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皇居

The Imperial Palace is located on the former site of Edo Castle in the Edo Period.
Edo Castle used to be the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns who ruled Japan from the16th century until the mid-18th century.
In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown, and the country's capital and Imperial Residence were moved here from Kyoto which had been the imperial capital for more than a thousand years.
The palace was once destroyed during World War Two, and rebuilt in the same style, afterwards.
The Imperial Palace is surrounded by moats and massive stone walls and the various ceremonies are held in the inner grounds of the palace
From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The next bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.
The inner grounds of the palace are generally not open to the public. Only on January 2 (New Year's Greeting) and December 23 (Emperor's Birthday), visitors are able to enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family, who make several public appearances on a balcony.
by ys1042734 | 2014-09-25 06:11

浅草

For many centuries, Asakusa used to be Tokyo's leading entertainment district. During the Edo Period (1603-1867), when the district was still located outside the city limits, Asakusa was the site of kabuki theaters and a large red light district. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern types of entertainment, including movie theaters, set foot in Asakusa.
From Kaminarimon “thunder gate” where a big paper lantern hangs down to sensouji “Asakusa temple” there is a shopping street “ Nakamise” where you will be able to find typical Japanese souvenirs such like local snacks, chopsticks, folding fans.
There are frequent matsuri (Shinto festivals) in Asakusa, as each temple or shrine hosts at least one matsuri a year. The largest and most popular is the Sanja Matsuri in May, when roads are closed from dawn until late in the evening.
However, large parts of Asakusa were destroyed in the air raids of World WarⅡ. The area was rebuilt after the war, but has now been surpassed by other popular areas such as Shinjuku in its role as a pleasure district.
The opening of the 634 meter tall Tokyo Skytree, a twenty minute walk across the Sumida River from Asakusa, has led to an increase of tourists recently.
by ys1042734 | 2014-09-25 06:09