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Japan's Reiwa era

Japan rings in new Reiwa era with plum blossoms and festivals

Many people upbeat as they hope for an era filled with 'continual happiness'

Hundreds of men carry a portable shrine in Kyoto as part of 1,000-year old festival held by a shrine with deep connections to the Imperial household. (Photo by Nozomu Ogawa)

TOKYO -- Huge crowds thronged areas associated with the Imperial household Wednesday to celebrate Emperor Naruhito's ascension to the throne and welcome the dawn of the Reiwa era.

The emperor's enthronement ceremony and celebratory rituals started in the morning at the Imperial Palace, with throngs of people gathered to catch a glimpse of the Imperial family's motorcade.

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