The Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower
THE IMPERIAL PALACE
Before it became known as Tokyo, the city was called Edo and had as its center an impenetrable fortress from which the Tokugawa Shoguns ruled successfully for over 250 years. Today, Japanâ€™s royal family occupies residence in the Imperial Palace, a showpiece of gardens, bridges, and courtyards which were built on the site of the original structure. Although only the East Gardens of the palace are open to the public, their beauty and tranquility make this site worth a visit. Guided tours that describe the feudal system and history of Japan are available and reservations are a must. If your travels happen to fall on December 23rd or January 2nd, you may even get a chance to wave at the presiding royal family; these are the only dates the inner grounds are open for viewing.