The Imperial Household Agency is considering opening up a road inside the palace grounds so that tourists and visitors may all the more enjoy the scenery when they visit during the spring and fall season. Inui Street has 58 someiyoshino cherry trees and 33 maple trees and is the perfect place for people to experience the beauty of nature when passing through the area.
During Emperor Akihito‘s 80th birthday celebration in December last year, the agency already started planning to open parts of the palace grounds to the public for a few days during spring and autumn of 2014, from the southeast Sakashita-mon Gate to the northeast Inui-mon Gate. Normally, only staff and authorized people are allowed to freely walk on these roads and passersby have to undergo strict security checks by the Imperial Guards. They are only allowed access during special occasions like the Emperor’s birthday and New Year’s holiday but not for scenic purposes. The plan is to open the roads from morning to the afternoon for five days each during spring and fall, depending on forecasts from the Japan Meteorological Agency as to when cherry flowers blossom and the leaves change color.
Last December, they also announced that they will be conducting special tours to sections of the Imperial Palace that have never been opened to the public before. Only 600 visitors will be accommodated on the tour, scheduled on May 24 and 25 and possibly another weekend in October. More details will be provided next month and interested visitors can “apply” via postcard.
[ via Mainichi ]