Japanese Castles: Edo Castle
Edo Castle 江戸城
Edo Castle, also known as Chiyoda Castle was first built in 1457 by Ota Dokan and parts of the castle area are now the grounds of the Imperial Palace.
The pleasant castle grounds, impressive walls and moats of Edo Castle now contain Higashi Gyoen Park and Kitanomaru-Koen Park as well as the Imperial Palace.
Higashi Gyoen contains Fujimi-yagura, a three-storey watch tower built in 1659 to protect the southern side of the main keep.
The main gate to Edo Castle, Ote-mon, also still survives along with the stone foundations of the original donjon. Hirakawa-mon also survives and was the main gate to the Sannomaru (the third bailey) of Edo Castle.
The original Edo Castle came under the control of warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1590 and after his victory at the Battle of Sekigahara, Edo Castle became the center of the Tokugawa regime. Edo Castle grew in size over the following years and had a perimeter of 16km by 1636.
The inner donjon (keep) was destroyed by fire in 1657 and was not rebuilt. After the restoration of imperial power in 1868, the castle became the new Imperial Palace but many of the castle's original buildings were burnt down in another fire in 1873.
Access To Edo Castle
From JR Tokyo Station, the grounds of the castle are a short walk west through the Marunouchi district via such attractions as Naka Dori, Tokyo International Forum and Brick Square Marunouchi and the Ichigokan Museum. This will bring you to the wide Babasaki Moat of Edo Castle.