Japanese Royalty and Imperial Palace
"National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism"
When you think of Japan, many things might come to mind like bright glimmering streets full of light up signs and billboards, mystic temples, busy street crossings, or even delicious sushi fresh from the source. Often over looked by outsiders, is the fact that like in many western nations who have monarchs, Japan too has a royal family which can actually claim to be the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world. The current emperor, Akihito, traces his family’s lineage back to 660 BCE.
The emperor’s old castle was located in the old capitol of Kyoto, but then got moved to central Tokyo and is now called the Imperial Palace. Like a fairy tale, the magnificent Palace stands distinctively, nestled amongst skyscrapers and modern society. The palace is usually closed to visitors, except for the East Gardens which offer some spectacular views. Every New Year on January 2nd, the Imperial Family makes an appearance from their balcony for an address, and photo opp. If you are in town you should defiantly make time to witness this rare event.
At almost any time of the day you can spot runners getting in some laps, or folks strolling and admiring the grounds surrounding the palace which are meticulously maintained. The Imperial Palace is certainly a little gem for the entire community, as it is located right in the middle of the city where you can actually get outside to get in your fitness. Having this resource really is a luxury living in a bustling metropolis like stunning Tokyo.