Part of the inner palace area, the seasonal flowers and ancient Japanese gardens are surrounded by original moats, walls, entrance gates and guardhouses built by the Tokugawa shoguns.
It can be accessible by train.
The Ote-mon gate was once the principal entrance to Edo Castle, so is a convenient place to begin a visit to the East Garden.
From Otemachi Station it is a 5-minute walk to the gate, or a 15-minute walk from Tokyo Station.
Kokyo Higashi Gyoen extends over 210,000 square meters, located on what used to be Edo Castle's two innermost defensive walls. The Honmaru section contains a vast lawn, which outlines where the main keep used to be, while the Ninomaru section houses the last remaining Edo Period garden in Japan, particularly pretty in fall.
Within the grounds you can also find the photogenic Suwano-chaya tea house, Museum of Imperial Collections, Gakubu music department and concert hall.
While exploring you will come across the foundations of the former castle tower, which was completed in 1638 but sadly destroyed in a citywide fire not long after. These days you can climb to the top of the ruins to get a panoramic view across the Imperial gardens.
Dozens of different flowers and orchards are spread along the walkways, so there are plants blooming all year round. In winter the plum tree slope brings a pop of color to the stone walls, while in fall the Musashino copse glows in gold and scarlet. Gaze up at the 'symbolic prefectural trees', wander through the iris garden or take photos of the cherry trees. Check the Imperial Household Agency's website to see their flower calendar when planning your visit.