Japan resumes horse-carriage processions for new foreign ambassadors

Japan's Imperial Household Agency has resumed processions of horse-drawn carriages for newly appointed foreign ambassadors, after a three-year suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first procession carrying the new ambassador of Fiji left Tokyo Station for the Imperial Palace at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The 1.5 kilometer journey took 10 minutes.

A procession is held when newly appointed envoys present their credentials to the Emperor.

Office workers and foreign tourists were seen taking pictures and videos as the carriage passed through a tree-lined avenue in the business district.

A 72-year-old spectator from Tokyo said the procession was wonderful. She added that she hopes the tradition will continue.

The Imperial Household Agency quoted the Fijian ambassador as saying it was a comfortable ride.

The agency stopped organizing processions in March 2020 to prevent spectators from gathering along the route.