What was on Honmaru turf in the East Garden? Tour report on 19 October 2019
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Many thanks to the guests who participated in this tour. On that day we escorted 42 guests from Philippines, Italy, Malaysia, Germany, Israel, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Sweden, USA, India, Brazil, and Australia. We divided into 4 groups. It was a surprising big number of guests after one week absence.
Last weekend our tours to the East Garden, Asakusa, and Ueno Park were cancelled due to the typhoon. Actually, the East Garden was closed. The typhoon left many damages to riverside residents by flooding. Death toll reached 80. It was a big disaster and very sad thing. Because of what happened, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako were heartbroken by those who suffered from this disaster and requested to postpone the enthronement parade which was scheduled to be held on October 22. The parade will be held on November 10. Only the ceremony is to be held. So many foreign leaders and diplomats are visiting Japan to attend the ceremony.
In the East Garden, on Honmaru turf ground, the building for another imperial ceremony Daijo-e, in which Emperor prays for rich harvest, scheduled to be held on November 14 and 15 is under construction. Honmaru has been closed for that reason.
Interestingly enough, construction of the ceremony building, kind of revived the scene of premodern time East Garden site which was a castle of feudal lord called Tokugawa Shogun, who governed whole of Japan. In that period (1603-to 1867), Emperor resided in Kyoto. There was a Tokugawa Shogun castle compound in Homaru just next to the tower on a stone base. Surely, appearance of the compound was very different from Daijoe ceremony building. The ceremony building is Shinto Shrine style one.
You might want to know what the compound looked like. There is a very place to see a building similar to the Honmaru in currently, the East Garden. Please visit Nagoya castle in Nagoya city, Aichi Prefecture. It takes about 2 hours from Tokyo by bullet train. There is a recreation of former feudal lord castle. The original one was burnt down by air raid during the second world war.
The tower is reinforced concrete building established in 1952 but now it does not accept visitors since it is planned to be demolished due to the aging and the city decided to replace it with a wooden made castle tower to revive the old time architecture.
However, Honmaru compound underneath the tower was already recreated using the same materials and designs as the original. This Nagoya castle Honmaru should look like the Tokugawa Shogun castle because the castle was built by Tokugawa Shogun and one of his sons had resided there.
You can go inside and enjoy interior of the compound which is very gorgeous and luxurious. You are allowed to take photos of it except flashing.
If you visit this castle before and after joining our tour, you can easily imagine what the East Garden looked like before the place was handed over to Emperor.
Seeing a compound on Honmaru turf, makes you learn the two aspects of the Imperial Palace, currently Imperial Palace and formerly Shogun castle.