Imperial Palace Tour, Tokyo
Unbelievable what a huge area is Imperial palace. From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Meganebashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks.
This side is more touristy, tourist bus arrived constantly, but the place is big enough to stroll around without being disturb by other travelers. The Bridge is a popular picture spot for large group tourist. We walked all the way to where Meganebashi Bridge is cordoned off and reached the observatory point.
From this perspective you can see the imperial buildings are separated by an inner moat. The palace buildings and inner gardens are not open to the public. Only on January 2 New Year's Greeting and December 23 Emperor's Birthday. visitors are able to enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family, who make several public appearances on a balcony.
The Imperial Palace East Gardens are open to the public throughout the year except on Mondays, Fridays and special occasions.
The Imperial Palace is free to enter. You are given a ticket that looks kind of like a domino that grants you entry into the grounds. It's a vast area to explore. But one day here for a couple hours should suffice. Being that I was here in October, the weather was slightly chilly but manageable and cool. One of the wings near the museum was closed to the public, but the rest of the area, including the museum was open during the day we went. There is a lookout area where you can see the surrounding grounds. The museum has pictures dedicated to the Emperor's visit to 13 countries in the 1950's. There are relics from his travels as well.
The best thing about this place was admission was free. Which saves on the pocketbook and you get to experience a bit of culture as well.