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“What to Expect on a Monday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace
1-1 Chiyada, Chiyoda 100-8111, Tokyo Prefecture (Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi)
+81 3-3213-1111
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Top Rated
$56*
and up
Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa and Central Tokyo...
Ranked #23 of 105 things to do in Chiyoda
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Tokyo, Japan
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
107 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
306 helpful votes 306 helpful votes
“What to Expect on a Monday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Monday is the absolute worst day for hanging out at Chiyoda -- all the museums are closed, and the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are also closed. As luck would have it, Monday was my Chiyoda day -- if you can't avoid Mondays here, some feedback for you:

1. The hour and a half tour of the Imperial Palace is informative enough. Non-Japanese speakers get an audio guide, so nothing is lost in translation (hopefully). The cockney accent of the audio guide voice is a bit strange, but the English is still English so it should be okay.

Sometimes the guide will joke and everyone else will laugh. The pains of having an audio guide. Feel free to add your awkward laughter; no one will judge you (hopefully).

2. Definitely in the afternoon/not sure in the morning: you have to get your souvenirs at the start of the tour. The shop will be closed by the time the tour ends.

3. Bring comfy shoes. Wear them. You will need them as this is truly a walking/standing around type of tour, with no seats and no restrooms along the way.

4. As a tour, it's not fascinating or fun. It's educational, as far as "we use this building for this purpose" goes. Between the guard that guides you and the audio guide, no razzle-dazzle. Prepare to walk with a herd of sweet looking old people who will ask Doko desu ka? Yep, I'm not from here and they can tell.

Book your spot online at the Household Agency website. Bring your confirmation print-out on the day of the tour.

One day I will go to Chiyoda to check out the East Gardens and the museums. No real need to go back here, though -- once is okay.

Visited October 2012
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Bristol, United Kingdom
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201 reviews 201 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“The Palace was no open”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

As the Palace was not open we walked around the gardens but they are othing special other than some interesting trees.There really isn't anyting else to say.

Visited November 2012
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Bucharest, Romania
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514 reviews 514 reviews
200 attraction reviews
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257 helpful votes 257 helpful votes
“Nothing special is shown there, just a walk on some alleys”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Great expectations after the big enrolment process. Go to the Imperial Palace Administration website and apply while giving them a lot of details. Strict rules, from being there time in advance and keeping youself sticked to the group during the walk. You get a audio guide in English which to be used according to the Japanese guide instructions, for some history tips (of course after explaining in Japanese...). You will after orderly walk through some alleys and that's it. No single room, at least the State rooms or official rooms like elswere. Dissapointing...

Visited October 2012
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Dumaguete City, Philippines
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122 reviews 122 reviews
48 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Total waste of time!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

You need to apply to get a permit to join the guided tour and you need to be there at the "Kikyo-mon" gate at least 10 minutes before the start of the one and a half hour tour which showed us just the exterior of some buildings, not a single interior, total waste of time. Skip this tour if you have other better things to do. Not unless if you have so much time to kill while in Tokyo.

Visited October 2012
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Belbroughton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Facinating setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

It is amazing to see this piece of greenery and the palace on the hill in the middle of a built up metropolis.

Visited November 2012
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