party with the emperor

When Prince wrote ‘Let’s go crazy’, he most likely did not think of the Japanese. But every year on January 2, crazy the Japanese go, they even get nuts.

After the hangovers of New Year’s Eve have been forgotten and on January 1st, the pilgrimage to the Sensō-ji Temple has been made, Emperor Akihito awaits.

On January 2nd the Imperial Palace a.k.a. Kōkyo, opens it’s gates and welcomes (as on December 23rd, the Emperor’s birthday) everybody who is in for a bonanza of joy.

Usually as tightly closed as an oyster, on January 2nd thousands and thousands of Japanese rise to the rare occasion of being able to enter Kōkyo and see the Imperial family in the heart of the empire. After crossing the Meganebashi bridge, you get a small Japanese flag. And everybody who has ever been to a Japanese sport event knows what’s coming when the Japanese get their hands on flags, balloons or other kinds of plastic items: a spectacular bonanza.

So when the emperor and his family arrive at the balcony, the inner courtyard explodes with joy. The over enthusiastic crowd puts a year’s worth of screaming, chanting and other forms of celebration into their joint effort to go crazy, to get nuts.

It is an overwhelming experience. Lost in translation, feeling like a ship riding the waves of Hinomaru (circle of the sun).

Party with the emperor
Yearly on January 2nd
Imperial Palace
1 Chiyoda
Tokyo 100-8111



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