Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

Fushimi Yagura Tower
One of the towers of the Japanese Imperial Palace that recovered Edo Castle.
Japanese subjects wave to the emperor about to enter the imperial palace.
Urban pine forest predates a near-skyscraper area of ​​Tokyo.
Traffic stopped
Police bar traffic during the Emperor's entrance to the imperial palace.
Safety Cycle
Imperial palace security on a classic bicycle.
Photos in uniform
Young students photograph the imperial palace.
The emperor
Emperor Akihito waves to his subjects from inside the imperial limousine.
Imperial Guard standing by your shelter.
Photographers standing by a shot with the Fushimi Yagura Tower of the Imperial Palace in the background.
Conference hostesses
Hostesses of shinkansen trains discuss work plans in front of the imperial palace.
About to leave
The Japanese emperor travels around the area around the imperial palace in a limousine and followed by a long escort.
Group photo
Group of students is photographed with the imperial palace in the background.
Fushimi Yagura Tower (+ near)
Close up of Fushimi Yagura Tower, part of the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
youth tour
Row of high school students moves towards the Fushimi Yagura tower of the imperial palace.
An Imperial Autumn
Autumn leaves add color to the solid walls of the Emperor's Palace, formerly Edo Castle (Tokyo's predecessor settlement).
After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.

The imperial palace imposes itself on the city as one of the most memorable trips into Tokyo's past.

When we emerge from the technological sophistication of Otemashi metro station we examine the surrounding reality. We are dazzled.

In the back, an uneven but harmonious core of modern office buildings stands out, two or three of them almost skyscrapers, others lower.

At ground level, almost to the base of these buildings, there is an urban forest of green pine trees that seem to have been cut by a team of Eduardos Mãos de Tesoura.

urban jungle, pine trees, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Urban pine forest predates a near-skyscraper area of ​​Tokyo.

Between the pine trees and the palace, there is a vast area covered with gray gravel, interrupted only by the darker asphalt that gives access to the palace.

We detect the wall of the ancient castle of Edo and a strange line of people who have turned their backs on it and seem to be waiting for something.

It occurs to us to cross the asphalt that separates us from them so that we can finally verify what was happening. We don't go far.

A policeman shouts in Japanese and gestures for us to go back.

True to the initial objective, we submitted ourselves to a much bigger turn. When we reached the other side, anxiety took over the group that resists the cold, cameras at the ready.

From (E) Imminence to the Japanese Emperor's Greeting

Sirens are heard in the distance. Police scouts appear on bulky motorbikes, followed by a procession made up of seven black vehicles and the last one, also a police officer.

visitors wave, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Japanese subjects wave to the emperor about to enter the imperial palace.

The small crowd gets into a frenzy, even more so the women exchanging hysterical exclamations, waving and clapping their hands as moved as they were beside themselves.

The rear window of one of the cars opens, highlighted by the classic limousine configuration and a red flag that flies over the middle of the hood.

interrupted traffic, entry emperor, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Police bar traffic during the Emperor's entrance to the imperial palace.

A man in a suit, candid air and gray hair reveals himself from inside, waves back to his admirers, and leads them to obvious ecstasy. The procession does not stop but slows down.

In three times, he disappears into the palace garden. The crowd rejoices. Dozens of Japanese subjects had just seen their emperor. As if that wasn't enough, the emperor had greeted them.

emperor, akihito, limousine-waves, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Emperor Akihito waves to his subjects from inside the imperial limousine.

As far as we were concerned, without quite knowing how, we had just seen the Emperor of Japan. The Emperor of Japan had greeted us.

At the outset, the probability of this encounter was similar to that of finding another emperor still active on the face of the Earth: zero.

The Imperial House in Longest Post

The Japanese imperial house remains the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world to exercise continuity. Its origin is so ancestral that it falls into a void of rigor, despite being included in an 660th century Japanese history book that was founded in XNUMX BC

In the long period that passed, the power of the Japanese emperor alternated between an almost total symbolism and a true imperial rule. But for the most part – despite being nominally appointed by the emperor – the real Japanese leaders were the shoguns.

imperial guard, shelter, imperial palace, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Imperial Guard standing by your shelter.

These feudal lords disputed the Japanese territory until the Meiji Restoration entered the scene, which promoted the emperor to the personification of all the power of the kingdom.

Portuguese explorers, European pioneers on arrival in Japan, compared him to the Pope: with great symbolic authority but limited sovereignty.

The Forced Capitulation that Ended World War II

After spreading across Asia and the Pacific from the end of the 1945th century until XNUMX, the Empire of the Sun capitulated in little more than a year to the allied armies. It was returned to its starting point archipelago and dissolved in 1947, during the occupation of the USA, which was at the base of the creation of the new Japanese constitution.

autumn, imperial palace, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Autumn leaves add color to the solid walls of the Emperor's Palace, formerly Edo Castle (Tokyo's predecessor settlement).

Hirohito was spared by the Americans from convictions for war crimes and preserved in power with the status of "symbol of the state and the unity of the people". He died in 1989. Akihito then occupied what is known for the chrysanthemum throne.

This last emperor is venerated in the way we had just witnessed – and in others much more zealous or even fanatical – as a direct descendant of Amaterasu, Shinto goddess of the Sun and the Universe, accordingly, the highest earthly authority of this religion.

