Tokyo's Imperial Palace opens for autumn

TOKYO, Nov 25 (News On Japan) - Inui Street, the famed autumn walk within the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, opened to the public from Saturday.

As the Sakashita gate opened at 9 am, the 300 or so people who had been lining up started their journey down Inui Street, 750 meters to Inui gate. Good weather on the first day saw visitors enjoying the beginning of the autumn foliage, taking lots of photos.

The general opening will take place over 9 days until Dec 3. While security checks are conducted at the entrance, no reservations are required and anyone can visit.

The Imperial Household Agency expects about 200,000 visitors during this period, which is double last year's.

The Nagasaki Lantern Festival concluded Sunday with large crowds enjoying the traditional Chinese art of "Bian Lian," or face-changing performances.

The "Baika-sai" plum blossom festival held at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine over the weekend signaled the arrival of spring in Kyoto.

After a hiatus of three years, the Kinishita Circus, one of the world's three major circuses, has finally rolled back into Osaka.

As severe cold continues every day in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, where the temperature plummeted to minus 26.6C on Saturday, a phenomenon known as a "Sun Pillar," was captured, where diamond dust reflects in the sunlight.