Relationship with the Imperial Family
The first encounter between Karuizawa and the imperial family occurred in September 1878, when the Emperor Meiji made a pilgrimage to the Hokuriku and Tokai regions.
As the summer resort Karuizawa became well known to the public, the town was incorporated on August 1, 1923, from the then Higashinagakura-mura Oaza Karuizawa to Karuizawa Town. For eight days from August 17 to 25 of the same year, Emperor Showa stayed at Shigenobu Okuma’s villa as a summer retreat.
In the Showa Period, during World War II, Empress Dowager Sadamei evacuated to the Grand Palace (former Karuizawa), and Her Imperial Highness Princess Michiko Shoda (now the Crown Princess) also evacuated to this area and moved to Karuizawa First National School, Elementary 5th grade. After the war, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress Showa and the Crown Prince and Princess continued their summer stays in Karuizawa, and the construction of imperial villas, including Prince Mikasa, and the construction of the Imperial Household’s villa in Karuizawa in 1933. From the tennis court in Karuizawa in 1958 to the marriage of the Crown Prince and Princess Michiko, and the births of Prince Hiromiya, Prince Reinomiya, and Prince Norimiya, we welcomed the Imperial Family every summer and continued our deep relationship with them.
The people of Karuizawa have welcomed this longstanding relationship with the Imperial Family with the utmost honor, pride, and joy.
The song of the evening sedge, beginning with the poem “Kano no Machi no” (The Town of Kano) by His Majesty the Queen, was particularly moving to the people of the town, and the “asamakisuge” seeds from the Crown Prince’s Palace were shared with the entire town.
The people of Karuizawa, in light of this history, and in honor of the many members of the Imperial Family who have cherished their encounters in Karuizawa, hope that someday a royal residence will be located in Karuizawa where they can use it with peace of mind.
The following chronological table traces the footsteps of the Imperial Family and Karuizawa.
Chronology of events involving Karuizawa and the Imperial Family
Meiji era (1868.9.8-1912.7.30)
|9/6/11||On the occasion of the Emperor Meiji’s tour in the Hokuriku and Tokai regions, he took a short rest at Kumano Koudai Shrine in Toge-cho,
Lunch at Sato Oriekata, the former headquarters of Karuizawajuku,
Oiwake-juku (Oiwake-juku): Stayed at the former Honjin Tsuchiya Ichizanbata
Taisho era (1912.7.30-1926.12.25)
|Nov. 25, 2010.||Inauguration of the Prince Regent (Emperor Showa)|
|Aug. 3, 2011||Asakamiya: Summer retreat at Amamiya’s villa in Karu|
|Aug. 1, 12||Karuizawa Town established as a town.|
|Aug. 17, ’12||The Emperor Showa returns to Tokyo on August 25th.|
|Enjoy golf at Karuizawa Golf Club (now Old Golf)|
|15 years||New villa built in Kutsukake, Kitashirakawa Palace [on the list of summer vacation celebrities
There are Fushimi Palace, Asakamiya Palace, Kayo Palace, Higashi Fushimi Palace, Takeda Palace, and Kitashirakawa Palace].
Showa era (1926.12.25-1989.1.7)
|April 23, 2 years||Construction of a new villa at Takeda Palace|
|3 years||Asakamiya villa newly built|
|August 29, 2008||Prince Takahito of Suminomiya visits Kyoto (stays at Asakamiya Villa until the 31st)
(Constructed in an elementary school yard with donations; donations: 204.78 yen, total construction cost: 199 yen)
|December 3, 2010||Unveiling Ceremony of the Monument to Preserve the Sacred Site of Emperor Meiji (Karuizawa Gozaisho Site, Karuizawa Hotel)
(Preserved monuments: Emperor Meiji’s Karuizawa Gozaisho, Toge Gokosho, Toge Gozensui, Karuizawa Gozensui)
|May 20||Michiko Shoda (present Empress) evacuated and transferred to Karuizawa First National School, Elementary 5th grade.
(Enrolled until September)
|August 15, 2008||World War II ended in defeat.|
|August 20, 2008||Empress Dowager Joumei went to the Omiya Palace (the Kondo Villa on the Futatebashi Bridge) for evacuation (returned on December 5).|
|22||Ltd. acquires the Asakamiya Villa and opens it as the Chigataki Prince Hotel (in business for only one year).|
|October 7, 2010||Emperor Showa received the Emperor on his tour of the Koshin area in the Higashi Elementary School playground and inspected the Ohinata pioneer area.|
|August 11, 2012||Crown Prince Akihito (Prince Tsugimiya) summering in Karuizawa (Mitsui Villa, Mrs. Vining teaching English)|
|August 12, 2012||Visit to Onishidashi with His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, Mrs. Vining, and schoolmates
(Information, Mayor Tsuneo Sato, Nagano Prefectural Government Karuizawa Office Director Uchiyama, and others)
|August 2, 2013||Crown Prince’s summer retreat in Karuizawa (Chigataki Prince Hotel)
*The summer retreat was held every summer until 1988, and in 1953, the summer retreat was held in the fall.
|August 2, 2013||His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince enjoys horseback riding in Karuizawa Highlands (guided by Mr. Tadayoshi Kobayashi, Director of Tourism Division)|
|August 27, 2007||Enjoying horseback riding with Crown Prince Yoshinomiya (later Prince Hitachi) at Karuizawa Highlands|
|October 20, 2008||His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince has had a summer retreat in Karuizawa every summer since 1949,
On June 2, 1953, he attended the coronation ceremony of the Queen of England as the representative of His Majesty the Emperor,
After returning to Japan, the first time in Karuizawa in autumn, I was able to heal the fatigue of my trip.
|August 2, 29||Lecture “On Ancient History” at Prince Mikasa’s Karuizawa Summer University|
|July 30||Mikasa Palace: New villa built in Mikasa Jishiki.|
|July 25, 2008||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress Showa visit the summer retreat of Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince
Stayed at Karuizawa Prince Hotel (Chigataki) and stayed with us until the 28th.
