Tokyo – Imperial Palace & Sensoji Temple in Asakusa (Japan)

Categories: Travel reports, Asia, Japan

After admiring the view from the Metropolitan Government Building this morning and being at Tokyo Tower, our tour of this huge city continued to the Imperial Palace and Sensoji Temple in Asakusa.


Imperial Palace in Tokyo

One of the most important sights in Tokyo is the Imperial Palace, where the Japanese emperor resides. The palace is located on the former site of Edo Castle in what is now the Chiyoda district.

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A map of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

The most famous photo spot is the view of the Nijubashi Bridge with the palace in the background. The visit to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was rather disappointing for us, because you can’t really see much of the huge terrain. Most of the palace is closed to the public. In principle, only the Ostgarten, formerly the site of the mighty castle of Edo, is accessible. Some parts of the inner palace grounds are only accessible on two days a year without prior notice: the Emperor’s birthday (23 December) and New Year’s Day (2 January).

Update 2016: For the few guided tours of the Imperial Palace, registrations were required in advance. This seems to have changed now, there is now also a “Same Day” registration on site on a “first come first served” basis. All information here.

Tokyo Central Station

From the Imperial Palace we walked to the main station, which was built on the model of the Amsterdam railway station and is today the starting point of almost all Shinkansen lines.

The Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

From here we drove with the really good but completely crowded metro to the district of Asakusa. The district is best known for the Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest and most important Buddhist temple. A small market street leads to the temple, at the beginning of which there is the Kaminari-mon entrance gate. The nearly 12 meter high gate is a very popular photo motif, especially because of its huge lampion. At the end of The Market Street is the Sensoji Temple.

Tokyo Skytree

From the Asakusa district you also have a good view of the Tokyo Skytree. At 634 metres, it is the tallest free-standing television tower in the world.

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The Tokyo Skytree

View from the Government Building at night

On the way back to our hotel we went back to the Metropolitan Government Building to see the skyline of this huge city at night.

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The Tokyo skyline at night

Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of Tokyo

We are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series

Tokyo has several Starbucks stores, but the cup of the Global Icon series is incredibly rare. These were probably only available in limited quantities at the US Naval Base. Luckily, we were able to buy one of these rare cups on eBay and are very happy about it 🙂

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Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of Toky

All travelogues from Japan

After spending 4 days in Japan we can say, that we really liked Tokyo! The Japanese are incredibly polite and friendly and despite such a huge city there is no hectic rush. There's something to see on every corner, the city seems very modern and is nevertheless down-to-earth. Even the taxi drivers all wear suits and ties. In Tokyo we would have definitely wanted to spend a few more days.

Japan » Tokyo – Our flight from Australia to Japan
» Tokyo – The Pandas & Sea Lions at Ueno Zoo
» Tokyo – Ameyoko Street & the district Shibuya
» Tokyo – Metropolitan Government Building & Tokyo Tower
» Tokyo – Imperial Palace & Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
» Arakurayama Sengen Park, Chureito Pagoda & Mount Fuji
» Shibazakura Festival – Beautiful flower carpet at Mount Fuji
» Tokyo – Shinjuku District & Hibiya Oktoberfest