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Moats, Stone Walls, and the Eyeglass Bridge

Tokyo Imperial Palace Plaza October 7, 2014

If you've ever been to the Tokyo Imperial Palace, you know that the inner grounds are not open to the public (except for two days of the year). There are available guided tours of the palace grounds but you can't enter any of the buildings and you need to get a permit first. Although we didn't join such a tour, we were able to walk around the surrounding park and East Gardens. It was worth the quick visit.

Visiting the Tokyo Imperial Palace Plaza.

This beautiful stone bridge is perhaps one of the most photographed in this tourist site. We took turns in taking pics with other visitors.

Meganebashi or Eyeglass Bridge.

It's easy to see why Meganebashi is also known as the Eyeglass Bridge.  When the bridge's arches connect with their reflections in the water,  they form what look like eyeglasses. Do you see it?

This bridge's arches and their reflection in the water appear to form eyeglasses.

Behind Meganebashi is a smaller bridge called Nijubashi, also known as the Double Bridge. It was originally made of wood and the structure was reinforced (doubled) for support. It has been replaced with steel.

The Nijubashi or the Double Bridge. The tower on the upper right is the Fushimi Yagura Keep.

As we got closer to Nijubashi, we had a better view of the Fushimi Yagura Keep. We noticed some scaffolding around it. We weren't sure if it was for maintenance reasons or for fortification.

We couldn't help but notice the moats, stone walls, and Japanese black pine trees in the large park area leading to the bridges. The entire place was just lovely. And immaculately clean!

Here's Alan in front of the Hibiya Moat

More Japanese black pine trees

From here, we walked all the way to the Otemon Gate to access the East Gardens of the Imperial (Higashi Gyoen) which is not restricted to the public. That story is continued on the next blog post. Lots of great photos!

Some important notes: JTB USA offers a day tour that includes a stroll in the Imperial Palace Plaza. Check it out here.

Remember, you need to submit an application prior to visiting the Imperial Palace inner grounds. For Application Guidelines, click here. Learn more by visiting the Imperial Household Agency's website.

This was continued from Only At The Peninsula. A travel series on my recent Japan adventure.

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