Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako waved and smiled from an open car in a motorcade marking his enthronement Sunday before hundreds of thousands of delighted well-wishers who cheered, waved small flags and took photos from both sides of packed sidewalks.
Security was extremely tight with police setting up 40 checkpoints leading to the area. Selfie sticks, bottles and banners – and even shouting – were not allowed inside the restricted zone. Residents in high-rise apartments along the road were advised not to look down from their windows or balconies.
The parade was postponed from the original October date due to the recent typhoon that left more than 90 dead and tens of thousands of homes flooded or damaged.
Emperor Naruhito, pictured wearing a tail coat decorated with medals and carrying a brimmed hat, and Empress Masako, in an off-white long dress and a tiara, waved and smiled from their car as they paraded in Tokyo, Japan, on November 10
The royal motorcade drove through a street in Tokyo under tight security for the marking of Naruhito’s enthronement, with police setting up 40 checkpoints leading to the area, on November 10
People were pictured smiling and waving Japanese national flags near the Imperial Palace before the royal parade. Meanwhile the Kimigayo national anthem was played by the marching band on the Sunday
The parade marks his enthronement, a day after people showed their congratulations with music and dance performances, including the song ‘Ray of Water’ performed by the hugely popular Japanese male pop group Arashi, in Tokyo
Spirits seemed high, despite the event being rescheduled from October due to a deadly typhoon, as the royal couple were pictured smiling mid-conversation on November 10
Well-wishers enthusiastically wave their national flag as they celebrate the new Emperor of Japan, who was proclaimed the role on October 22
Naruhito succeeded his father Akihito on May 1 following his abdication, and formally ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in a palace ceremony last month.
The parade started from the Imperial Palace with the Kimigayo national anthem played by the marching band.
Naruhito, wearing a tail coat decorated with medals and carrying a brimmed hat, and Masako, in an off-white long dress and a tiara, kept waving from a Toyota Century convertible. The car was decorated with the chrysanthemum emblems and the emperor’s flag during the half-hour motorcade on the 4.6-kilometer (3-mile) route from the palace to the Akasaka imperial residence in the soft afternoon sun.
Naruhito, sitting on the right side on the slightly raised backseat, constantly turned his head to the right and left, responding to the people cheering from the opposite side of the street as the motorcade slowly moved at a jogger’s speed, led by a fleet of police motorbikes.
Thousands of people had lined up at checkpoints hours before the parade, trying to secure their place to get the best possible view of the royal couple.
People sit patiently, while wearing sun hats, behind railings as they wait for Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, on November 10
A police dog stands on guard along the three-mile strip of the parade to keep an eye on the excited well-wishers. Some camped overnight to get a good spot in full view of the Emperor
People cheer and try to take photographs from an enclosed area as they see the motorcade approaching, on November 10
A little boy, who is sat on someone’s shoulder, is pictured with a wide smile across his face. The parade was the first since Naruhito and Masako’s marriage in June 1993, just three years after their parents celebrated their enthronement in a Rolls Royce
The parade (pictured was the first since Naruhito and Masako’s marriage in June 1993, just three years after their parents celebrated their enthronement in a Rolls Royce
Takahiro Suzuki, a 75-year-old retiree who traveled from Chigasaki, west of Tokyo, arrived two hours ahead of the parade, but said it was worth it.
“The sky is so blue and this is a great day for taking photos, as if the heaven’s blessing for (the emperor),” said Suzuki, an amateur photographer carrying a Canon.
He said he admired the former emperor and wants to see Naruhito continue his father’s work.
“I hope he will continue to stick with peace, as his father did,” he said, but added that Japan should think seriously about the stability of the monarchy as it faces a shortage of eligible successors. Conservatives insist on the male-only succession, but Suzuki says he doesn’t mind having a female monarch.
The parade was the first since Naruhito and Masako’s marriage in June 1993, just three years after their parents celebrated their enthronement in a Rolls Royce.
The car, which was led by high security, was decorated with the chrysanthemum emblems and the emperor’s flag during the half-hour motorcade for three miles
Takahiro Suzuki, 75, retiree who traveled from Chigasaki, west of Tokyo, arrived two hours ahead of the parade and said it was worth it (file image)
Parents, who are equipped with a national Japanese flag, head to the royal parade with their daughter having a doze in a push chair
Spectators are pictured leaning over and tilting their heads to get a closer look for the arrival of Emperor Naruhito. They anticipate the start of the parade and hold Japanese flags
Naruhito (pictured) is warmly welcomes by the public and polls show support for the royal family has increased over the past three decades because of his parents’ effort to bring what used to be the aloof palace closer to the people
Crowds squeeze to get a close spot by the railings where they watch Naruhito, who studied at Oxford, drive past in the motorcade. It is thought that many Japanese natives were impressed by the royal couple openly conversing with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump
Naruhito and Masako have been warmly welcomed by the public. Many Japanese were especially impressed by the couple freely conversing with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump during their visit weeks after Naruhito’s succession in May, according to palace watchers.
There are expectations that Naruhito, the first emperor with a college degree who also studied abroad, and his Harvard-educated wife Masako, will internationalize the imperial household.
Naruhito, who studied at Oxford, is a historian, a viola player and an expert on water transport. Masako, a former diplomat, has struggled for more than a decade and had largely withdrawn from public appearances until recently. She developed “adjustment disorder” after giving birth to the couple’s only child, Princess Aiko, and facing pressure to produce a boy in Japan’s monarchy, which allows only male heirs.
People take a moment out of their day to gather and watch the royal parade from a screen in Osaka, western Japan. They appear mesmerised as they watch the event which attracted more than 100,000 people
The royal couple made their statement entrance into the newly appointed after an ancient-style palace ceremony on October 22. Naruhito succeeded his father Akihito after he abdicated on May 1
A man sleeps behind a bench while waiting ahead of a royal parade by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, in front of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan
Despite concerns about her health and skepticism over her ability to fulfil even part of hugely popular former Empress Michiko’s work, Masako has been seen in good health and in smiles as she attended most of her duties recently.
Opinion polls show public support and a sense of friendliness to the royal family have increased over the past three decades, owing largely to Naruhito’s parents’ effort to bring what used to be the aloof palace closer to the people.