A Tale of Two Palaces

Note: click on any of the pictures in my blog to enlarge it.

If you think about it, every time you put a bunch of people together, a leader emerges.  I bet even in the days when man first started walking upright there was a designated cave captain. So whether you assume the top dog position by force or by birthright, somewhere somehow you get to enjoy the swanky digs that come with the power.  It’s no different in Japan. After a fierce struggle against the shogunate forces, the Emperor restored his power in 1868 and in 1869  moved his residence from the Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyōto Gosho) to the Tokyo Imperial Palace (Kōkyo).  Can you imagine the move way back then without U-Haul?  Just think about the blood and sweat that went into building these palaces from the ground up! It’s nice to be Emperor but God help those who were born to serve him. Today’s photo essay contrasts these two great structures. It’s a tale of two palaces.

The first thing I notice is that the palace in Tokyo is now surrounded by highrises.  The moat around the palace couldn’t be more appropriate in marking the balance between modern and imperial Japan.


Inside the gates:

The grounds are enormous and I’m exhausted just thinking about the staff it must take to maintain this place.

In Kyoto, more of the grounds is open to the public so I’m able to take some interior shots. Notice the roof made of cypress…



…the Emperor’s symbol decorates the roofline…


Here’s a glimpse of one of the great halls as I approach the courtyard of the palace:


On the walls of the chamber are rich silk screens:


This sure is nice real estate if you can get it. Wish I were Emperor for a day.


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