the oldest continuing monarchy. The Emperor has resided in these premises since 1868 before which Kyoto was the imperial residence for over a thousand years.
The Palace grounds
Encompassing 115 hectares in the heart of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is set amid expansive gardens, wooded areas and a wide moat that encircles the palace grounds. The Palace is accessed by eight gates of which only two are open to public. Visitors can apply for guided tours that take them within the Palace complex including the Sannomaru-Shozo-kan, the Imperial Museum which houses a priceless collection of exquisite regalia and Japanese art.
The Palace’s gardens – the Kokyo Gaein, the Kokyo Higashi Gyoen and the Kita-no-maru-koen Park are all freely accessible to visitors.