Japanese Emperor in Imperial Palace

February 3, 2011 · 11 comments

In Japan, the Emperor says hello on 26th December (his birthday) and 2nd January (to send his wishes for the new year). He opens up the grounds of the Imperial Palace on these 2 days for the public to go along and get a glimpse inside (usually you can only visit the gardens of the Palace or get an official tour inside).

I went along on the 2nd Jan 2011 to have a look and this is what I was greeted with…

Crowd in Japan Imperial Palace

Lots of people on a pilgrimage...

Queue for imperial palace

The crowd gets bottlenecked quickly and forms an orderly queue

Imperial Palace in courtyard

Inside the courtyard. A bit busy!

So as I turn up I hear the fluttering on 1000’s of paper flags waving, and realise I just missed the emperor. This is basically what I got (thanks to my massive superzoom lens) to see:

Crap photo of emperor

Emperors family walking away

So great, I missed it. I could have accepted this and moved on with my day, but it was late morning and I had plenty of time and flexible plans, so I decided to wait 40 mins or so until the next showing and Emperor speech.

Japanese Emperor in 2011 waving to crowd

Here he is! The Japanese Emperor 2011

Japanese Royal Family members

Japan's Royal Family members

I saw this as a good chance to test out my new Nokia N8 that Nokia kindly sent me to review (coming soon). Firstly a video of the Emperor coming out, you can hear the beehive style noise from all the paper flags (given free to everyone as they entered the palace grounds). Secondly the Emperors short speech. Unfortunately I’m not a level to translate yet, but it from what I can work out, it was wishing good luck for the year, this is followed by showing off the crowd to give you some idea of just how packed it was!

Finally here is another crowd shot when I left the area through the gardens, I must say it was admirably handled with no pushing despite the size of the crowd. If there is one thing the Japanese have got the hang of, it’s handling big crowds at official events.

Leaving Imperial Palace grounds

Exiting the Imperial Palace... in another crowd

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dean Pollard February 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I have the Nokia N8 – Good choice, I am very happy with it! I look forward to reading your review!

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AdventureRob February 5, 2011 at 1:28 AM

Oh you upgraded? :-)

Yeah it’s a decent enough phone, my N8 review is coming soon. You could also enter the N8 production series too, think the competition closes late Feb.

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Alex February 13, 2011 at 10:05 PM

I think the Emperor of Japan is a pretty cool guy eh?

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AdventureRob February 16, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Yeah he is :-)

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bweiss February 17, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Would love to go to Japan but will never be able to afford to see that wonderful country and people.

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AdventureRob February 18, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I came to Japan with nothing but a job offer and got by OK. Although I will admit it is very expensive (similar to what I found in Australia) and like most of the countries you can go to on a working holiday visa – you will actually struggle if you don’t have an income soon after arrival.

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Irene February 23, 2011 at 7:26 AM

This is the first time I am reading a blog about the royal family in Japan. Actually, it is rare to find news about Japan, its culture and about its tourism . All one can get is images and write-ups about their beautiful flora in the country.

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AdventureRob March 6, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Well I hope to include a bit more about culture in the future, covering news is not really my thing though!

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