Imperial Palace drew large crowd
One of the customary events during the New Years is the public congratulatory visit to the Imperial Palace on January 2nd. It is a time when anyone can see the Emperor and the imperial family making appearances in celebration of the New Year.
Since the present Emperor will be stepping down at the end of April, this will be his last appearance for the event. A vast crowd amassed this year, some getting in line from the night before, so the Emperor had to make additional appearances.