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Recommendation course

Chiyoda city Course

4 Area around Inner Moats of Edo Castle

⑩ Nijubashi Bridge


Current Nijubashi Bridge

One of the magnificent scenery in Tokyo is the Nijubashi Bridge from the Imperial Palace Outer Garden.

Nijubashi Bridge is often mistaken a stone bridge connecting the Imperial Palace and its Outer Gardens, but actually Nijubashi Bridge is the steel bridge located behind it.

This area is located in Nishinomaru of the former Edo Castle, and the stone bridge in the foreground is located at Nishinomaru Ote-mon Gate, while the steel bridge in the background is located at Nishinomaru Gejo-mon Gate.

It was once a wooden bridge with the double girders up and down to lead over the moat as deep as a ravine.

Since then, people began to call it Nijubashi (Double Bridge). Later on, however, the two separate bridges, the stone bridge and the steel bridge which appear as a single two story bridge, have been generally called Nijubashi. The current stone bridge was replaced from the wooden bridge in 1887, while the steel bridge behind it was replaced in 1888.

⑪ Outer Sakurada-mon Gate


Current Outer Sakurada-mon Gate

This gate has been called Odawara-guchi Gate, which indicates that this gate led to the former Tokaido Highway, one of the major highways before Edo period. Because of it, this huge gate was counted as one of the key entrances for defending Edo Castle against its enemies.

This gate seems to have been originally constructed in the Kan'ei era (1624-44), and the current gate was built based on the gate reconstructed in 1663. Later on, it was once demolished, but was twice reconstructed, firstly in 1871, and secondly reconstructed after the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923).

In the Edo period, this was called as Outer Sakurada-mon Gate, and Kikyo-mon Gate was called as Inner Sakurada-mon Gate, both of them were on the route for feudal lords.

The location where II Naosuke, Tairo (chief minster) of the shogun and a feudal load of Omi Hikone Domain, was assassinated by a group of masterless samurai of the Mito Domain in 1860, just in front of current Metropolitan Police Headquarters. For this reason, the current Metropolitan Police Headquarters often goes by the name of "Sakurada-mon Gate" in today's TV dramas and movies.

Tayasu-mon Gate has the hinge inscribed "1636" and Shimizu-mon Gate has "1658", besides Outer Sakurada-mon Gate, still remain as the prototype for castle gates constructed in the early years of the Edo period.

Opening times of the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Open :
From March 1 to April 14 / 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (entry up to 4:00 p.m.)
From April 15 to the end of August / 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (entry up to 4:30 p.m.)
From September 1 to the end of October / 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (entry up to 4:00 p.m.)
From November 1 to the end of February / 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (entry up to 3:30 p.m.)
Closed :
The Garden is closed on the following days and occasions.
Every Monday and Friday (open on National Holiday except the Emperor's Birthday, December 23)
In the event that a National Holiday falls on a Monday, the Garden will be closed on the Tuesday immediately following the National Holiday.
From December 28 to January 3
In circumstances where it is deemed necessary to close the Garden due to Imperial Court functions or other occasions.
Entrance and exit gates :
(Free of charge)
Ote-mon Gate, Hirakawa-mon Gate and Kitahanebashi-mon Gate.

∗ All of old photograghs are possessed by Tokyo National Museum.
∗ These photographs in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace were taken with permission of the Imperial Household Ageney.