Imperial Couple Hosts Spring Garden Party Apr 2016

Imperial couple hosts spring garden partyDignitaries and celebrities joined Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for the annual spring party at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The imperial couple hosts the garden party every spring and autumn.

Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, Prince and Princess Akishino and other imperial family members also greeted guests as they toured the garden.

Among the visitors was astronaut Kimiya Yui, who spent nearly 5 months aboard the International Space Station last year.

Another guest was Takaaki Kajita, last year's Nobel laureate in physics. Kajita heads the University of Tokyo's Institute for Cosmic Ray Research.

The imperial couple also welcomed Yatsushiro deputy mayor Tatsuaki Nagahara, whose city in the country's southwest was hit hard by powerful earthquakes earlier this month.