The first is December 23rd, the Emperor’s birthday and the second is Ippan Sanga on January 2nd. Ippan Sanga is a time for citizens to exchange New Year’s greetings and see the Imperial Family, who make several appearances throughout the day to wave to the public from a palace balcony facing the East Garden.
Ippan Sanga is a relatively new tradition in Japan’s long history as it was only after World War II that all citizens were given the right to visit the palace grounds for this purpose. It is therefore considered a great privilege and many locals dress up for the occasion.
Editor’s Note: This recommendation was taken from our Tokyo Things to Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading the full post and to learn more about things to do in Tokyo.
Photo courtesy of ぱたごん via Wikimedia Commons