Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksHistoric Walking AreasArchitectural BuildingsGovernment Buildings
About
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.
Duration: < 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Imperial Palace
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi
Ginza is famous for being a trendy hotspot, but it's also a downtown area with shops that were founded over a hundred years ago. Department stores and luxury boutiques line the route from Nihonbashi to Ginza. It's a long established tradition to shop and stroll while the road is closed to traffic. Luxury hotels, world class cuisine from talented chefs, and a collection of glitzy clubs will make this area popular with anyone looking for a night out.
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • PriscillaF
    Perth, Australia1,104 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    You can still see it free without a ticket
    So to get a guided tour you need to book at least 4 days in advance or there’s availability for walk in (70 people max) on the day if you line up before 1230pm at kilyomon gate (tickets handed out at 12.30pm) to the first 70 people. So therefore start lining up by 11am! If your a walk in! I was too late and found if u walk from there past the water to the gate on the left, item on gate you can still walk through the gardens by yourself and there is a map at the shop on your left side inside the gates that are free. A bonus would be to pack a picnic and eat on the lawns as I saw another group do which looked lively. I got some really nice pictures and it’s a nice day out. I would have liked to have seen some gardeners in there doing some weeding though. My weeding OCD was massively triggered, such beautiful gardens that I kind of felt was becoming a little neglected. There are shops to purchase drinks, ice creams but nothing else good wise and you can buy merchandise. There are to let’s available too.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written April 13, 2023
  • Jonnyjubb
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom201 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely Palace in beautiful grounds.
    Lovely gardens and great views (from a distance). Visited mid-afternoon and hadn’t realised than entry to the inner grounds was limited to two tours a day. If you want to get closer to the Palace, then make sure you double-check visiting times etc.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 22, 2023
  • Emily S
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    nice for taking a stroll
    It's a great experience to visit the real palace, but if you just want to stroll around the garden, that's enjoyable too. The tourist guide is fantastic, and the gift shop is worth checking out. To get in for free, you should arrive at least an hour early because the group limit is only 70 people. But if you can't make it in time to join the group, you can still have a good time exploring the garden.
    Visited December 2022
    Written May 4, 2023
  • Luv_ Rachmaninoff_No2
    Irvine, California74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful palace close to Tokyo Station & amazing English tour guide
    We were visiting from the US where we made the tour reservations over a month in advance. We were staying near the Tokyo Station so it was very convenient 15 min walk to the Palace. People were divided into separate groups, depending on your native language, and our English tour guide took us around the walking tour on the outside of the palace, which took about an hour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Palace as well as her English was excellent & she shared many photos along the way as she was providing very helpful descriptions. We had plenty opportunities to take some beautiful closeup photos and we enjoyed the tour, one of the highlights of our trip. Definitely recommend this tour but make sure you wear comfortable shoes & make reservations early since it books up quickly (reservation period opens one month prior to your visit month)
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 21, 2023
  • fwaffarn
    Dana Point, California68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pleasant half day outing
    My friend and I spent a wonderful few hours walking around the outer perimeter and the inside palace gardens. Access is free. Imposing walls, most and guard gates provide insights into historical context of this palace and its surroundings in the heart of central Tokyo. Multiple photo ops. Also an excellent venue for jogging around the outer perimeter, approx 3-5 miles depending on the route you choose.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Chris R
    27 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoy the Imperial Palace gardens
    If you want to enjoy beautiful gardens in the middle of a large city, this is the place. If you want a tour of a palace, this is probably the wrong one. Go to Osaka instead. Since there are residents, it is like expecting a tour of Buckingham Palace. There are tours twice a day which get booked up, but they are more external than internal to the palace.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 11, 2023
  • Sue S
    Kingston, Canada381 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Underwhelming at best
    Yes it's iconic but frankly don't expect too much. You will only see the exterior of the palace. The grounds are filled with perfectly manicured grass and pine trees. Close to the bus parking lot there is a bronze statue of the a 14th century samurai. Although the historical significance is immense, there isn't much to do here. Just make sure to bring good walking shoes since you will be walking on gravel paths.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 11, 2023
  • Bobbie W
    Warwick, Rhode Island1,375 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unimpressive
    While we felt we needed to check out the imperial palace, we chose not to go in. First of all, you needed to take a guided tour to get in. The wait was a mile long and we heard once inside, it’s unimpressive. Lots of manicured shrubs. The outside is a massive area with an enormous moat around the palace.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 17, 2023
  • iexpect
    126 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Limited entry
    Arrived at palace to do the gardens but they were closed. Walking around the palace perimeter found a sign stating first 140 people can go in and see the palace inner grounds. We queued 2 hrs. While I understand people saying it's a bit of a disappointment not seeing in the palace I still felt privileged to see what I did.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 24, 2023
  • E C
    Victoria, Australia267 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Check entry dates before you go
    Nice area to walk around, a great contrast of old vs new. No where to sit and enjoy the area and you aren’t allowed on the grass at the parks in Japan. Check opening days before you go as not all gardens have public access.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 14, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles2,796 reviews
Excellent
807
Very good
1,029
Average
677
Poor
205
Terrible
78

