Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako arrived in Mie Prefecture from Tokyo on Thursday to visit Ise Shrine following the completion of rituals involving the Emperor's enthronement.
This is the Imperial couple's first trip to the shrine after the Emperor ascended the throne in May. Two of the three types of Imperial regalia were brought with them.
Upon arrival at Uji-yamada Station in Ise City, the Emperor and Empress were greeted by crowds of well-wishers.
The couple waved to the spectators with smiles before heading to the shrine. The imperial motorcade moved slowly as more than 10,000 people along the route waved and cheered.
The couple arrived at the Inner Shrine of Ise shortly after 5 p.m. They were greeted by the Emperor's younger sister, Sayako Kuroda, who manages the main festivals at Ise Shrine as its head priestess.
They crossed Uji bridge and entered their lodgings in the shrine grounds.
In the town of Oharai near the shrine, about 2,000 people gathered for a lantern procession. They marched toward Uji bridge holding red-and-white colored lanterns to congratulate the Emperor on his ascension.
The Emperor and Empress will visit the Outer Shrine on Friday and the Inner Shrine on Saturday for rites to notify to the ancestral deities of the imperial family enshrined there that the rituals related to the Emperor's enthronement have been completed.