Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited their future home on Friday, an Imperial property they will temporarily move to after the Emperor abdicates on April 30, 2019.
The Takanawa Imperial Residence in Tokyo’s Minato Ward is the former home of Prince and Princess Takamatsu and has been vacant since the princess died in 2004.
Within 18 months, the Emperor and Empress will move from the Takanawa residence to the Togu Palace in the Akasaka Estate, where Crown Prince Naruhito and his family live.
The Crown Prince and his family are set to move to the Imperial Palace after he ascends the throne. But the Emperor and Empress, who will be called joko and jokogo after the abdication, will not move to the Togu Palace immediately to allow for renovations, including modifications to make it barrier-free.
The Imperial Household Agency also plans to carry out renovations to the Takanawa residence, including an improved security system.
The Crown Prince’s current residence will be called the Sento Imperial Palace once the Emperor and Empress move in, indicating a place where a retired Imperial Couple live.