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The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

A famous cherry blossom viewing place

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom from late March to early April at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The Imperial Palace is located on the grounds of what used to be Edo Castle. The palace grounds feature the East Gardens, known as Higashi-gyoen in Japanese, and the remains of the inner citadel and outer citadel.

The inner keep was the residence of the Edo Shogunate shogun and includes the Goten palace court and the Tenshyu-kaku castle tower as the centre of the castle.

Surrounded by many high rise buildings and commercial towers, stepping into the grounds of the Imperial Palace is like stepping into a completely different world.

The East Gardens are around 21 hectares and every year, the hanami cherry blossom viewing season draws many visitors. An integral part of Japanese culture, people enjoy the cherry blossoms seated on the lawn or strolling through the grounds. Everyone has their own style of enjoying hanami and the tradition is becoming more and more popular amongst international visitors.

In addition to the lovely nature of the gardens—as well as a the bird-filled castle moat—is Inui-mon Street. Open to the public during the set times of the year, the Inui-mon Street features many species of cherry blossoms. The street is quite sophisticated and the scenery is beautiful. In Japan, the name of the era changed in 2019 and the new era, Reiwa, began, making a visit to both the East Gardens and Inui-mon Street well worth it.

Getting there

The Imperial Palace and its gardens are a 10-minute walk from the Marunouchi Gate of JR Tokyo Station.

More info

Find out more about Imperial Palace.

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