East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
These gardens lie adjacent to the Imperial Palace and were once the main site for Edo Castle, home to the shogun and the center of his government. The proximity of the palace lends the East Gardens an atmosphere that is both regal and solemn.
Inside stand two long guardhouses once used by samurai retainers; visitors coming from Tokyo Station enter through the sturdily built O(_)te-mon gate, a remnant of the Edo period. The garden also afford the best spot to view Fujimi Turret, the last remaining fortification of Edo Castle.
Perhaps the highlight of the East Gardens is the Museum of Imperial Collections, which houses many dazzling gifts received by Japanese royalty over the years. Also worthy of attention are the garden’s azaleas and irises, which bloom in May June respectively.