Otemon gate of the imperial palace, 400 years travel at one glance !

Otemon gate of the imperial palace, 400 years travel at one glance !

I’m Nobu, I like traveling overseas and in Japan, visited 25 countries. I’ve got the license of the certificate English guide in Japan for 8 years.

I show you hidden Japan which you have never seen and heard of!

Otemon Gate

Today I went to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace through the Otemon Gate of the Imperial Palace.

Otemon gate
Otemon gate of the imperial palace

The Otemon gate is the main gate of Edo Castle, which was roped off in 1606 and completed 1607.

The famous samurai Masamune Date and others helped the restoration of Edo Castle in 1620.

That time the square area was made to strengthen the guard.

At the time, the castle was heavily guarded by artillery.

This is the most convenient of the three entrances to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace.

Otemon gate
Otemon gate

The other two gatesare Hirakawamon and Kikokomon at the northern part of the imperial palace.

The imperial palace east garden is open to the public free of charge.

It is a five-minute walk from Otemae metro station.

If you walk up to the Otemon gate , there are security guys and check your bag inside.

The best thing about Otemon is that you can experience the change in atmosphere between the modern Tokyo and the 17th century Edo in just one glance.

Old and new
Old and new


When you enter the gate, you will see a square instead of a straight road.

Then, turn to the right at a right angle to enter.

This is said to be for protection from the enemy, so that enemies entering the square can be attacked from the top of the gate.

Also there is also the shachihoko( fish shaped tile ) from the old turrets that were destroyed by fire in 1945.

Shachihiko( fish shaped tile)

Legend is that if a building catches fire, the Shachihoko will spit water out of its mouth to put it out.

So it’s the protection from a fire in Japanese castle.

Shachihoko of the square of the imperial palace

I found the entrance system has changed this time.

We had to get a small plastic chip at the entrance and return it again at one of the three gates when you left.

Plastic tip of the imperial palace east garden
Plastic tip anymore

I think it was to make sure the number that everyone inside.

However, I think it’s to avoid the contact with the chip to prevent corona infection, the chip had been removed. 

So when you enter, you can just pass through.

The people at the entrance count the number of people by the counter.

There are many things to see in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, including the big most, Japanese garden, the stone walls of the old Edo Castle dungeon , and the traditional buildings.

Entrance of the imperial palace east garden

It’s free, but it’s closed on Mondays and Fridays, so be careful when you plan your visit.

If you stand at the Otemon gate, you will feel 400 years at one glance!!

I’m Nobu, one heart enjoy together!!!

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>Enjoy Tokyo and Japan as locals do!

Enjoy Tokyo and Japan as locals do!

TOKYO travel TIPS is the site which offers local updated information of Tokyo and Japan. There are many traditional, modern culture , festivals and beautiful nature in Tokyo and Japan. We want to share with travel beginners and repeaters to Tokyo and Japan! Let’s enjoy as locals do!