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    Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace is a "must-see" for first-time Tokyo visitors. Tours are offered by various operators; a reservations is required.

On December 23rd each year, the grounds are open to the public, for the Emperor's Birthday. If you do visit during this time, follow the lines which go into the tented areas - your belongings will be checked, and you will be searched. Cameras are allowed. Inside the grounds, there are restrooms, and drink machines. There is a bag check-in tent also.

Various buildings on these grounds have housed shogun rulers and emperors. The major structures have been destroyed by fire or bombing (WW2). The current Imperial Palace compound was rebuilt in 1968 using modern contruction techniques (steel-framed concrete).

Emperor Akhito, the Head of State, resides within the Imperial Palace. Recently, several towers have been built just east of the property, which overlook the compound; this had been forbidden previously.

The current Japanese premier, Yoshihiko Noda, is the current political leader for Japan. He previously lived in Hatoyama Hall in Tokyo's Otowa district. Currently the Prime Minister resides in the Katei in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

More References for Tokyo

PASMO · Park Hotel · JR East Trains

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