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Dec. 2004 - [url=http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=158]Imperial Palace Visit[/url]
Emperor Akihito waves to the flag-waving crowd at the Imperial Palace on Dec. 23, 2004, his birthday and a national holiday. A similar spectacle also takes place on Jan. 2.

Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 are the only two days when the general public is allowed to enter the palace to greet the Emperor and his family. From left to right is Princess Nori, the Crown Prince, the Emperor, the Empress, and Prince and Princess Akishino. Crown Princess Masako did not appear.

Before we got to see the Emperor and his family behind bullet-proof glass, we stood in line for about 2 hours, went through a bag inspection, body frisking, and crossed the famous Nijubashi Bridge.

We waited 30 min. more in the plaza, then the Emperor and his family appeared right on time at 10:20 am. People waved the paper flags that had been distributed and cheered "banzai!" When the Emperor spoke, the crowd immediately fell silent. He spoke for only about a minute, thanking us for celebrating his birthday and mentioning this past year's numerous natural disasters.

After he finished, everyone waved the flags again and cheered. The Imperial family waved back and soon disappeared behind the sliding paper doors. They were on the balcony for a whole THREE minutes. I thought they would stay there for at least 10 min. Barely had time to mount my telephoto lens.

We were then promptly herded to the exit to make room for the next horde of people waiting to see the Emperor who appeared two more times that day. I was surprised to see quite a few foreigners, including four guys in a Santa Claus suit.

Cover photo and page design: © Philbert Ono

See more photos of my [url=http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=158]Imperial Palace Visit.[/url]

JAPANESE:

一般参賀
2004年12月23日の天皇誕生日に初めて一般参賀のため皇居へ。朝8時過ぎから2時間ぐらい並んで待ってやっとこの広場で天皇陛下が現れました。でも天皇一家のお出ましはたった3分だけで終わった。あまり早くてなかなか写真を撮れませんでした。ちょっとがっかり。(雅子さまが出なかったことも残念。)

二重橋を渡る前に手荷物の拝見(飲食が禁止で飲料を捨てた)とボディチェック。紙の旗は皆に配られた。外国人も結構来ていました。(サンタクロース姿の人も。)お正月にいつも東京にいないため今回天皇誕生日にした。

昭和天皇がまだ生きているうちに参賀したかったなー。

写真と表紙デザイン:© Philbert Ono

もっとの一般参賀の写真はここ [url=http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=158]一般参賀の写真はここ[/url]。
Keywords: Tokyo Imperial palace emperor birthday

Dec. 2004 - Imperial Palace Visit

Emperor Akihito waves to the flag-waving crowd at the Imperial Palace on Dec. 23, 2004, his birthday and a national holiday. A similar spectacle also takes place on Jan. 2.

Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 are the only two days when the general public is allowed to enter the palace to greet the Emperor and his family. From left to right is Princess Nori, the Crown Prince, the Emperor, the Empress, and Prince and Princess Akishino. Crown Princess Masako did not appear.

Before we got to see the Emperor and his family behind bullet-proof glass, we stood in line for about 2 hours, went through a bag inspection, body frisking, and crossed the famous Nijubashi Bridge.

We waited 30 min. more in the plaza, then the Emperor and his family appeared right on time at 10:20 am. People waved the paper flags that had been distributed and cheered "banzai!" When the Emperor spoke, the crowd immediately fell silent. He spoke for only about a minute, thanking us for celebrating his birthday and mentioning this past year's numerous natural disasters.

After he finished, everyone waved the flags again and cheered. The Imperial family waved back and soon disappeared behind the sliding paper doors. They were on the balcony for a whole THREE minutes. I thought they would stay there for at least 10 min. Barely had time to mount my telephoto lens.

We were then promptly herded to the exit to make room for the next horde of people waiting to see the Emperor who appeared two more times that day. I was surprised to see quite a few foreigners, including four guys in a Santa Claus suit.

Cover photo and page design: © Philbert Ono

See more photos of my Imperial Palace Visit.

JAPANESE:

一般参賀
2004年12月23日の天皇誕生日に初めて一般参賀のため皇居へ。朝8時過ぎから2時間ぐらい並んで待ってやっとこの広場で天皇陛下が現れました。でも天皇一家のお出ましはたった3分だけで終わった。あまり早くてなかなか写真を撮れませんでした。ちょっとがっかり。(雅子さまが出なかったことも残念。)

二重橋を渡る前に手荷物の拝見(飲食が禁止で飲料を捨てた)とボディチェック。紙の旗は皆に配られた。外国人も結構来ていました。(サンタクロース姿の人も。)お正月にいつも東京にいないため今回天皇誕生日にした。

昭和天皇がまだ生きているうちに参賀したかったなー。

写真と表紙デザイン:© Philbert Ono

もっとの一般参賀の写真はここ 一般参賀の写真はここ

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