Can you ever imagine living in a place which is devoid of all comforts (are they real comforts or several sources of pollution affecting both physical and mental health?).Can you visualize a part of the world filled with peace and harmony?
If your answer for the above two questions is YES, obviously the place or part of the universe which suits the above requirement will be “GARDEN”.
A garden is the one which can be planned anywhere we want. It is set aside for cultivation, enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. It is the place where we can get more and pure oxygen. It can be described in many ways. The garden which display wild animals are formerly called Zoological gardens. Gardens are almost universally based on plants, it is often signified a shortened form of botanical garden. We must preserve the gardens for our future.
Coming to the IMPERIAL PALACE GARDEN, the word Imperial means “relating to empire”. The palace is a residence of Imperial family. Imperial palace garden is located in the chiyoda area of Tokyo close to Tokyo station. This palace is also called as “THE KOKYO HIGASHI GYOEN GARDEN”. It was opened to the public in 1968, covering an area of approximately 2, 10,000 square meters.
The history of Imperial palace is, Edo castle is the residence of Japans Imperial family. It is used to be the seat of TOKUGAWA SHOGUN who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867.But after the capitulation(demand) of SHOGUNATE and the MEIJI RESTORATION, the people who are living in the Castle, including the TOKUGAWA YOSHINOBU(also known as KEIKI,was the 15th and the last shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan .He was part of a movement which aimed to reform the aging Shogunate but was ultimately unsuccessful)were required to vacate the premises of the Edo castle i.e., In 1968,the Shogunate was overthrown and the country’s capital and imperial residence were moved from KYOTO to TOKYO. The emperor arrived at Edo castle on 26 November, 1868 and made it to his new residence and renamed it to TOKEI castle. The palace is renamed as Imperial castle on 9th MAY, 1869.
Tokyo Imperial palace has remained at the Centre of Tokyo, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the centre of Tokyo. It gives the feeling of old Edo. The palace is surrounded by a water-filled moat and tree covered grounds.Hanmoru is the principal compound, Ninomaru is the second compound located outside the Honmaru and Sannomaru, the third compound surrounding in the Ninomaru of Edo castle. To the North we can see Kitanomaru Garden. To the West, taking up roughly half of the area is the Imperial Palace Grounds. To the South East is the Kokyo Gaien with its flawless fields of pine trees and lastly to the East lies the Imperial Palace East Gardens, the main point of this vast expanse.
Honomaru section consists of a vast lawn and the remaining foundations of the former castle tower can be found on the top of the hill. The tower was completed in 1638 as the tallest castle towers in Japan’s history. But only few years later in 1657, it was destroyed by citywide fires and has not been rebuilt ever since. In the place of the formal buildings at the foot hill, a nice Japanese style garden has been created.Ninomaru section is maintained as an Edo period (1603-1867).While the gardens within the main compound of Tokyo imperial palace are beautiful. The garden which is present at the Ninomaru section is called as Ninomaru garden. It is on the north east side and features a large pond with a land bridge. Just like all other traditional Japanese gardens, the Ninomaru features many round azalea bushes, as well as water Lillie’s and irises.
Kokyo Gaien inherits Marunouchi quality of spaciousness and adds lush fields and pine trees. The West half is closed off by a low fence, preventing visitors from spoiling the meticulously (extremely careful and precise) kept grounds. The East side is open to the public.
The inner grounds of the palace are generally not open to the public except on two days i.e., on January 2(for 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.
The best gardens are Tokyo Imperial palace east gardens which are located next to the Tokyo Imperial palace and were a part of Edo Castle grounds. East gardens is the former residence for the Emperor and his family, the gardens will be very grand and leaves no room for disappointment, The Imperial palace east gardens are open to the public throughout the year except on Mondays, Fridays and special occasions. We have to learn a lot from our history.
So when you visit Tokyo this must be in your list of visits and must not miss at least each part of the garden.
ADDRESS: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
TIMINGS: Daily 9am-4:30pm.
ADMISSION: Free, token collected at gate to be submitted on leaving.
JOURNEY: A short walk of about ten minutes from Tokyo station.