The public visit to the Daijokyu Palace will last for 18 days from November 21 (Thursday) to December 8 (Sunday).
If we miss this opportunity, there is a good chance that we won’t be able to see the actual Daijokyu in the future, so I decided to go see it.
From Tokyo Station to Security Check
This is the Marunouchi Central Exit of Tokyo Station. Has this entrance been around for a long time? This is my first time here.
The Tokyo Olympics are only 243 days away. It’s getting closer and closer.
In front of Tokyo Station today, there seems to be about 1.5 times as many people as usual. I think this is largely due to the fact that the Daijokyu Palace is open to the public.
There were ginkgo trees planted along Miyuki-dori. They are beautifully yellowed. Yesterday was Labor Thanksgiving Day, and I think the best time to see ginkgo trees in Tokyo is around Labor Thanksgiving Day.
On the other side of Uchibori Street, vehicles that looked like riot police were lined up in an orderly fashion. There is a sense of serious security in the air. I took this photo in a hurry just as the traffic light was about to change, so the cab was in the picture, which was a bit of a mistake.
I thought I would be able to get in easily from the Sakashita Gate on the extension of Miyuki Street, but I was diverted to the Nijubashi Bridge to the south.
The colored cones with E or F markings are used to create a Disneyland-like queue when there are much more people.
Fortunately today, we didn’t have to wait, and a straight line of traffic was set up.
The security check this time took less time than the security check at the parade.
First, they checked my bag, then they checked me with a metal detector, and that was it.
Route from Sakashita Gate
This was my first time to enter through the Sakashita Gate.
The Sakashita Gate seems to be the gate used for the New Year’s Day and the Emperor’s Birthday celebrations.
There was a sign that said, “Palace.” To be more precise, it is Chowaden. This building and the east garden in front of it are used for public ceremonies.
This is the Imperial Household Agency Building. It was built in 1935. This is where the Imperial Seal and the State Seal are kept.
The Fujimi Yagura is a castle-like structure.
The castle tower of Edo Castle was destroyed by fire in the Meireki Fire, and the Fujimi Yagura was rebuilt to replace the tower. Of the three existing turrets in Edo Castle, only this one is a triple turret, while the others, Tatsumi and Fushimi, are double turrets.
The road extends to the east. The speed limit is 25km/h, right?
If you go right at the crossroad at the back, you should come to Kikokumon.
The stone wall in front of the Hyakunin Bansho appeared. I have been to this place several times.
Up the curved slope, you will see the East Gyoen Fruit Tree Old Variety Garden. At this time of the year, there were many Egami Buntan trees bearing fruit.
Finally, we could see the Daijokyu Palace.
There are many people gathered here.
The flow of people is smoother than I expected. As I reached this point, I could smell the delicious aroma of wood in the air.
On the right is Yuki-den and on the left is Suki-den, the two buildings with cross-shaped Chigi and Katsuogi on the roof.
The Chigi of Yuki-den was cut from the inside (horizontal direction of cutting, the deity is said to be a goddess), while the Chigi of Suki-den was cut from the outside (vertical direction of cutting, the deity is said to be a male deity).
Both of these buildings were used for offering ambrosia, worshipping the deity, playing the Otsugebumi, and eating the ambrosia. The food offered at Yuki-den was new grain harvested in Yuki’s region (Akita Prefecture in this case), and the food offered at Shuki-den was new grain harvested in Shuki’s region (Oita Prefecture in this case).
This large building is the Kashiwaya, the place where ambrosia is prepared.
The Kashiwaya is decorated with twigs. I was going to ask what kind of tree it was, but I forgot. I looked it up when I got home, and it seems to be a shii oak. The oak used for offering ambrosia to the gods is a member of the beech family, so I guess they are related to acorns.
This is the South Shrine Gate of the Kuroki Torii. It is one of the five gates made of Shibagaki.
The building in the center following the gate is the Dengai Omiakusha. This is the building where the female members of the Imperial Family attended.
You can take photos like this one because there are regulation lines set up a little farther away from the gate, and if you wait a little while, people will switch places.
This is a shot of the Shuki-den from the west.
In front of the main hall is the Gakusha, where the musicians played. To the right is the Teiryo-sha, where the garden fires were lit, and the Igi-aku, where the military officers were seated. A furnace seems to have been dug into the ground of the Teiryo-sha.
This is a photo from the back.
The building on the left is Yuki-den, and the building on the right is Kairyu-den. This is the building where the emperor and empress changed clothes.
After the visit, I came out of the Kitahanebashi Gate.
The bridge between the gate and the imperial police station seen in the photo used to be a drawbridge in the Edo period, as the gate is located close to the castle tower.
I returned from Takebashi Station.
Although it only took about an hour, I was able to take a walk that was rich in tradition and history.
Course: JR Yamanote Line Tokyo Station -> Otamiya -> Tokyo Metro Tozai Line Takebashi Station