Imperial Palace + Kitanomaru Park

Name: Imperial Palace + Kitanomaru Park

Kind: Castle + Park

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’31.72″ N 139°45’03.45″ E

Station: Kudanshita Station, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Toei Shinjuku Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see.

Updated 8/11/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Just north of the Imperial Palace is a huge park called Kitanomaru Park.

The park includes a huge pond, gardens, and the Nippon Budokan – which was originally built as a Judo arena for the 1964 Olympics.

The Imperial Moat runs along the west side. If you head northwest or further west and down south a bit, you’ll arrive at the fabulous Akasaka. Just across the street to the south before the Imperial Palace is the Imperial Guard Division HQ. Just east of that is the Japan National Archives. Just across east of that on Uchibori-Dori is the Parkside Building, which is down into Otemachi.

There are also 2 large car parking lots.

Uchibori-Dori, facing west. The entrance to the Imperial Palace is on the left, the Parkside Bldg. on the right. Kitanomaru Park is ahead up the street on the right.

Access

To get to the park, take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, and exit Kudanshita Station. You can also take Toei Shinjuku Line. Get off at Kudanshita Station around 35°41’44.45″ N 139°45’05.70″ E. Head west down the street, then south in the next block.

Entrance is free and is easiet on the south side of the street at the Tayasumon Gate near the Imperial Palace from the main street. There’s a small bridge to cross the moat into the park. You’ll be right at Nippon Budokan so head southwest around the walkway and further south into the park.

2 Museums

Inside the park there are 2 great museums: National Museum of Modern Art and the Science Museum. The Science Museum is way out on the southeast side.

There are also a few other small things to do, and shops including an ice cream place and a few small other food shops.

The leaves in the fall are spectacular.

If you’re in central Tokyo, you don’t want to miss it.

Enjoy!

LINKS

Kudanshita Station – Wikipedia

Kudanshita Station/T07/Z06 | Route/Station Info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitanomaru_Park

A visit to “Kitanomaru Garden” – This is where you’ll find your new favorite museum! – Visit Chiyoda

Nippon Budokan

National Archives of Japan – Wikipedia

Tokyo Imperial Palace | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace: Mega Guide for What to Do and See | Tokyo Cheapo

Imperial Palace Tokyo – a travel guide for visitors

Tayasu-mon Gate, Tokyo

旧江戸城写真ガラス原板  田安門 | Tokyo Museum Collection

Kitanomaru park, Tokyo, Japan [RESULT] – SketchCrawl.com™

Parc Kitanomaru – Le jardin du château d’Edo

Tokyo Travel Tips. Advice, Reviews, How to get Around, Things to See

Breakfast at Yaesu Hatsufuji (again), Ueno Park, and Kitanomaru Park – mmm-yoso!!!

Kitanomaru Square The Terrace – Luxury Apartment for Rent in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

VIDS

Yasukuni Shrine

Name: Yasukuni Shrine

Kind: Shrine

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’38.67″ N 139°44’36.94″ E

Stations: Kudanshita Station (Tozai Line), Namboku Line, Yurakucho Line, Ichigaya Station, or JR Chuo-Sobu Line.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see.

Updated 7/17/2021

©2021 tenmintokyo.com

Access

For stations, you have 2 close choices: Kudanshita Station on the Tozai Line, Namboku Line, or Yurakucho Line to the east, or Ichigaya Station to the west. Both are easily within walking distance (under 1 mile). You can also take the JR Chuo-Sobu Line.

Just to the north is another small town called Iidabashi within walking distance with its own station.

History + Controversy

The shrine is controversial and is resented by China + Korea because it commemorates war dead considered to be war criminals by those countries (don’t forget Japan invaded both China and Korea in the late 19th + early 20th centuries). Every year around the anniversary of the end of World War 2, both countries decry politicians’ visits to the shrine. In recent years the Japanese Prime Minister has avoided visiting the shrine on the WW2 anniversary.

Things to Do

The shrine grounds are not huge, but there’s a lot to do. There are historical museums, and perhaps, most interestingly, some World War 2 exhibits. Just to the north is Iidabashi, and just to the west is Ichigaya (perhaps most famous for its popular Ichigaya Fish Center). The Imperial Palace and Kitanomaru Park are just to the southeast, and Tokyo Dome City is just to the northeast.

Every July the Matama Matsuri (festival) is held in the stone park area (Marshal Admiral Tōgō Memorial Park) just to the east. With over 30,000 lighted paper lanterns, it’s impressive to say the least. A must-see.

Just to the northeast a bit further is the Otemachi area and to the southeast of that is the main financial district, Marunouchi – all within walking distance.

Ōmura Masujirō Statue + Park + Nippon Budokan

Just a few blocks to the east is a large park with a statue of Ōmura Masujirō – considered the father of the Imperial Japanese Army. The statue dates all the way back to 1868 (the year of the start of the Meiji Restoration) and survived Allied carpet bombing of World War 2.

If you’re there in the fall, the Ginko trees lining the park light up a brilliant yellow with fall colors.

Map of World War 2 carpet bombing in the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Yasukuni + the Ōmura Masujirō Statue monument narrowly escaped the bombing and are located roughly in the small dark patch between red areas on the left side of the map. Tokyo Bay is shown to the lower right.

Just a few blocks further southeast is Nippon Budokan – a large sports arena built for the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Marshal Admiral Tōgō Memorial Park

Also just to the southwest a few more blocks is the Marshal Admiral Tōgō Memorial Park (officially Togo Gensui Memorial Park).

Conclusion

Yasukuni Shrine is a beautiful + impressive complex – even if it is entangled in a somewhat less than favorable history of World War 2. It’s a must-see in Tokyo, even if only for the buildings, grounds, and museums. Be sure to stop by.

Enjoy!

LINKS

https://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/access.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Cmura_Masujir%C5%8D

As Japan marks WWII surrender, prime minister avoids controversial shrine

Japan war shrine visit angers China and South Korea

Inoue Yasuji | True View of the Courtyard of Yasukuni Shrine at Kudan Sakaue

Chinese And Koreans Call To Boycott Pokemon After Creatures Inc. Posts Visit To Yasukuni Shrine

Statue Of Omura Masujiro At Yasukuni Shrine Editorial Stock Photo

Statue of Omura Masujiro at Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, c. 1920. | Old Tokyo

https://www.ichigaya-fc.com/

Yasukuni Shrine ~ Nippon Photography Community

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2ZCoVSVSnQ