This afternoon in Toyko, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako took part in the Imperial Procession to mark the Emperor’s enthronement. The parade, dubbed “Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi,” began at 3.00 pm local time.
The imperial couple travelled at a slow speed of 10 kilometres so the thousands of Japanese people lined up on the streets could get a good look at their smiling and waving Emperor and Empress. Their Imperial Majesties were driven by their longtime chauffeur in a new and specially crafted black Toyota Century hybrid sedan convertible.
Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko travelled in a separate car with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a third car. In total, the procession extended 400 metres including the security cars.
Security was tight for the parade with those lined up on the streets having to go through metal detectors at one of 40 checkpoints. Some were lined up on the streets since yesterday.
The couple were in formal dress in their convertible with the Empress donning a tiara and gown. At one point, the band performing for the procession played a song composed for the couple’s wedding.
The route saw them go from the Imperial Palace to the family’s residence at Akasaka Estate. It was due to take place at the end of October alongside the rest of the enthronement activities. However, due to the devastation and deaths caused by Typhoon Hagibis, it was postponed until November.
Once the couple arrived at Akasaka Estate, the couple exited their car and stood outside the building with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and government officials as the national anthem was played. In total, the procession lasted around 30 minutes.
The Enthronement Ceremony took place on 22 October at the Imperial Palace with foreign royals and dignitaries in attendance.
Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on 1 May after his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito abdicated the previous day. The Emperor’s younger brother, Akishino, is now the Crown Prince as the Emperor and Empress’s 17-year-old daughter, Princess Aiko, cannot ascend the throne; women are not allowed to reign in their own right and are not in the line of succession in Japan.