Guests Enjoy Japanese Cuisine In Court Banquet

Guests enjoy Japanese cuisine in court banquet

International guests at Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony have been served Japanese cuisine at a court banquet.

The first of four "Kyoen-no-gi" banquets started just after 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday at the Imperial Palace.

It began after Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako entered the Take-no-Ma Audience Room in the Seiden State Hall.

The other "Kyoen-no-gi" banquets will take place on Friday, next Tuesday, and next Thursday.

The couple had temporarily returned to their residence after the central enthronement ceremony, called "Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi."

About 400 guests are in attendance on Tuesday. Among them are the heads of state and royal family members from more than 180 nations who attended the "Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi."

The Imperial couple received congratulatory greetings from the guests for about one hour.

The guests then moved to the Shunju-no-Ma Grand Hall and chatted over aperitifs with Crown Prince and Princess Akishino, and other Imperial family members.

Members of the Imperial Household Agency's music department performed traditional Japanese songs and dance.

The guests were also given an opportunity to see the Emperor's throne, called Takamikura, and the Empress's seat, called Michodai, in the Matsu-no-Ma State Room, where the central enthronement ceremony was held.

The Emperor and Empress then moved to the Homei-den State Banquet Hall shortly after 9 p.m. and sat at the center of the main table at the back of the hall.

A nine-course Japanese-style dinner was served, including autumn delicacies such as matsutake mushrooms and chestnuts.