From the Imperial Capital of Kyoto, the Core of Edo and then Tokyo

For eleven centuries, Japanese emperors resided in Kyoto. From the middle of the XNUMXth century, the official residence – Kokyo – was moved to Edo Castle, in the heart of Tokyo.

imperial palace, fushimi yagura tower, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

One of the towers of the Japanese Imperial Palace that recovered Edo Castle.

Its main building was still in front of us, sheltered by inner walls, facing the Nijubashi Bridge, on top of a hill and among shady trees.

We see dozens of Japanese students dressed in black advance in line along the gravel.

Arriving at the bridge, they form with this backdrop as a background and a photographer, in the good Japanese manner armed with a tripod, registers the image of the young subjects for posterity.

students, skyscrapers, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Row of high school students moves towards the Fushimi Yagura tower of the imperial palace.

Tokyo Central Station is not far away. depart from it all the time shinkansen bullet trains destined for the main cities of the country and equipped with a hostess for each carriage.

Meanwhile, a group of these workers in their elegant uniforms flock to the place for the same purpose as the students.

hostesses, conference, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Hostesses of shinkansen trains discuss work plans in front of the imperial palace.

At the beginning of the XNUMXst century, these and other Japanese women were almost treated to a revolution in the ever-traditional Japanese gender relationship.

Japan's Imperial Palace Succession Crisis

At that time, Prince Akishino (second son of Akihito) remained the only male member born into the imperial family since 1965.

With the succession at risk, the Imperial House decided to form a council to consider the hypothesis of a woman can succeed the Emperor. 

palace security, bicycle, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan

Imperial palace security on a classic bicycle.

But in 2006, Akishino and the princess Kiko spawned a prince, Hisahito. Shortly thereafter, the board maintained that the succession should continue to be made in the male.

It turns out that Naruhito – the eldest and probable successor of the current emperor – has only one daughter. O that the Japanese will decide when the succession back to being in danger?

Nikko, Japan

The Tokugawa Shogun Final Procession

In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa inaugurated a shogunate that united Japan for 250 years. In her honor, Nikko re-enacts the general's medieval relocation to Toshogu's grandiose mausoleum every year.
Okinawa, Japan

The Little Empire of the Sun

Risen from the devastation caused by World War II, Okinawa has regained the heritage of its secular Ryukyu civilization. Today, this archipelago south of Kyushu is home to a Japan on the shore, anchored by a turquoise Pacific ocean and bathed in a peculiar Japanese tropicalism.
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Ogimashi, Japan

An Historical-Virtual Japan

"Higurashi no Naku Koro never” was a highly successful Japanese animation and computer game series. In Ogimashi, Shirakawa-Go village, we live with a group of kigurumi of their characters.
Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima: a City Yielded to Peace

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima succumbed to the explosion of the first atomic bomb used in war. 70 years later, the city fights for the memory of the tragedy and for nuclear weapons to be eradicated by 2020.
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Style Passaport-Type Photography

In the late 80s, two Japanese multinationals already saw conventional photo booths as museum pieces. They turned them into revolutionary machines and Japan surrendered to the Purikura phenomenon.
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Alaskan Lumberjack Show Competition, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
Architecture & Design
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

The Legacy of an Historic Shuttle

The founding of Colónia do Sacramento by the Portuguese generated recurrent conflicts with their spanish rivals. Until 1828, this fortified square, now sedative, changed sides again and again.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Manatee Creek, Florida, United States of America
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

, Mexico, city of silver and gold, homes over tunnels
Guanajuato, Mexico

The City that Shines in All Colors

During the XNUMXth century, it was the city that produced the most silver in the world and one of the most opulent in Mexico and colonial Spain. Several of its mines are still active, but the impressive wealth of Guanuajuato lies in the multicolored eccentricity of its history and secular heritage.
Ilhéu das Rolas, São Tomé and Príncipe, equator, inlet
Rolas Islet, São Tomé and Principe

Rolas Islet: São Tomé and Principe at Latitude Zero

The southernmost point of São Tomé and Príncipe, Ilhéu das Rolas is lush and volcanic. The big news and point of interest of this island extension of the second smallest African nation is the coincidence of crossing the Equator.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
El Nido, Palawan the Last Philippine Border
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Enriquillo, Great Lake of the Antilles, Dominican Republic, view from Cueva das Caritas de Taínos
Natural Parks
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
Uxmal, Yucatan, Mayan capital, the Pyramid of the Diviner
UNESCO World Heritage
Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico

The Mayan Capital That Piled It Up To Collapse

The term Uxmal means built three times. In the long pre-Hispanic era of dispute in the Mayan world, the city had its heyday, corresponding to the top of the Pyramid of the Diviner at its heart. It will have been abandoned before the Spanish Conquest of the Yucatan. Its ruins are among the most intact on the Yucatan Peninsula.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Gizo, Solomon Islands

A Saeraghi Young Singers Gala

In Gizo, the damage caused by the tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands is still very visible. On the coast of Saeraghi, children's bathing happiness contrasts with their heritage of desolation.
Bathers in the middle of the End of the World-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Back to Danny Boyle's The Beach

It's been 15 years since the debut of the backpacker classic based on the novel by Alex Garland. The film popularized the places where it was shot. Shortly thereafter, the XNUMX tsunami literally washed some away off the map. Today, their controversial fame remains intact.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Meares glacier
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.