Welcome one and all to Big in Japan, the Reiwa version. During the just-ended 10-day Golden Week holiday, only one general weekly magazine — Aera (May 13) — went to press, giving it the distinction of being the first publication out of the starting gates in the new era. Aera's coverage of imperial events was fairly low key. A two-page article introduced newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito as a "scholar of history" who, unlike his other antecedents and younger brother, emphasized the study of the humanities as opposed to the natural sciences. The emperor has authored at least five scholarly papers on the subject of water as a means of transport, and expounded publicly on global water resources at several international forums.

Appealing to its mostly female readership, Aera also devoted two two-page articles to Empress Masako and her formative years as an "ordinary" citizen before marriage. A fourth article of three pages introduced the deluxe "Omeshi" train operated by JR East Japan for domestic travel by the imperial family. The first of such special trains date back to one imported from Britain, for use by Emperor Meiji, who rode it on the newly completed line from Shimbashi to Yokohama in 1872. By the mid-1870s the train had developed into a five-car configuration, with the emperor carried in his exclusive "Goryosha" festooned with ornate silk paneling.

The present configuration was built in 2007. On rare occasions the passenger cars are made available to the general public via a JR group travel service, which offers a one-day tour from Tokyo's Ueno Station to Fukushima Prefecture to view cherry blossoms that costs ¥34,000.