Imperial Palace and Edo Castle in Tokyo 皇居・江戸城


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Smack dab in the middle of central Tokyo is Japan's most exclusive and expensive piece of real estate. Formerly Edo Castle and the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns, the Imperial Palace is now home to the Emperor and Empress of Japan. A few sections of the palace is open to the public. In spring and fall, they open Inui-dori to the public for cherry blossoms or fall foliage.

213 files, last one added on Apr 06, 2016
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Emperor's Birthday 一般参賀


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Dec. 23 is Emperor Akihito's birthday and a national holiday. The Emperor's birthday and Jan. 2 are the only two days when the general public is allowed to enter the Imperial Palace to greet the Emperor and his family. These pictures were taken on Dec. 23, 2004. Also see the video at YouTube.

48 files, last one added on Nov 06, 2005
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Budokan Kagami-biraki 武道館 鏡開き式・武道始め


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Nippon Budokan, Japan's most famous martial arts hall on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, holds the annual Kagami-biraki and Budo Hajime New Year's event in early Jan. It's a joint demonstration and practice session of all the major martial arts. Quite a spectacle with kendo, aikido, judo, shorinji kenpo, karate, archery, naginata (pole sword), and even sumo happening at the same time. Free admission. The Budokan is near Kudanshita Station on the Tozai subway line.

90 files, last one added on Sep 20, 2016
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Chidorigafuchi 千鳥ヶ淵


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Chidorigafuchi is a moat at the Imperial Palace and one of Tokyo's best-known spots for cherry blossoms in late March. At night, the trees are lit up, attracting enormous crowds. In July, it holds the floating lantern festival (Noryo no yube) in the evening. Near Kudanshita Station on the Tozai subway line.

114 files, last one added on Mar 31, 2014
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Tokyo Station 東京駅


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One of Japan's largest and busiest train stations is undergoing a major redevelopment on all sides. The Marunouchi side with the red brick building is being dwarfed by modern high-rises. Tokyo Station unveiled its fully-restored Marunouchi building on Oct. 1, 2012 after taking several years. To appreciate the extent of this splendid restoration, I've included photos of what it looked like before. On the Yaesu side, twin towers loom above while the station building (Daimaru Dept. Store) will give way to a low, swathing structure.

270 files, last one added on Dec 09, 2015
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Akihabara 秋葉原


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Japan's largest cluster of electrical appliance shops has been undergoing a major facelift and transformation since 2005. A number of tall new buildings, a new train line, and the anime invasion is making Akihabara a new hot spot.

94 files, last one added on Dec 11, 2007
Album viewed 371 times

Sanno Matsuri Festival 山王まつり


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This is one of Japan's Big Three Festivals and one of Tokyo's Big Three Festivals held in mid-June during several days. The main highlight is the Jinko-sai Procession held every two years. The 600-meter long procession consists of about 500 people parading through central Tokyo near the National Diet, Imperial Palace, Tokyo Station, and Ginza. It includes three portable shrines, carriages, and flower floats. Various events are also held at Hie Shrine which holds the festival. Photos were taken in June 2004.

86 files, last one added on May 01, 2007
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Hie Jinja Shrine 日枝神社


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Hie Shrine is dedicated to Oyamakui-no-kami 大山咋神, the deity of Mount Hiei in Shiga Prefecture. This deity's common name is Hie-no-kami. The Tokugawa shoguns regarded the shrine as the guardian deity of Edo Castle, now the Imperial Palace. The shrine was first built within Edo Castle by Ota Dokan. The shrine was later moved and it has been in the present location since 1659. The main buildings were National Treasures until they burned down during a bombing raid in 1945. The shrine was rebuilt in 1958. Also see photos of the setsubun festival held on Feb. 3. Near Tameike-Sanno Station on the Ginza and Nanboku Lines. Also see my YouTube video here.

57 files, last one added on Feb 18, 2011
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Yasukuni Shrine 靖國神社


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Founded in 1869 for the worship of those who sacrificed themselves for their country. Japan's most controversial shrine due to its enshrinement of Japan's war criminals and worshipping by Japanese prime ministers, upsetting neighboring Asian countries, especially China. But for most ordinary Japanese and foreign (includng Chinese) tourists, it's just another shrine and military museum. On Aug. 15, the anniversary of WWII's end, some former soldiers and nationalists march in the shrine. Near Kudanshita Station on the Tozai subway line.

73 files, last one added on Aug 15, 2009
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Mitama Festival みたままつり


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Held annually since 1947, the Mitama Matsuri is held in mid-July at Yasukuni Shrine. It is for the repose of over 2.4 million souls of the war dead honored at the shrine. The main feature are the many lanterns decorating the shrine grounds (over 29,000 in 2006). Various events and entertainment are also held during the four-day festival period. In 2006, a Nebuta float also paraded into the shrine. Also see the Nebuta video at YouTube.

51 files, last one added on Jul 19, 2006
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Kanda Myojin Shrine Setsubun Festival 神田明神 節分祭


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On Feb. 3, 2012 to mark the start of spring, Kanda Myojin Shrine near Ochanomizu/Akihabara, Tokyo held its annual Setsubun Festival from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. About 350 people including local politicians and an idol group called Houkago Princess threw good luck fuku-mame beans to a large crowd.

104 files, last one added on Mar 03, 2012
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Hibiya Park and Tokyo Chrysanthemum Show 日比谷公園・東京都観光菊花大会


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Hibiya Park is a green and flowery relief from urban Tokyo near the Imperial Palace and Ginza. In Nov., it is the venue for the annual Tokyo-to Kanko Kikka Taikai or Chrysanthemum Show featuring a mind-boggling variety of this revered flower. One of Tokyo's best chrysanthemum shows in autumn.

143 files, last one added on Nov 28, 2010
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Other Sights in Chiyoda


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Other places of interest in Chiyoda Ward including the National Diet, Akasaka, The New Otani Hotel, and the defunct Tokyo Millenario light sculptures mounted over a street in Marunouchi near Tokyo Station during 1999-2005.

54 files, last one added on Apr 16, 2014
Album viewed 178 times

 

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