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East Gardens of the Imperial Palace


Tour report on Dec. 21, 2019 (The East Garden of the Imperial Palace)

  • 2019.12.22

  Thank you for visiting our website! Our guests often ask us “why do you do this volunteer guide activities?” Answers differ by each member. But we all have same reason “because all of our guests are so wonderful and we are encouraged to do this, enjoying communication with guests from all over the world!” Yes, the same applied to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace tour on December 21 (Sat).  Though it was a pretty cold & cloudy day, we welcomed 7 guests from Australia, France, New Zealand & Singapore.  Thank YOU very much for your joining to our tour! As the benefit of relatively small number of guests, we could offer semi-private tour for our guests. ***************************************************** By the way, it feels like the year’s coming to an end. Let me introduce seasonal topics in Japan.   The winter solstice, called Touji, falls around December 21st or 22nd (December 22nd this year).  Touji represents the advent of winter. We are heading to coldest season. But at the same time, we also consider it is the start of spring because daytime will become longer day by day after Touji. For the day, we have such traditional customs, eating […]

Tour Report on 14 December 2019, Winter has already started in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace

  • 2019.12.15

Many thanks to 13 guests from Brasil, Singapore, USA and Australia. We divided into 3 groups. The weather was mild and unexpectedly warm like spring time despite the winter season has already started in Tokyo. The colors of foliage in the East Garden was very vivid because of winter sun rays. Guests could also enjoy clear reflection of the foliage colors on the water. But we are already in the winter. Normally going outside is hard thing to do. Then you might notice many people on the streets wearing surgical masks in Japan. That surprises foreigners. Especially in this cold season, more people wear masks. Foreign guests ask us why they are wearing it. That is one of most frequently asked questions by foreigners because it is a very unique custom of Japan. The answer is we wear this not to spread disease when we get a cold or fever. Mask is believed to block virus and germs from the mouth. But experts claim micro virus cannot be blocked by paper or cotton made masks and can easily go through the fabrics. Actually, it is rather a manner to tell others that you do not intend to spread disease even […]


  • 2019.12.10

Thank you for joining our tour to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Dec 7. We welcomed 5 guests from Australia, Israel and Spain. The weather was a little chilly with light rain but we could enjoy our walking tour and great conversation very much. From November 21 to December 8, the Daijokyu, the complex specially built for the Daijosai, an important ceremony accompanying the enthronement of the Emperor, was opened to the public. Imperial Palace opened Inui Street to public for autumn foliage as well. We also enjoyed viewing autumn colors at the East Garden. Thank you for joining our tour. We are looking forward to seeing you again. For more information about our tour, please visit our web site at, , TokyoFWT or Tokyo Free Walking Tour at (Posted by Tank)

Illumination Spots in Tokyo: The East Garden of the Imperial Palace, 30th Nov 2019

  • 2019.12.01

Thanks to all the guests for walking and talking with us on 30th November! We welcomed 12 guests from US, Philippine, Israel, German, and Sweden. The Imperial East Garden area is crowed with people visiting this area to look the Daijokyu ceremonial building, but guests enjoyed walking and learned about Japanese history. In today’s report, I’d like to introduce the illumination spots of this year in Tokyo that I couldn’t answer well to the tour guest a few weeks before. (1) Shibuya Park Street to Yoyogi Keyaki Street: Motif of this illumination spot is Blue Color. The trees on the street are decorated with 600,000 blue LEDs. JR Shibuya or Harajuku station is best to come. (2) Ebisu Garden Place: Main object of this spot is the Baccarat Chandelier illumination, which height is 5m and width is 3m. JR Ebisu station is best. (3) Roppongi Mid Town: Theme of this spot is Cosmic Space. Wide lawn area beside the Roppongi Mid Town building is decorated with illumination. Roppongi Metro station is best. (4) Marunouchi Naka Street : Trees beside the Naka Street are decorated with “Champagne Gold Color” LEDs. This was my answer to the guest, because this illumination spot […]

How do you enjoy Japan’s autumn colours in reasonable ways? – Tour report of the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, 28th November 2019

  • 2019.12.01

Many thanks to 3 guests joining our weekday tour. It was a cold and drizzling day, but 2 guests from Germany and 1 from Canada came to Tokyo Station. Thank you so much. We enjoyed walking and talking during the 2-hour tour.   My daughter, who is also one of the guides in Tokyo Free Walking Tour, has started working in the southeast of Osaka. She lives near Horyu-ji Temple, the very first World Heritage in Japan registered in 1993. My daughter and I visited the temple last week and were strongly impressed by the solemnity of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world.   I go to see my daughter at least once a month, do cleaning and cooking for her, and chat with her, which make myself soothed. However, visiting Osaka once a month has affected my family budgets! Then, last week, I tried a highway bus from Tokyo to Osaka. There are various types of buses, and what I chose was this: Only three lines of seats in one coach – each seat is independent with its own plug for electric equipment, and curtains protect one’s privacy. It takes 7 hours from Tokyo to Osaka, but […]


