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Post: Thursday December 2, 2010

The Koukyo, also called the ‘Gosho’, is the Emperor’s place of residence.

Until the Meiji period the Imperial Palace had long been located in Kyoto, but now it is on the site of Edo Castle site in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
The grounds of the Imperial Palace are encircled by a moat.  The area total is about 1,150,000 square meters.  It’s much bigger than the former Kyoto Palace.

Inside, there is the New Palace where the Emperor performs state and ceremonial functions, his residence called ‘Fukiage-gosho’, and the Imperial Household Agency building (Kunai-cho-sha).
Besides that there are some buildings left from the old Edo Castle.  It’s closed to the general public, but on New Year’s Day and the Emperor’s Birthday (23rd of December – Heisei Emperor’s Birthday) Congratulatory Visits are permitted.  Thousands of people file through the grounds.  The Emperor comes to the balcony of the New Palace to greet people.

You can walk around the area, you see many people walking or jogging around Koukyo everyday.




Emperor Year

Japanese often use Emperor Year to date documents.  This year (2010), it’s ‘Heisei’ Year 22.
Before Heisei, it was called ‘Showa’ Year. If you are living in Japan, you may be asked to write your date of birth in Emperor Year, here is an useful link to find out your Emperor Year:
The other easy way to find out your Emperor Year, (it only works for the people born between 1926 to 1989) you just minus 25 from your birth year.  For example, if you were born in 1975, minus 25 = (19)50.  So your birth year is Showa 50.

This entry was posted in Living Information


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