Sakurada-mon in Tokyo

Photo of Sakurada-mon in Tokyo, Kanto
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Sakurada-mon in Tokyo, Kanto
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of Sakurada-mon in Tokyo, Kanto
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Sakurada-mon in Tokyo, Kanto
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Sakurada-mon
Also known as:Sakurada Gate

1-1 Chiyoda, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Japan
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A massive, imposing entrance to the Imperial Palace complex. It's not tall, but its squat stature and wide foundation impart a feeling of authority, and scrutiny. The dark stone base, topped with a lighter-colored wooden structure is easy to anthropomorphize into a beast glaring at visitors through a visor.

But this gate doesn't even lead one into the Imperial court. It only takes you to Kokyo Gaien (also spelled Koyogaien), a meticulously manicured park area surrounded by several moats (Gaisen, Hibiya, Babasaki, and Kikyo moats to be specific). The other entrance is via three un-gated parallel boulevards leading from the palace to Tokyo Station.

The Sakuradamon Gate is actually made up of two structures -- an initial small, narrow gate, and a second long, thick gate at a 90-degree angle to the first. This has the advantage of slowing or even stopping any invading army as it would have to navigate the sharp turn, similar to how the streets of Tokyo were intentionally allowed to develop in a confusing tangle of unnamed roads in order to confound foreign invaders.

That worked until the Second World War when Allied air power destroyed much of the Imperial Palace complex, but this gate survived.

Quick Facts
Notes
    > This is the location where Regent Gotario was assassinated and beheaded on March 24, 1860.
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