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The Imperial Palace sits in the centre of Tokyo, on the site of the Edo Castle where the Shogunate (the government established by the military class) was located in the Edo period (1603-1868). Except for January 2 and the Emperor's Birthday (currently December 23) when public is allowed into the palace to offer their congratulations, the general public are not allowed to enter the Emperor's residence.
However, the gardens of the palace such as the Outer Garden (Kokyo Gaien), the East Garden (Higashi Gyoen), and Kitanomaru Park have been maintained as parks, and today these public gardens provide places of recreation and relaxation for the citizens of Tokyo.

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Additional Photos by geof worrall (mrcrow) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 777 W: 200 N: 236] (3993)
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