Tokyo (AP) - Japan's Imperial Palace has reopened the Eastern Gardens, which were closed for two months due to the corona crisis, to the public.

However, only 50 visitors are allowed in the facility in the mornings and afternoons, as the Haushofamt announced on Tuesday. Visitors would have to wear masks, and their temperature would be measured at the entrance.

In addition to a spacious park with flowers, the eastern gardens also contain ruins of castle buildings that were once built by the Tokugawa dynasty. The gardens are one of the few places on the extensive area of ​​the Imperial Palace that are freely accessible to the public.

The huge, green complex of the imperial palace in the heart of the Japanese capital with residences, shrines and gardens was the seat of the Tokugawa shoguns that ruled the island empire in the Edo period (1603 to 1868) for more than 250 years. After the shoguns were disempowered, the emperor's seat was moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo (eastern capital). The imperial residences were built on the former castle area. The Haushofamt is also located on the palace grounds. During the Second World War, the buildings were destroyed and rebuilt in a modern style.

Most of the palace complex is only accessible to the public after prior booking for a visitor tour. The buildings themselves may not be entered. One of the rare opportunities for the people to get closer to the palace is at New Year's when the monarch family greets their people from a glass-enclosed balcony.

Website of the House Court Office