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Application Guidelines for Tours of
the Imperial Palace
(Free of Charge)
Beginning Saturday, June 25, 2016, same-day registration will be available in addition to prior registration for guided tours of the Imperial Palace. Persons wishing to visit the Imperial Palace by prior registration should apply for approval in accordance with the following guidelines.

I. Qualifications
Anyone 18 years of age or older; the maximum number of persons per application is 50.
Those under 18 years old may be allowed to participate under the conditions that:
1.  they are accompanied by an adult and
2.  they are in junior high school or above and have applications from their schools; however, the maximum number of persons per application is 9.
II. Dates and Times of Tours
Tours are generally conducted twice a day at 10:00 am and 1:30 pm.
Each tour takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
No tours are given on the following days and times:
1.  Sundays, Mondays, and holidays designated by the National Holidays Law (except when the holiday falls on a Saturday)
2.  At 1:30 pm from July 21 to August 31
3.  From December 28 to January 4
4.  Any day or time of day when Imperial Court functions are scheduled or other unavoidable circumstances occur
III. How to Apply
There are several ways of applying for a tour, given below. When applying at the Tour Office or by mail, please make a reservation in advance by telephone, specifying the desired time and date of the tour; no advance reservation is necessary when applying online.
1.  Making a reservation
  Reservations by telephone are accepted from the first day of the month preceding the tour date. Telephone hours are from 8:45 am to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on the days given above in II. Dates and Times of Tours. Please note that reservations may close early if capacity is reached.
2.  Applying at the Tour Office
  Applications are accepted at the Tour Office from 8:45 am to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on the days given above in II. Dates and Times of Tours.
  Please complete your application by seven days prior to the date of the tour. However, applications may be accepted until the day before the tour date if a reservation has been made in advance by telephone, the number of persons in the application is nine or less, and the head of the Maintenance and Works Department approves; applications should be submitted by 3:30 pm on the day before the tour date.
  One of the persons applying for the tour shall complete the application procedure by submitting to the Tour Office two copies of a list of all applicants, which must include the name, furigana (name pronunciation), age, gender, and home address and zip code of each applicant. Alternatively, if the list is prepared as an electromagnetic record in a format designated by the Imperial Household Agency, one CD-ROM containing the record may be submitted.
Note: Groups (of 10 or more) are asked to prepare and save the list of applicants in electromagnetic format for submission at the Tour Office.
  Foreign nationals are asked to provide their name, age, gender, nationality, and home country address (or passport number and address of stay in Japan). A proxy may apply on behalf of foreign nationals.
  Upon completion of the application, a tour permit card will be issued. Once the application has been accepted, no changes may be made to the date and time of the tour, number and list of participants, and other details.
3.  Applying by mail
  Please complete your application by seven days prior to the date of the tour.
  To apply, enclose the following in an envelope and mail it to the Tour Office, Administrative Division, Maintenance and Works Department, Imperial Household Agency (zip code 100-8111; address not needed): a form giving the date and time of tour for which a reservation has been made by telephone, name of group (for groups of 10 or more), name and telephone number of representative, and number of applicants; two copies of a list of all applicants (or one CD-ROM containing the list in an electromagnetic format designated by the Imperial Household Agency); and a self-addressed return envelope with sufficient postage attached.
Note: Group applicants are asked to prepare and save the list of applicants in electromagnetic format for submission by mail.
  After review of the application, a tour permit card will be sent by mail. Once the application has been accepted, no changes may be made to the date and time of the tour, number and list of participants, and other details.
4.  Applying online
  Web address: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/order/index_EN.html
Applications are accepted from 5:00 am on the first day of the month preceding the tour date and should be completed no later than four days prior to the tour date.
  To apply, visit the application section of this website at the address given above, click on “Application for Visit,” and fill in the required information. If your group includes persons under 18 years of age, the application should be submitted by an adult applicant.
  Upon completion of the application, a tour permit notice will be issued via the online application system. Once the application has been accepted, no changes may be made to the date and time of the tour, number and list of participants, and other details.
IV. On the Day of the Tour
  • On the day of your visit, please bring your tour permit card or notice and gather in front of the Kikyo-mon Gate.
  • You should arrive no earlier than around 30 minutes before the tour and no later than 10 minutes before the tour.
  • You will need to bring a valid form of identification in order to enter the Imperial Palace Grounds.
  • Both preregistered visitors and those who have made same-day registrations will participate together in the guided tour. As a general rule, visitors will not be permitted to turn back midway through the tour.
  • Explanations and instructions by staff will be given in Japanese only.
  • The tour is on foot and about 2.2 kilometers in length. Please take note that the tour route includes some steep slopes.
  • Tour route: Kikyo-mon Gate (entry) - Someikan (Visitors’ House) - Fujimi-yagura (“Mt. Fuji View” Keep) - To-no-saka slope - East Gardens of the Imperial Palace - Inner Gate of the Imperial Palace - Seimon-tetsubashi bridge (walk across and back) - East Gardens of the Imperial Palace - north driveway of the Imperial Palace - Yamashita-dori street - Imperial Household Agency Building – Kikyo-mon Gate (exit)
Ⅴ. Other Information
1.  Applications through travel agents or related industries are not accepted.
2.  Tours, including their time, frequency, and routes, are subject to change or cancellation due to official Court functions or other unavoidable circumstances.
3.  No parking space is available within the Palace Grounds.
* For information on parking for tour buses and other commercial vehicles, please contact:
  Bus Parking and Rest House, Kokyo Gaien National Garden, National Gardens Association
  Phone: +81-(0)3-3231-5509
  Note: No parking is available for visitors’ personal vehicles.
4.  The following will not be permitted to participate in the tour or enter the Palace Grounds:
 
  • Persons deemed to potentially cause discomfort or nuisance to others due to heavy intoxication or other reasons
 
  • Persons accompanied by animals (excluding assistance dogs for persons with disabilities)
 
  • Persons carrying dangerous articles, small unmanned aircraft systems, or other objects that may cause harm to other visitors
 
  • Persons otherwise deemed to cause a hindrance to the tour
5.  Further information is available from the office given below.
Tour Office, Administrative Division, Maintenance and Works Department, Imperial Household Agency
1-1, Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8111 JAPAN

Phone: +81-(0)3-5223-8071
 
Updated on June 1, 2016
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