Hanami at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Ninomaru Japanese garden and the palace gardens

The Japanese garden at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is one of the best places to see all kinds of Japanese flowers throughout the year. Of course, it is also an excellent place to see sakura - cherry blossoms.

The first picture is from the Ninomaru Japanese garden. You can always visit this beautiful part of the palace. The pond has especially colourful big koi carps and the flowers and trees are a collection of many different kinds of plants found around Japan.

More sakura trees are up in the inner parts of the gardens where Edo Castle used to stand. Walk from Ninomaru garden along the strong stone walls that formed the castle's defence. On the top there is now a lawn with cherry trees around it.

In the spring of 2014 the gardens of the Imperial Palace where open for a few days during the hanami season. It was an incredibly crowded flower viewing walk. Unless you are royalty or the president of you country you will probably not be able to access this part of the Imperial Palace. You can see how crowded it was in the second picture above.

Hanami along the palace's Chidorigafuchi moat

Chidorigafuchi is the moat outside the Imperial Palace. You can rent a small boat and row slowly along the cherry trees or take a walk along the water. In the evening, the sakura trees are illuminated.

Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens

To see the Japanese garden, take the Ote-mon gate close to Otemachi station. Near the entrance, there is a small museum that shows select items from the Imperial collection. The exhibit changes. You can also go through Hirakawa-mon gate near Takebashi station. http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-about/shisetsu/higashigyoen-map.html

The gardens here are always worth a visit. This flower calendar shows what you can expect to see throughout the year http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-event/hanadayori-cal.html

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