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Application Guidelines for Tours of Visiting
the Imperial Palace
(Free of Charge)

Individuals wishing to visit the Imperial Palace should apply for approval in accordance with the following guidelines:

1. Qualification
  • Anyone 18 years of age or older
  • Minors under 18 years old accompanied by an adult(20 years old or above)
2. Date and Time of the Tour
The tours are generally conducted on weekdays at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The tour will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The tours are not organized on the following days:
(1)  Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays
(2)  At 1:30 p.m. from July 21 to August 31
(3)  From December 28 to January 4 of new year
(4)  Any day when Imperial Court functions are scheduled or other unavoidable circumstances occur.
3. Applications
To join the tour, please choose one of the following ways for application.

(1)  Applying by telephone

Make a reservation in advance by telephone for the date and time when you wish to visit. Reservations are acceptable from the first day of the preceding month to the tour date up to one day before the tour date.

Example: To visit the Palace on April 20(weekday), please apply on weekdays between March 1 and April 19.

In case of full booking, your application will not be accepted.
After making your reservation, you are requested to apply for a tour permit at least one day before the tour date.
Upon receipt of the application, the permission card will be issued.
* When you visit the Imperial Palace to get a permission card, please bring your passport or appropriate identification to the counter in the tour office, through Sakashita-mon Gate.
Please register name(first/family), gender, age, nationality, and home country address(or the passport number and address of your stay in Japan )of all members.
Your delegate may register on behalf of them.
The tour office is open from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays (closed on Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays, and days from December 29 to January 3).

(2) Applying by Internet
Website address: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/order/index_EN.html
  Visit our above-mentioned website and fill in the required information. Upon completion of the application, permit for visit will be issued. If your group includes visitors under 18 years of age, an adult visitor should apply.
[Period to receive your application]
From 5:00 a.m. on the first day of the preceding month to the tour date up to four days before the tour date.
*Due to maintenance of our server, page for the application is unavailable from midnight until 5:00 a.m. daily.
4. Others
(1) Applications through a travel agent or related industries are not accepted.
(2) Once an application has been accepted, no changes can be made.
(3) On the day of your visit, please bring your Permission card or Permit for Visit 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.
(4) You should bring your passport or form of appropriate identification in order to enter the Imperial Palace Ground.
(5) After entering the Palace Grounds, a video about the Imperial Palace will be shown in the Someikan waiting room before a walking tour of about 2.2 kilometers. Pleace take note that the tour route includes some steep slopes.
(6) Tour time, frequency and tour routes are subject to change or cancellation due to official Court functions or other unavoidable circumstances.
(7) While guiding of the tour will be done in Japanese language, the audio guide system in English is available. If you prefer to use it, please let us know(limited number of machines are available.).
(8) No parking space is available for visitors' personal vehicles.
(9) Further information is available from the office below-mentioned.

Tour Office, Administrative Division, Maintenance and Works Department, Imperial Household Agency

        1-1, Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (address may be omitted.) 100-8111 JAPAN

        *Further information about parking space for tour buses (and other commercial vehicles), please contact:
        Bus parking & Rest house , Kokyogaien National Gardens Foundation
                TEL: +81-(0)3-3231-5509

Updated on September 1, 2006.
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