A Rare Opportunity to Enter Japan’s Imperial Palace

Dec 6th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events, Tokyo and Vicinity

The Imperial Palace, home to Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, is only open to visitors on two days each year: the Emperor’s Birthday and January 2nd.  His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor Akihito, ascended to the throne upon his father’s death in 1989 and will turn 75 on December 23rd, a national holiday called Tenno Tanjyo-bi which is celebrated each year on his birthday.

A visit to the palace on any other day will limit you to the view from the Imperial Palace Plaza but on Tenno Tanjyo-bi you will be permitted enter the Imperial Palace grounds via the famous Nijubashi Bridge (pictured below) from 9:30 AM to 11:20  AM to offer congratulations to the Emperor and His Family .

Imperial Palace Nijubashi Bridge

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino will appear on the balcony overlooking the crowd at 10:20AM, 11:05AM and 11:40AM.   You may also sign the Greeting Book from 12:30PM to 3:30PM in front of the Imperial Household Building.

The Imperial Palace of Japan has been home to the imperial family since 1868, when they relocated to Tokyo from Kyoto which had been the imperial capital for more than a thousand years. Japan’s monarchy is the longest hereditary monarchy in the world and there have been 125 reigning monarchs since 660BC.

Don’t miss this opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Japanese royalty and be one of the few who has been granted access beyond the Imperial Palace Plaza.  Access the Imperial Palace (map) by taking the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line to Nijubashi-mae Station or one of the other stations located in the area.

Image Credit:  Personal Collection

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  1. Wow … I wonder just how crazy it gets on the grounds. Are there many Gaisensha there? It’d be one heck of a rushed visit …

  2. That seems like a great opportunity. I hope you take it!!

    ps- I have the same photo of the palace too!

  3. [...] week I tole you about a rare opportunity to enter Japan’s Imperial Palace in honor of Emperor Akihito’s birthday on December 23rd.  He will be 75 this year and has [...]

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