Thousands of people lined the streets to watch and cheer as Kennedy, 55, was transported via a horse-drawn carriage made a century ago for ambassadorial arrivals. She was taken to the Imperial Palace where she met with Emperor Akihito, marking the official beginning of her tenure as ambassador.
Kennedy arrived for her new position the same week as the 50th anniversary of her father's assassination. President John F. Kennedy was set to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Japan.
According to the Imperial Household Agency, Kennedy handed the emperor a letter from President Barack Obama, along with the resignation letter of her predecessor, John Roos.