  • 2019.11.25

Thank  you  for  joining  our  tour  visiting  the  East  Garden  of  the  Imperial  Palace on  November 23rd.   We  welcomed  as  many  as  15 people  from  U.S.A.,  Malaysia,  Spain,  UK,  and  Canada.  Being  a  little  bit   late,   leaves  of  Tokyo  area  begin  to  color  to  yellow  and  red.     Although   we  had   rain   which   is   rare  in  this  season,  scenery  of  these  colored  trees  matches  modern  buildings  and   remains  of  old  Edo  castle  (stone  wall  and  moat  etc)  very  well. The  circumference  of   Edo  castle  is  said  to  be  6  kilometers   and  all   surrounded   by  stone  walls  and   moats,   and   these  remains   of   the  huge  castle  can  be  seen  in  many  places  near  Imperial    Palace. We   could  enjoy   these  harmonized  scenery  from  the  beginning to  the  end  of   our  tour.   Every time it is a great pleasure for us to welcome foreign guests, and guide this tour. We were very happy having been with our guests. With Tokyo Olimpic games 2020 in next year, all Japanese country are making strong efforts to welcome foreign guests. We appreciate again, and hope all of our guests will have wonderful memories. (posted by Shino.) For more information about our tour, please visit our […]

Shinto ceremony, colorful leafs, Imperial Palace and East Garden is dramatically changing day by day!! Nov.20, weekday tour

  • 2019.11.21

Many many thanks to our guests joining our weekday tour this day. It was a chilly, windy morning but we were so delighted to welcome 10 guests from U.S.A, U.K, Germany, Ireland, Holland and Australia. We could explore the East Garden with newly dressy autumn colored trees in bright yellow. slighty red, and time just flew with a lot of talks with our amazing guests. I guess this day was the last day we could enjoy the garden in a “peaceful atmosphere”for a while…since from the next day(Nov.21-Dec.8), the “Daijyo-kyu” located on the upper area of the East Garden was to be opened to the public and  lots and lots of people may be visiting the East Garden for 18 days. If you would like to know more about this Daijyo-Sai, or if you are to go to see this special building at the East Garden of the Imperial House, I recommend you to go to the exhibition held at Kokugakuin-University Museum in Shibuya. The name of the special exhibition is exactly “Daijosai”and is open till Dec.15. They try to offer Japanese/English explanation  for this special exhibition which may help you to understand a liitle bit more about this top […]

Tour Report on Nov.16th (tour of The East Garden of the Imperial Palace)

  • 2019.11.18

Thank you for joining our tour of The East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Nov.16th. We had 24 guests. They were from Argentine (1), Australia (2), Brazil (2), Colombia (3), Indonesia (1), Philippine (1), Singapore (3), Taiwan (2) and U.S.A. (10) . It was a sunny and warm day.  Our guests enjoyed walking and taking pictures of historic sites in the autumnal garden. From Nov.14th evening to 15th dawn, the Great Thanksgiving festival called “Daijo-sai”  was taken place at the Honmaru site in The East Garden of the Imperial Palace. This was a ritual of the first offering of rice by the newly-enthrone Emperor. The ceremony is performed once in his reign based on the traditional form of the imperial family since late 7th century. The ritual was exclusively performed by the Emperor with few maidens at the newly built shrine in the garden. The Emperor offered rice and foods to his ancestors, and also  prayed for the peace of the nation and thanked Gods for the rich harvest. The Imperial Household Agency is announcing that this shrine will be opened to the public from Nov.21st to Dec. 8th . Why not coming to The East Garden of the […]

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Nov 9th : Perfect fall season tour with beautiful natures.

  • 2019.11.10

Thank you for joining our tour to the East garden of the Imperial Palace on Nov 9th. The weather was just perfect for a walking tour with typical fall blue sky and clean air in Japan, 17℃/63℉, no wind. We welcomed 27 guests from Argentina, Luxembourg, Lithuania, U.K., Columbia, Germany, Singapore, U.S.A., Netherlands and Romania. The tour was run by 3 groups with a few guides. This day, our tour course was forced a bit irregular because of National Festival to celebrate the throne of the new Emperor in addition to the fact that a part of The East Garden of the Imperial Palace was as banned in preparation for Grand Ceremony by new Emperor on Nov 14th and 15th. Even so, we had a lot of conversations with our guests while visiting the historical buildings of modern Japan and the ruins of Edo Castle, watching the deeper autumn gardens and flowers. One guest found a cherry blossom blooming at this season and told us. I believe all our guests enjoyed the tour, too. There is Wadakura Bridge over a mort in the middle of our tour. The east side of the moat on the south side from this bridge […]

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Nov., 2; Come and Get to Know Japan through TFWT Tour

  • 2019.11.04

Welcoming 11 guests from various countries; Argentina(2), Australia(1), Canada(1), Germany(2), Singapore(2), Spain(2), Ukraine(1), we have held the tour to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace in 4 groups.  It was relatively a small number guests today regardless of the good weather in the good season. But each group enjoyed the tour with a lot of free talks in between the guide spots.  We appreciate all the guests for choosing Tokyo Free Walking Tour.  We hope your safe trips for the rest of your stay and back to your homes. Now that Rugby World Cup 2019 has ended, the national events to come are the Emperor’s enthronement celebration parade on November 10, and the grand thanksgiving rite on November 14 and 15 (the rite on 15th is schedule to start at midnight).  It is called Daijosai in Japanese, or the first ceremonial offering of rice by newly-enthroned Emperor. The facilities for the ritual are now under construction in Honmaru area which is the main ground of the East Garden, or former Edo Castle.  As the area is closed from November 1 to December 13 except for the period between Nov., 21 and Dec., 8 for opening to public, our tour […]

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