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.
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Okinawa, Japan

Ryukyu Dances: Centuries old. In No Hurry.

The Ryukyu kingdom prospered until the XNUMXth century as a trading post for the China and Japan. From the cultural aesthetics developed by its courtly aristocracy, several styles of slow dance were counted.
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Ogimashi, Japan

A Village Faithful to the A

Ogimashi reveals a fascinating heritage of Japanese adaptability. Located in one of the most snowy places on Earth, this village has perfected houses with real anti-collapse structures.
Magome-Tsumago, Japan

Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan

In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, gold
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kumasi to Kpetoe, Ghana

A Celebration-Trip of the Ghanian Fashion

After some time in the great Ghanaian capital ashanti we crossed the country to the border with Togo. The reasons for this long journey were the kente, a fabric so revered in Ghana that several tribal chiefs dedicate a sumptuous festival to it every year.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
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.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Martian Scenery of the White Desert, Egypt
White Desert, Egypt

The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

At a time when conquering the solar system's neighbor has become an obsession, an eastern section of the Sahara Desert is home to a vast related landscape. Instead of the estimated 150 to 300 days to reach Mars, we took off from Cairo and, in just over three hours, we took our first steps into the Oasis of Bahariya. All around, almost everything makes us feel about the longed-for Red Planet.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Table Mountain view from Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa.
Table Mountain, South Africa

At the Adamastor Monster Table

From the earliest times of the Discoveries to the present, Table Mountain has always stood out above the South African immensity South African and the surrounding ocean. The centuries passed and Cape Town expanded at his feet. The Capetonians and the visiting outsiders got used to contemplating, ascending and venerating this imposing and mythical plateau.
Jumping forward, Pentecost Naghol, Bungee Jumping, Vanuatu
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Cumbre Vieja, La Palma, Eruption, Tsunami, A Televisioned Apocalypse
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Hippopotamus in Anôr Lagoon, Orango Island, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau
Natural Parks
Kéré Island to Orango, Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

In Search of the Lacustrine-Marine and Sacred Bijagós Hippos

They are the most lethal mammals in Africa and, in the Bijagós archipelago, preserved and venerated. Due to our particular admiration, we joined an expedition in their quest. Departing from the island of Kéré and ending up inland from Orango.
Guest, Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Michaelmas Cay, Australia

Miles from Christmas (Part XNUMX)

In Australia, we live the most uncharacteristic of the 24th of December. We set sail for the Coral Sea and disembark on an idyllic islet that we share with orange-billed terns and other birds.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Swakopmund's iconic dunes Sossuvlei, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with hills of reddish rock, the highest mountain and ancient rock art of the young nation. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.