Ricochan
New York381 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We booked the 'Guided Tour of the Imperial Palace' tickets about two weeks in advance. With reservation, security check was very smooth. Make sure to purchase reasonably priced and high quality souvenirs in the hall where instructions are given, before the tour begins. When the tour is over, you will be asked to leave immediately. Similar items are sold in the outer garden, but not all that are offered in the hall.
There were more people in Japanese language tour, but our English tour group was small enough that we could all hear the guide very well.
If you have been to Kyoto, this castle may not wow you. It offers a glimpse of some Imperial buildings and ruins that are normally out of reach to commoners. I always liked the Megane Bridge from the parking area, and it was priceless to walk over it.
We also walked around the outer garden which was open to public.
Written January 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RaoulJean
Tokyo, Japan618 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
If you enjoyed seeing the imperial gardens, you can see more of them by booking the (free) imperial garden tour, on the imperial website. The whole tour last about 90mns, and though not mind-blowing, gives you access to view-point seldom seen.
Also, you can see (from outside only...) some buildings used by the imperial family, and the tour guide gives useful information.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anu789
Pune, India143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Tucked away in the heart of the city, the Imperial Palace is majestic a sight. Made my way for a morning run and it was quite an experience, although the chilly weather was a slight dampener. Would certainly recommend trying it out as it was quite an experience joining all the enthusiastic morning joggers.
Written April 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PriscillaF
Perth, Australia1,104 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
So to get a guided tour you need to book at least 4 days in advance or there’s availability for walk in (70 people max) on the day if you line up before 1230pm at kilyomon gate (tickets handed out at 12.30pm) to the first 70 people. So therefore start lining up by 11am! If your a walk in! I was too late and found if u walk from there past the water to the gate on the left, item on gate you can still walk through the gardens by yourself and there is a map at the shop on your left side inside the gates that are free. A bonus would be to pack a picnic and eat on the lawns as I saw another group do which looked lively. I got some really nice pictures and it’s a nice day out. I would have liked to have seen some gardeners in there doing some weeding though. My weeding OCD was massively triggered, such beautiful gardens that I kind of felt was becoming a little neglected. There are shops to purchase drinks, ice creams but nothing else good wise and you can buy merchandise. There are to let’s available too.
Written April 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jerome G
Coppell, TX595 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Although the gardens were pretty, serene and peaceful and the grounds were well kept and designed, they did not evoke the sense I had anticipated. No fault of the garden design but it was the wrong season to visit. Yes, the buildings, the general layout and structure of the stone walls were interesting to see, the lack of fresh greenery and flowers were disappointing. Save your visit for the spring, summer or fall to enjoy this garden. In the winter, your time can be better spent somewhere else in Tokyo
Written March 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OZ-Travelling-Family
Brisbane Australia281 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We arrived in December 8, on the last day of the free access to the interior gardens of the Imperial Palace that allowed the viewing of the Buildings used for the new emperor’s Daijosai ceremony. There were huge crowds but very orderly conduct allowed us to go through the inner gardens which are not often accessible to the public and see the buildings used for the emperor Naruhito’s Daijosai ceremony.
This however was a very rare occasion and never to be repeated until the enthronement of the next Emperor!
Otherwise the only accessible parts are the external gardens. Easy walk from Tokyo railway station.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Afiqah
9 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This place is nice to walk around it. The surroundings are very peaceful and beautiful. It's very nice to sit down and just soak in the atmosphere. There are signs around with information on the place. It's informative. However, the houses in the Imperial Palace are restricted so you can only admire from afar. There are break rooms in the Imperial Palace where you can rest and buy souvenirs. They sold post cards with very pretty drawings on them. There are toilets and vending machines available in the place.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sfdalton
Boston, MA3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We wrote many weeks in advance to get tickets (free) for the guided tour. I would definitely skip this. There were probably 80-100 people in our group and the guide's microphone system was meant to speak to a group of 8-15 people. We honestly did not hear one word of the tour....we don't really know what we saw. It was all outdoors; none of the tours go into any buildings. I would definitely skip this and just walk through the gardens.
Written October 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iexpect
englishmanfrom london126 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Arrived at palace to do the gardens but they were closed. Walking around the palace perimeter found a sign stating first 140 people can go in and see the palace inner grounds. We queued 2 hrs. While I understand people saying it's a bit of a disappointment not seeing in the palace I still felt privileged to see what I did.
Written October 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris R
Tucson, United States27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
If you want to enjoy beautiful gardens in the middle of a large city, this is the place. If you want a tour of a palace, this is probably the wrong one. Go to Osaka instead. Since there are residents, it is like expecting a tour of Buckingham Palace. There are tours twice a day which get booked up, but they are more external than internal to the palace.
Written July 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,472
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Imperial Palace - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Imperial Palace

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience Imperial Palace:


Restaurants near Imperial Palace: View all restaurants near Imperial Palace on Tripadvisor


Imperial Palace Information

Excellent Reviews

807

Very Good Reviews

1,029

Imperial Palace Photos

4,051