From October 22 to October 31, Japan will hold a series of national ceremonies to celebrate the enthronement of the newly ascended emperor. Some 200 foreign dignitaries and heads of state will be in attendance.
If you're visiting Tokyo, what can you expect during this time? Read on to find out!
In this article:
・1. The Ceremonies
・2. October 22: A National Holiday (Just for 2019!)
・3. The Imperial Procession: October 22
・4. The Imperial Procession Route
・5. What you can see along the procession route
・6. How the Imperial Procession Might Affect Your Trip
The Ceremony of the Enthronement of the Emperor will take place at the Seiden (State Hall) on Tuesday, October 22. During this, the enthronement is officially proclaimed and dignitaries both from Japan and abroad will participate and express their sentiment.
This ceremony is also planned to be broadcast live on the government's Internet video channel; it is expected that domestic TV channels such as NHK will also pick up the feed.
In addition, there will be several banquets lined up for foreign heads of state and other dignitaries. This will take place on the evenings of October 22, 23, 25, 29, and 31 - but will not be open to the public.
October 22: A National Holiday (Just for 2019!)
So that the public can also join in and celebrate the occasion, October 22, 2019 has been designated as a public holiday. Note that on this day, government offices and banks will be closed.
The Imperial Procession: October 22
After the Ceremony of Enthronement, there will be an Imperial Procession from 3:30PM. A motorcade will make its way from the Imperial Palace and arrive at the Akasaka Imperial Residence around 4:00PM.
The Imperial Procession Route
What you can see along the procession route
If you are interested in following the procession and getting a peek at Japan's new emperor, this is your ideal chance! You'll be a part of history in the making and sharing something rare and special during your trip.
Below are some of the main sights you can see along the procession route.
How the Imperial Procession Might Affect Your Trip
First and foremost, expect downtown Tokyo to be extremely crowded. Given the existing crowds in town for the Rugby World Cup, a swelling of domestic tourists is expected in the evening of October 21 and the morning of October 22.
If you'll be visiting the Tokyo area around this time, expect congestion and transit delays. Also expect that taxi service will be somewhat backed up due to demand.
Traffic restrictions will be in effect from the morning of October 22 until late in the evening of October 23. This will affect all downtown expressways, which will be closed to all traffic. Additional traffic restrictions will be in place around the route between the Imperial Palace and the Akasaka Imperial Residence until the evening of October 22.
Train & Subway Stations
In addition, expect the following train and subway stations to be more congested than usual on October 22. These stations are close to the route the parade will take.
・Aoyama Ichome Station
Around these areas, expect heightened police presence as well. There is also a likelihood of increased security measures between Haneda Airport and downtown Tokyo, which may contribute to travel delays.
This article is based on information available from the Cabinet Office (https://www.gov-online.go.jp/sp/gosokui/en/index.html).
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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