The Japanese monarchy is the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world. Prior to World War II, it was an absolute monarchy; Japan now a constitutional monarchy. At the height of its power in 1942, the Japanese Empire ruled a land area spanning 2,857,000 square miles, making it one of the largest maritime empires in history. The imperial house recognizes 125 monarchs beginning with the legendary Emperor Jimmu (traditionally dated to February 11, 660 BC) and continuing up to the current emperor, Akihito.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ~ Cicero
Yesterday, we took advantage of the sunny, mild weather and walked for about three hours in the extensive portions of the palace grounds open to the public: the East and West Gardens. The Inner Palace does not open to the public except for very rare celebrations. We found the gardens beautiful.The late variety cherry blossoms are still in bloom, and the azaleas and camellias are just emerging.