Japan’s Emperor Akihito celebrated his 76th birthday today!


The Emperor’s birthday is a national holiday, which is marked by a public ceremony at the Imperial Palace. Crowds of flag-waving well-wishers gather to see the royals and greet the emperor. It’s a special day for the Japanese people. It is only one of the few days during the year that the public is allowed to enter the inner grounds of the palace.


The emperor made his traditional speech from the palace balcony. He was accompanied by his wife Empress Michiko, his sons Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino and their wives, Crown Princess Masako and Princess Kiko.

images via Zuma Press