English Tours at the Imperial Palace
This is an informational video released by "Tokyo MX" in 2018, introducing English tours of the Imperial Palace, a central city landmark that is gaining popularity among foreign visitors to Japan.
Asakusa (浅草, Asakusa), Odaiba (お台場, Odaiba), Shibuya (渋谷, Shibuya) and Ueno (上野, Ueno) are famous for their central Tokyo attractions, but in recent years, the number of foreigners visiting the Imperial Palace has been on the rise.
In response to the growing demand for inbound tours, the Imperial Household Agency, which oversees the Imperial Palace, has introduced English tours for foreigners for the first time, in addition to tours in Japanese.
A Look at the Imperial Palace
Photo：Near the palace
The Imperial Palace is where the Emperor of Japan usually spends his time. It was called "Kyujo," "Kojo," and "Kogu" in the past.
The current Imperial Palace, located in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward (千代田区, Chiyodaku), is built around the ruins of Edo Castle and consists of the Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor, and a palace for various events and political affairs.
The palace, introduced at 2:17 in the video includes seven buildings, including the Main Hall (正殿, Seiden), Homeiden State Banquet Hall (豊明殿, Homeiden), the Rensui Dining Room (連翠, Rensui), Chowaden Reception Hall (長和殿, Chowaden), Chigusa/Chidori no ma Hall (千種・千鳥の間,Chigusa・Chidorinoma), the Omote Gozasho North Building (表御座所北棟, Omotegozashokitato) and Omote Gozasho South Building (表御座所南棟, Omotegozashominamito).
The Palace is surrounded by a moat, and the path along the moat is crowded with people on a daily basis.
The English Tours of the Imperial Palace
The English-language tour will take you on a 2-kilometer course along the south side of the Palace.
You can visit the Imperial Household Agency building and historical sites on foot with a guide from the Agency's staff.
You can see an actual guide at 0:47 in the video.
In this approximately one-hour tour, you can see a garden reminiscent of the Edo Period and the iron bridge at the main gate, along with Fujimi Tower(富士見櫓,Fujimiyagura) that stands atop a stone wall, and the palace where general New Year's ceremonies and other imperial events are held, as introduced at 1:29 in the video.
The guide's explanations are easy to understand for foreign visitors to Japan, so don't be shy about joining in the tour.
You can hear opinions of those who participated in the tour at 1:06 and 2:32 in the video.
Summary of English Tours at the Imperial Palace
Photo：Moat of the Imperial Palace
The sights of the Imperial Palace shown in the video are definitely worth seeing in person.
If you're thinking of applying for the English tour, be sure to visit the link at the bottom of this article to access the official site of the Imperial Palace.
The site provides an overview of the English tour application process, a tour schedule, and a map of the facilities.
◆Imperial Palace Facility Information◆
【Address】1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111
【Access】A 10-minute walk from Nijubashimae Station on the Chiyoda Subway Line, a 5-minute walk from Otemachi Station on the Mita Subway Line, a 5-minute walk from Takebashi Station on the Tozai Subway Line, and a 15-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station.
【Official Website】Imperial Household Agency: Information of the Facilities: Imperial Palace – Kyoto Imperial Palace