Kokyo is the residence of Emperor (Tennou). The Emperor's family normally are living here. (We pronounce it as "Kookyo".)
It is on the site of Edo Castle, which was built in 1457, was expanded after establishment of Edo government in 1603, then was changed to Kokyo after establishment of new Meiji government in 1869.
The site is surrounded by moats, and is about 1.5 km from east to west and about 2 km from north to south.
A north part and a southeast part of the site are opened to the public as garden, park or area of cultural facilities. Through these areas, open roads pass.
Other part of the site is "Kokyo".
In this area, there are the Palace, the Emperor's residence and other buildings.
Basically the area is surrounded by moats and stone walls.
It has 9 gates connected with bridges across the moats.
Imperial Household Agency Homepage : One of the administrative divisions of the national government
is a large park located southeast of Kokyo, and is about 500 meters
from east to west and 800 meters from north to south.
Originally it was a garden of Imperial family, but was opened to the public as a national park in 1949 after World War II.
The main area is covered with gravel roads, lawns and Japanese black
pines. It is very wide open space in the center of giant city.
And it is the approach to Kokyo, so many tourists visit here.
is a gate located at the southwest corner of Kokyo-Gaien garden.
It was the south gate of Edo Castle and was built in 1636.
In 1860, Naosuke Ii, the top assistant samurai of Shogun, was assassinated near this gate. It is known that this case had led to the collapse of feudal Edo government.
So it is designated as a nationally important cultural property.
are two bridges across a moat near Sakuradamon.
Both these briges are called "Nijubashi". "Niju" means "double".
The near bridge is made of stone, and the other is made of steel, and the stone bridge is often displayed through photos.
There is the main gate of Kokyo across the stone bridge.
We usually cannot cross them. We can cross only at the Emperor's birthday (December 23th) and congratulations of new year to the Emperor (January 2nd).
It is the central building of Kokyo,
and was built in 1968.
It has 7 wings, and there are the office of Emperor, ceremonial halls, banquet halls and other facilities in them.
It has 2 stories above the ground and 1 underground story, and the looks is modern.
There is a large forecourt on the east side of the Palace. We can see the Emperor on the veranda of Palace at the Emperor's birthday and congratulations of new year to the Emperor.
For visiting, you (foreign tourist) must make a reservation by the day before visit.
You can see the palace in the guided tour. (But you cannot enter the palace.)
is a garden in the east part of the site of Kokyo, and is call
"Kokyo-higashi-gyoen" in Japanese.
In this area there was the main building of Edo Castle, which had been destroyed by fire in 1657 and had not been rebuilt. After that some imperial building were built in this area.
And since 1968 it has been opened to the public. Sometimes it is used as a venue of court event.
This area also is surrounded by moats.
There are Japanese gardens, Edo Castle ruin, a few historical constructions, a museum and other spots.
Basically we can visit here every day except Monday and Friday. (Additionally it is closed at some other special days.)
The entrances are Oote-mon Gate, Hirakawa-mon Gate and Kitahanebashi-mon Gate.
Photo by nove
Photo by nove
Photo by nove
Tokyo Sky Tree