Kokyogaien National Gardens are situated in the center of Tokyo. These gardens were first opened to public as the National Gardens in 1949.
Prior to this date, the National Gardens were part of the Imperial Palace grounds. These beautiful and well maintained National Gardens are divided into three sections.
- The Garden Plaza directly in front of the Imperial Palace.
- Kitanaomaru Garden area located due north of the Imperial Palace.
- The twelve scenic moats which surround the Imperial Palace, the Garden Plaza and Kitanomaru area.
Kokyogaien Natinal Gardens covers an area of approximately 115 hectares. The combined area of the 12 moats amounts to approximately 37 hectares.
In the Garden Plaza approximately 2,000 Japanese Black Pines(Pinus Thunbergii) are planted in the lawn area. These pine trees blend in very well with the "Yaguras"(old watch towers) and gates, and also with the several moats which are all remnant of Edo Castle. This area has become very popular with the people of Japan.
Edo Castle(Edo:former name of Tokyo City) was constructed on a vast scale, and was the largest castle ever built in Japan. The remaining stone walls, moats and gates are of great historical importance. They are all designated as Special Historic Relics and are of Important Cultural Assets to Japan. Kitanomaru district was occupied by the Konoe Military Regiment(Special Imperial Guard) from 1874 until 1945. Kitanomaru Gardens has an area of approximately 19.3 hectares, and are connected to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace is the only part of the Imperial Palace that is opened to the public.
Kokyogaien National Gardens together with the Imperial Palace grounds are the single largest green area in the center of Tokyo and, combined with the moats, they represent a very important nature reserve and recreation area in Tokyo.
Kokyogaien National Gardens office is committing itself to maintaining this invaluable property with great care and good planning for future generations to enjoy.