The Imperial Palace: Parks and Skyscrapers

Tokyo, Japan

5 places
Eugenia Dorozhkina

Tokyo doesn't have a single downtown but plenty of them – district for entertainment, skyscraper-backed business centers around the circle of Yamanote Line. Neighborhoods for teens, otaku freaks, hub for business guys and gadgets – all of them are from geographical center where the parks of the Imperial Palace are. This sacred home of the emperor stands as an untouchable oasis, there is even no subway line under it.

Hanzomon Station

This station honor the famous 16th century samurai Hattori Hanzō (we all know him from Kill Bill) who allegedly guarded the gates of the-then Imperial Palace.

Imperial Palace jogging

This place is an absolute darling of Tokyo joggers. Their classic distance is one 5-km leap – both fitness and great views of Imperial gardens and palaces and skyscrapers. The place has everything for sport-loves – WCs, lockers, drinking fountain and vending machines. So, ready, steady, go!

Imperial Palace East Gardens

The Imperial Palace East Gardens is Tokyo’s Central Park encircled with skyscrapers and high-rise business centers. You can enter the park via numerous gates and get a token – it should be returned when exiting.
The vast park is split into smaller zones with walls and mounds – lawns, iris ponds, maple and cherry trees and pine fields – you never know what you’ll see around the corner. Before going check the opening hours on their website and pack a bento and tea to picnic on the pine needles.

Idemitsu Museum of Arts

Japanese corporations have this nice tradition to found museums and collections of art. One of them is Idemitsu Museum of Arts – the excellent collection of Japanese art also hosting temporary exhibitions of art from Kyoto or Nara. A great chance to see Japan without leaving Tokyo. And one secret tip: go to the 9th floor to enjoy the view of the garden and neighboring skyscrapers.

Oedo Antique Market

Seek and you shall find – that's about this place. If you need a vintage typewriter you’ll get it here but also risk to leave the market with old kimono robes, a pile of posters and a tea set owned by a Japanese granny. The market is funnily located by super trendy Ginza.


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