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Photographer's Note

The emperor's summer palace at Nikko, Japan. Beautifully restored summer palace used by Japanese emperors as recently as World War 2.

Photo taken through a round glass window framing a Japanese stone lantern and blooming Sakura tree in the courtyard.

Historial information from Nikko Tourist Assn:

The Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park (Former Tamozawa Imperial Villa) was built in 1899 for the purpose of the Emperor of Taisho's rest.

Main frame of the building was brought from Akasaka detached palace, and construction started from 1898 and it ended in June 1899. After that, a big reform was carried out for the purpose of the Emperor's stay from 1918 to 1920.

It is 4500 square meters, has 106 rooms. Emperor Taisho had passed the summer in this villa every year since 1925. In Showa period, Emperor Showa and Empress Koujun also stayed there, and the Showa Emperor evacuated to Nikko for a year from 1944. It was the time of the W.W. II.

Area was 107,000 square meters at the time of 1922, but it has been 30,000 square meters today. The area has been reduced to 1/3 comparing to 1922.

The former Imperial Villa is valuable in terms of the following four aspects.

1. This building is very precious in terms of architecture. For example, it is well harmonized with construction style of Edo, Meiji and Taisho period.

2. It is one of the biggest wooden buildings in Japan.

3. The former Tamozawa Imperial Villa is the only one, which is existing. Other Former Imperial Villas in Meiji era are not.

4. It has a cultural value entire the building judging from decoration and paintings inside.

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