The Imperial Palace East Garden is the only section of the palace that visitors can actually go to. Opened to the public in 1968 to celebrate construction of the new Imperial Palace, the garden once sat at the center of Edo Castle. The garden’s main entrance, Otemon, was the main gate of the old Castle and is a good place to enter. Visitors will receive an entrance token as you come in – be sure to return it on your way out.
One of the main attractions of the garden is Fujimi Yagura, a watchtower constructed 350 years ago to help maintain watch over the castle’s southern flank. Because of it’s height and location, Fujimi Yagura was also used as a vantage point by Edo elites to take in the magnificent views of Mt. Fuji the tower offers. The name itself means ‘Mt. Fuji-Viewing Watchtower’.
The free Museum of the Imperial Collections is on the right just after entering Otemon Gate and displays some of the artworks in the imperial collection.