Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Tokyo Imperial palace in the Chiyoda ku, is a 7.4 square kilometer area of buildings and gardens. Originally built as the Edo castle in 1457 during the Tokunaga shogunate, the castle became the Imperial palace after the Meiji restoration.
The palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan and is mostly off limits to the public, with the exception of two days: the Emperor birthday and on January 2nd.
A large number of visitors come on that day to celebrate the New Year and hear the Emperor message.
Visitors enter by crossing the famous Nijuubashi, passing the main gate, into the kyuden totei plaza.
The imperial family greets the visitors from the balcony of the chowaden reception hall, where emperor delivers a short New Year message.
Visitors then leave through the sakashita gate.
Happy New year to all.