Imperial Palace East Imperial Garden
Part of the inner palace area, the East Gardens offer seasonal flowers and ancient Japanese gardens surrounded by original moats, walls, entrance gates and guardhouses built by the Tokugawa shoguns. These wonders are free to enter, making a visit here one of the best bargains around.
The Imperial Palace East Gardens (皇居東御苑, Kōkyo Higashi Gyoen) are a part of the inner palace area and are open to the public. They are the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defence, the honmaru (“main circle”) and ninomaru (“secondary circle”). None of the main buildings remain today, but the moats, walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses still exist. Edo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Emperor Meiji also resided there from 1868 to 1888 before moving to the newly constructed Imperial Palace.