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Kyoto Imperial Palace - former home to Japanese emperors opens for spring

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Kyoto Imperial Palace - former home to Japanese emperors opens for spring

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It is spring in Japan – and that is official being marked by the annual opening of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former official residence of the country’s emperors.

The main gate was opened to the public for the first time in 17 years to mark the 80th birthday of Emperor Akihito.

Almost 1,000 people turned up on the first morning to catch a glimpse of what court life was like under former emperors.