Palace street opens for autumn leaves viewing after 3 years of hiatus

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Visitors admire the autumn scenery along Inui Street inside the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.

A road inside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for viewing autumn foliage opened Saturday to the public for the first time in three years.

The 750-meter-long Inui Street, usually accessible in the spring and autumn, had been kept closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The road was last opened in the autumn of 2019.

About 50 people lined up Saturday at the Imperial Palace Plaza before the gate opened at 9 a.m. Visitors admired the autumn scenery of the palace, where the foliage of 70 trees, including Japanese maples and trident maples, began turning red and yellow. The Imperial Household Agency requested visitors to check their temperatures at the entrance and wear masks to prevent infections.

“I could take a lot of pictures of the autumn leaves starting to change colors,” said Hiromasa Morita, 80, from Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, who lined up from midnight.

The Inui Street will be open to the public for nine days through Dec. 4. Visitors will be allowed in from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sakashita-mon Gate.