Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Imperial Palace - Tokyo

The Japanese Imperial Palace is only open to visitors 2 days a year, January 2nd and December 23 (the Emperor's birthday). These pictures were taken in January of 1995.

Tokyo Station (located in the Marunouchi business district), a ten minute walk to the Imperial Palace, located in the heart of Tokyo. It is said to be modeled after Amsterdam Central Station. It is currently being renovated with completion expected by 2012. It was built in the Meiji Period.

Castle moat, walls and guard tower.
Japan Guide to Imperial Palace (compare their picture with the one above)

As was explained to me by a Japanese gentleman who was my guide, this is the spot where hundreds of Japanese committed jisatsu after the Emperor renounced his divinity at the conclusion of World War II. He pointed to the ground we were standing on and said it was covered in blood.

Nijubashi Bridge

The Imperial East Gardens

The foundation of the former castle tower. It was completed in 1638 and was destroyed in 1657 in a fire that swept through Edo. It was never rebuilt. It should noted that this was a palace of the Tokugawa shogun who resided in Edo at that time. The true home of the Imperial Family resides in Kyoto.

Although it does not show in the photograph, there were (most probably still are) cranes on top of the office buildings. The Marunouchi District is the most prestigious area of Tokyo for businesses to be located at.

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