Imperial Palace is a big green spot in the middle of Tokyo. Its exotic seasonal flowers add colors and softness to the place which represent strength and withstood the great battles of World War II. Tokyo rose again with this secured area fit for the emperor and the empress who live here. The sight and feel of the Imperial Palace will remind tourists of its pains, its courage, and its success in standing up again from a devastating fall. The moats and fortified walls are now but beautiful scars that will serve as an inspiration to visitors that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Life goes on and what does not kill a person will just make him or her stronger and wiser.
It is usually first on the tourists’ itinerary, being very accessible from airports and trains. It is just like being welcomed to Tokyo by the emperor and his household. This becomes literally true on two special days in the Imperial Palace calendar which are January 2 and December 23 which are the family’s New Year celebration and the emperor’s birthday, respectively. On these days inner parts of the palace is opened to the public and the family makes balcony appearances. These are rare opportunities wherein the emperor even address the tourists and wish them a prosperous year ahead. The emperor also never forgets to thank the tourists for coming and visiting the palace on these special days. Although the palace is always expecting a big crowd on these days, tourists still find these special days worthy of all the effort of being in the Imperial Palace.
Guided tours are held twice daily from Monday to Friday, one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Tourists should register for these tours online because the palace staff is trying to limit the number of people per batch for maximum Imperial Palace experience and learning. These tours are free of charge and anyone who has reserved a slot is welcome to the palace. Just be sure to bring a camera so that this rare opportunity to experience Tokyo’s history, beauty, and lessons alive in the form of pictures which usually feature the stone walls, the moats, the bridges, the azaleas, the hydrangeas, the cherry blossoms, and of course, the palace itself. Nowadays, panoramic shots of the palace showing stark contrast against the busy Tokyo life are becoming popular. Indeed, being inside the palace makes tourists forget about being in Tokyo altogether. It is as if they entered a different realm and were taken to a garden of pleasure and wisdom.
Other gardens such as the East Garden are open to the public without any need for reservations. It holds prominent halls and buildings that tourists can see.
The Imperial Palace is definitely a place oozing with power and beauty. The palace is definitely worth a visit for tourists who are planning to visit different places in Tokyo and learn as much as they can about Tokyo’s history and culture. A tour to the Imperial Palace will feed a tourist’s eyes, mind, and soul.
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