The King and The Crown Princess attend the imperial enthronement in Japan

The King and The Crown Princess outside the Imperial Palace before the enthronement ceremony. The King wears Japan's highest order, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum with Chain. The Crown Princess wears the Grand Cross of the same order.

The King and The Crown Princess outside the Imperial Palace before the enthronement ceremony. The King wears Japan's highest order, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum with Chain. The Crown Princess wears the Grand Cross of the same order. Photo: Swedish Press Agency

The King and The Crown Princess outside the Imperial Palace before the enthronement ceremony. The King wears Japan's highest order, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum with Chain. The Crown Princess wears the Grand Cross of the same order. Photo: Swedish Press Agency

In May, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako succeeded Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, who abdicated for health reasons.

Imperial Japanese enthronement ceremonies consist of a number of ceremonies held during the year. Some of these are state ceremonies, while others are of a more religious nature. Tuesday's ceremony, the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi, was a state ceremony during which the Emperor officially announced to foreign and domestic guests that he had ascended to the throne. The King and The Crown Princess, together with other foreign guests, watched the ceremony from the Shunju-no-Ma Hall.

The Imperial Couple were revealed in their pavilions in the Seiden-Matsu-no-Ma state room when courtiers drew back the curtains in front of the Emperor and the Empress.

The Imperial Couple were revealed in their pavilions in the Seiden-Matsu-no-Ma state room when courtiers drew back the curtains in front of the Emperor and the Empress. Photo: Swedish Press Agency

The ceremony in the state room at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo took place in two octagonal pavilions, holding a throne each for the Emperor and the Empress. The Imperial Couple were both dressed in traditional Japanese royal garments. Following the Emperor's acknowledgement that he had ascended to the throne, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe expressed his loyalty and devotion after which he gave a banzai cheer for the new Emperor.

The King and The Crown Princess speak with the King and Queen of Spain in the Shunju-no-Ma state room before the evening's court banquet.

The King and The Crown Princess speak with the King and Queen of Spain in the Shunju-no-Ma state room before the evening's court banquet. Photo: Hiromi Johansson/The Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

The imperial court banquet

During the evening, The King, The Crown Princess and other foreign guests attended a Kyoen-no-Gi court banquet hosted by the Imperial Couple at the Imperial Palace. Bugaku – 1,200-year-old court music and dance – was performed during the banquet.

Art museum visit

On Wednesday 23 October, The King and The Crown Princess visited Nezu Museum. The museum was opened in 1941, with the aim of preserving and showcasing the pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art collected by businessman Nezu Kaichirō.

Today, the museum's collections include more than 7,000 works: paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, metalwork, ceramics, lacquer, wood and bamboo crafts, textiles, suits of armour and archaeological finds.

The King and The Crown Princess at Nezu Museum and its garden.

The King and The Crown Princess at Nezu Museum and its garden. Photo: Hiromi Johansson/The Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

Imperial tea ceremony

During the afternoon, The King and The Crown Princess took part in an imperial tea ceremony together with the new Imperial Couple, other members of the imperial family and invited foreign royal guests.

The tea ceremony took place at the Emperor's private residence, Akasaka Palace.

The King and The Crown Princess are received by Japan's Imperial Couple.

The King and The Crown Princess are received by Japan's Imperial Couple. Photo: The Imperial Household Agency

The King and Prime Minister Abe at the Prime Minister's banquet for the foreign guests.

The King and Prime Minister Abe at the Prime Minister's banquet for the foreign guests. Photo: Japan's Government Ministries and Agencies

The Prime Minister's banquet

On the Wednesday evening, The King and The Crown Princess attended a banquet hosted by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. During the banquet, the 700 guests watched a traditional Japanese theatrical performance.

The play Sanbaso was performed in the classic Kyogen, Kabuki and Bunraku theatrical forms. The play Shakkyo was also performed in the classic Noh form.

The play Sanbaso was performed in the classic Kyogen, Kabuki and Bunraku theatrical forms. The play Shakkyo was also performed in the classic Noh form. Photo: Japan's Government Ministries and Agencies

The Crown Princess during a tour of Tokyo's cultural heritage with Sweden's ambassador Pereric Högberg.

The Crown Princess during a tour of Tokyo's cultural heritage with Sweden's ambassador Pereric Högberg. Photo: Hiromi Johansson/The Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

Isseido antiquarian bookshop

On Thursday 24 October, The King visited the Isseido antiquarian bookshop in Tokyo. The shop has been owned by the same family since it opened in 1913, and is currently run by Takehiko Sakai.

At the Isseido antiquarian bookshop, The King looked at old maps of Edo (modern day Tokyo).

At the Isseido antiquarian bookshop, The King looked at old maps of Edo (modern day Tokyo). Photo: Hiromi Johansson/The Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

One of the books that The King looked at was Carl Peter Thunberg's Voyages de CP Thunberg au Japon. Thunberg was a Swedish botanist and a student of Carl Linnaeus during the 18th century. At that time, only the Dutch were allowed to visit Japan. However, as a surgeon employed by the Dutch East India Company, Thunberg was able to travel to Japan in 1775-1776. There, he was one of few people to be permitted to carry out botanical research.

Carl Peter Thunberg published books about the botany of Japan and his experiences of the country in the late 18th century.

Carl Peter Thunberg published books about the botany of Japan and his experiences of the country in the late 18th century. Photo: Hiromi Johansson/The Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

The King visited the home of bookseller Takehiko Sakai's parents in 1985 to experience Japanese home life.

The King visited the home of bookseller Takehiko Sakai's parents in 1985 to experience Japanese home life. Photo: Private collection

Embassy visit

On the Monday, The Crown Princess visited employees at the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo. Staff from Business Sweden and the Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance. The Crown Princess was then given a tour of the Imperial Palace. The palace has been the residence of the emperor since 1868, before which Kyoto was the imperial capital for more than a thousand years.

In the evening, Ambassador Pereric Högberg invited The King and The Crown Princess to dinner at his official residence. During the dinner, The King and The Crown Princess learnt about the current situation in Japan.

The Crown Princess with employees from the Swedish Embassy, Business Sweden and the Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo.

The Crown Princess with employees from the Swedish Embassy, Business Sweden and the Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo. Photo: Hiromi Johansson/The Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

The Japanese monarchy

Japan is the world's oldest monarchy, with roots dating back to the 6th century AD. The new Emperor Naruhito is the country's 126th emperor, and when he succeeded his father in the spring it was announced that the new era would be called Reiwa ('beautiful harmony').

The Chrysanthemum Throne is often used as a metonym for the monarchy of Japan.