Park near Imperial Palace to Get Revamp to Attract Foreign Tourists

Jiji Press
Information board at the Kitanomaru Garden in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan’s Environment Ministry plans to revamp Kitanomaru Garden north of the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, in a bid to attract more foreign visitors.

The park is “a green area full of history and culture in the heart of Tokyo,” a ministry official said. “We hope to turn (the park) into a major tourist attraction.”

The 19-hectare park became part of Kokyo Gaien National Garden surrounding the palace in 1969, and is currently managed by the ministry. Benches and other park facilities installed over 40 years ago are in need of updating.

The ministry plans to add descriptions in non-Japanese languages, including English and Chinese, to signboards around the park, and will also consider installing wheelchair ramps and other facilities, in order to make the park more accessible to all visitors.

The ministry is also planning to divide the park into areas based on themes, such as forest and culture, to make full use of existing facilities within the park, including the Nippon Budokan hall and the Science Museum.

During the Edo era between the 17th and 19th centuries, the Kitanomaru Garden area housed the mansions of the Tayasu and Shimizu families, related to the Tokugawa clan that ruled the country at the time.