Emperor Akihito, who leaves for Britain on Wednesday, was a keen traveler when he visited the country in 1953 to attend Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, according to a book published the following year.

The then 19-year-old Crown Prince Akihito met with heads of state and royal family members of many countries during his first overseas journey, a nearly half-year jaunt that also took him to the United States, West Germany and Canada.

The book "Taikan Kiko" ("Coronation Journal") was based on a diary kept by Shigekuni Kikkawa, then master of ceremonies at the Imperial Household Agency, who accompanied the Crown Prince. Kikkawa sent his writings as personal letters to his home in Tokyo every week or so.