The Imperial Palace, formerly Edo Castle, in Tokyo is surrounded by an impressive series of moats. During the Edo Period of Japanese history (1603-1867), the moats surrounding Edo Castle were much more extensive and encircled an area which now includes modern-day Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi area.
Some of the moats were filled in or built over with roads as Tokyo developed in the late 19th century. Sotoboridori is literally "Outer Moat Road" and covers a former section of moat. The moats of the Imperial Palace provide welcome green and shade in the heart of the metropolis and are a haven for wildlife.
When Japanese castles were constructed, the moats were first dug and the excavated earth was used as a support for the stone walls. Moats were sometimes lined with stone to reduce erosion and were typically 8-9m deep and over 25m wide. Moats at Japanese castles could be either a steep U-shape or more of a square, box shape.
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