We were lucky enough to gain entry to a tour at the Imperial Palace - the Great Hall.
To gain entry just go to the office and show your passport & they will register you for a tour if they have one that day. Limited though so go early.
Imperial Palace - the Chrysanthemum seal
The Crane reception room for visiting commoners in old times
View of the Shogun's residence in old times - Nijo Castle
Gardens in the Shogun's grounds - Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle grounds.
The residence had traditional Nightingale floors where they creak a high pitched noise when you walk on them so that no one could ever sneak up in attack on the residence - very cool security.
I think this one of the entrances to Nijo Castle
The husband was fascinated by Japanese marketing 'powerful energy'