Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Japanese Emperor Naruhito marked the completion of his enthronement Friday with a visit to Ise Jingu, a Shinto shrine in central Japan, with Empress Masako.
The ceremonial visit included prayers to report the completion of two major rites since the 59-year-old emperor assumed the throne in May after the abdication of his father, former Emperor Akihito. Naruhito completed an enthronement proclamation ceremony, the "Sokuirei Seiden no gi," last month and he performed the traditional Shinto Thanksgiving rite, "Daijosai," last week.
Naruhito traveled to Friday's ceremony in his father's horse-drawn carriage, while the empress, who is allergic to horses, traveled by car. Dressed in a dark orange robe and a layered court kimono, the couple offered prayers at the outer shrine Geku to Toyouke no Omikami, the goddess of food, clothing and shelter.
They are expected to visit the Naiku inner shrine, which is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, on Saturday before returning to Tokyo -- and visit mausoleums of past emperors in Nara and Kyoto next week.
Friday's centuries-old ritual included imperial regalia inherited by the emperor upon his succession.
Dignitaries from about 180 countries attended Naruhito's Oct. 22 proclamation ceremony, when he pledged to "act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people of Japan."
A cluster of buildings known as Daijokyu, constructed in the East Gardens for the emperor's Daijosai ritual, will be taken down next month after after an 18-day public display period.