The Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace and other Imperial Household Establishments

After WWII, the lands and other properties formerly possessed by the Imperial House were handed over to State in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of Japan, which came into force in 1947. Some of them have been assigned to the use of the Imperial House.

The Imperial Palace, Akasaka Imperial Palace, Imperial Villas, Goryo Bokujo (Imperial Stock Farm), Kamoba (Imperial Wild Duck Preserves), Kyoto Imperial Palace, Katsura Imperial Villa, Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Shosoin and Ryobo (Mausolea and Tombs) are examples of the State properties assigned to the use of the Imperial House. As of 31 March 2012, these properties amounted to approximately 19.06 million square meters in land space and 204,261 square meters in building space.

The Imperial Palace

Photo Description
Aerial View of the Imperial Palace
(Photo:Imperial Household Agency)

The former Edo castle, the seat of the Shogunate, was turned into the Imperial Palace in 1868. It was officially named "Kyujo (the palace castle)" from 1888 to 1948. Since then it has been called simply the Imperial Palace "Kokyo".

The Imperial Palace contains the Imperial Residence where Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress live; the Fukiage Omiya Palace, the former residence of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun (Her Majesty the Empress Dowager); the Imperial Palace, where various functions are conducted; the Imperial Household Agency buildings; Momijiyama Imperial Cocoonery; Toukagakudo (Imperial Concert Hall); and the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.

The Imperial Palace

Photo Description
The Main Building
(Photo:Imperial Household Agency)

Completed in October 1968 and coming into use in April of the following year, the Imperial Palace, a structure comprising a large roof, pillars and beams, was built using the beauty of traditional Japanese architecture and materials procured mostly from within Japan.

The Palace is a steel-framed two story building with an underground floor and an inclined roof with long protruding eaves. It comprises the Seiden (the Main Building), and six wings (Homei-Den, Rensui, Chowa-Den, Chigusa-no-Ma and Chidori-no-Ma and others) and has a total floor space of 22,949 square meters.

The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Photo Description
(The Suwanochaya)
(Photo: Imperial Household Agency)

The building of the garden adjacent to the Imperial Residence began in 1961 as a part of the construction of the Imperial Palace complex in accordance with the cabinet decision of 29 January 1960. The 210,000 square meter garden was completed in September 1968, and has been open to the public since 1 October of the same year, except when it is used for court functions. The Toukagakudo (Imperial Concert Hall) and Sannomaru Shozokan (Museum of the Imperial Collections), as well as buildings housing the Imperial Household Agency's Music, Archives and Mausolea departments, are located within this garden.