Chiyoda-ku, Chuo-ku, Tokyo city
Also Known As
Edo-Jo is the centre of Tokyo. It once consisted of a great many courts; aside from the usual first, second, and third courts, there was the west court, lower west court, Fukiage court, and the north court, among others. Today, the inner (first) court is occupied by the Imperial Household Department, the west court, by the current Imperial Palace, the third, by ministerial offices. Most of the rest of the land is now owned by the municipality of Tokyo.
In its heyday, Edo Castle was, understandably, the greatest castle in Japan. Originally built in 1457 by Oota Doukan, it was taken over by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1590. Three years after taking possession of the castle, Ieyasu started an expansion project, ordering all the feudal across the country to contribute in the effort. The project continued for thirteen years.
Even though the inner keep was destroyed by fire in 1657 and was never rebuilt, the castle remained the headquarters of the Tokugawa Shogunate until the Meiji Restoration of 1868.