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2008 December 23 Tuesday.

2003jul04emperorofjapan1

Today is a National Holiday in Japan. 
It is the
Emperor's Birthday   天皇誕生日 to be exact. 

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko came to Asahikawa on July 4, 2003 for the first time in more than 30 years. 

The Royal Couple were on a tour of Hokkaido that year, and they traveled around this beautiful island by motorcade.   

One of the events on their schedule was to have a Luncheon Banquet at the
Taisetsu Crystal Hall which is right across the street from my classroom.   

Because I knew the schedule of events on that day, I waited outside on the street along the route of the motorcade as it left the Luncheon Banquet at about 15:00. 

I was in a big crowd of people, but lucky for me, I am taller than most of the other people, so I could raise up my
one-shot-at-a-time digital camera over my head in an attempt to take a photo of the Emperor as he and the Empress passed by on their way to their next event. 

Even though I couldn't use the viewfinder so as to be sure that I got a good photo, I got lucky none the less. 

As you can see from the photo on the left, this was a very lucky photo indeed, because I only had one chance.. 

The one and only chance in my lifetime perhaps.   
As a result, I nailed it.   

Later that same day, during the evening, there was another large gathering of people, this time in front of the Asahikawa City Hall to wave up at the Royal Couple as they waved back down to the crowd below from a 15th floor window in the Asahikawa Grand Hotel. 

I was able to take some very interesting photos of the occasion and you can see the photo gallery for that day day by clicking here.   

You can also read the very short essay I wrote about it by clicking here.

As I said at the start of today's blog, today is a National Holiday so I had no classes to teach. 

With about 3 weeks of winter vacation in front of me, I began to think of all of the things that I must do, and most of the other things that I want to do. 
It is a rather long list.

********************************

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