Once again, the Kyoto Imperial Palace will be accessible to the public. It opened to mark the start of the annual public spring exhibition on Wednesday, which will run until April 13.
Around 800 people lined up outside the palace to be let inside. Exhibits and displays were arranged on the tour course for the visitors to see. A folding screen with the image of people on horseback playing dakyu could be seen in the court room called Kogosho. It was used in the enactment of the charter oath, Gokajo no Goseimon during the Meiji Era. Dolls were also on display at the quarters of the former emperors. Those who visited the Imperial Palace on Wednesday were also treated to a rare sight, seeing the Kenreimon gate open for the first time in 17 years, to mark Emperor Akihito’s 80th birthday. Tourists are not allowed, however, to pass through the gate, as that privilege is only reserved for members of the imperial family and state guests.
On Saturday, ancient Japanese court music, gagaku, will be performed in the square fronting the Shunkoden Hall, while visitors on Sunday will be treated to a kemari ball game. The Imperial Palace opens its doors to the public twice a year, during spring and autumn.