25th, 1:50 p.m. Gosomeshi train arrives at Karuizawa Station ⇒ Prince Hotel (Sengataki)
Evening: Local Kutsumigake Ward residents’ lantern procession. Their Majesties the Emperor and the Crown Prince hold lanterns in their hands,
He came to the gate.
26th: The three of you visited Oniohashidashi and collected plants under the guidance of Associate Professor Hara of the University of Tokyo.
After lunch at Asama Ranch, visit to Asama Volcano Observatory, University of Tokyo Explanation by Prof. Mizukami
After visiting Prince Mikasa’s villa on the 27th, Fujio Sato, Mayor of the town, guided us to visit the Usui Pass viewing platform.
(Afternoon) Plant collection at Jizogahara, guided by Associate Professor Hara of Tokyo University
28th (morning), people enjoy fishing at the trout pond behind Oyado
|August 3, 2011||His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince attends the Opening Ceremony of the Japan Jamboree
(13,000 participants from 18 Boy Scout countries in Jizogahara, Minamikaruizawa)
|Sept. 3, ’33.||Crown Prince Yoshinomiya visits Karuizawa Gakuen (welcomes all children of Seibu Elementary School)|
|Nov. 27, ’33.||A congratulatory telegram was sent to the Crown Prince and the Shoda family in the name of the Mayor of the town upon the news of the Crown Princess’s appointment.|
|April 10, 34||Crown Prince Akihito and Michiko Shoda marry|
|April 10, 34||Wedding Ceremony of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince (Junior High School) *Flag processions in the Old Light, New Light, and Middle Light Wards|
|April 14, 34||Tree Planting Ceremony in Commemoration of the Wedding of His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince
(Co-organized by the prefectural government, Forestry Bureau, Afforestation Federation, and the town of Karuizawa, 150 people participated)
|Feb. 24, 35.||Birthday celebration for His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince Naruhito (Prince Hiromiya) (junior high school)|
|January 22, 1936||Opening Ceremony of the 16th National Winter Athletic Meet Skating Competition|
|Aug. 22, ’39.||Crown Prince and Princess visit Shiozawa area and observe milking operation|
|Aug. 27, ’39.||Inspection of Prince Mikasa’s Asama Academy|
|Sept. 1, 1939.||The Crown Prince and Princess Visit the Ohinata Settlement|
|Aug. 17, 40.||Climbing Mt. Koasama with His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince (for the third time)|
|Aug. 20, ’42.||With Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pikram of Nepal during their summer visit to Japan
Inspection of Ohinata Settlement
|Sept. 1, ’48.||Crown Prince Hirohito, Crown Princess Reina, and GSI surveying work inspection (Mt. Happuzan)|
|Sept. 2, ’49.||Hiromiya: Collection of plants from the old Usui Pass and Ichinojisan (commentary by Kiyoshi Shimazaki, Director of the Community Center)|
|August 4, 1950||Visit to the town archives
(The former museum next to the junior high school, opened in September 1963, renovated from the former villa of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Katsuta.)
|August 3, 1951||Visit to Hiromiya Torihara District|
|August 25, 1951.||Crown Prince and Princess visit the town library (opened in July 1976)|
|January 22, 1953.||The 33rd National Winter Skating Competition (Ice Hockey Competition) is held.|
|Aug. 23, ’53.||Reinomiya Visits Town Hall for social studies
(Mayor Masato Sato and Mr. Kiyoshi Shimazaki, Director of the Community Center, explained about the town government.)
|Oct. 13, ’53.||His Majesty’s train passes through Karuizawa Station and welcomes His Majesty at the Opening Ceremony of the Yamabiko National Athletic Meet (Nagano City).|
|Oct. 19, ’53.||The 33rd National Athletic Meet (Yamabiko National Athletic Meet) Rifle Shooting Competition with the presence of Her Imperial Highness Princess Yoko Mikasa|
|Feb. 5, 55.||The 29th Prince Mikasa Cup Central Japan Skating Competition held|
|Aug. 18, 55.||Crown Prince and Princess visit Karuizawa Botanical Garden (Karuizawa Botanical Garden opened in July 1975)|
|Aug. 19, 55.||Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess enjoy playing tennis with students at the tennis court of the Sports Complex|
|August 27, 1957.||The Crown Prince’s Palace presented the Karuizawa Botanical Garden with a gift of 300 Asama kisuge plants (to be distributed to public facilities).|
|Feb. 25, 1958.||32nd Prince Mikasa Cup Central Japan Skating Competition held
(191 participants until the 26th, staying at Prince Mikasa Hotel)
|August 31, 1958||The Crown Prince’s Palace presented the Karuizawa Botanical Garden with 600 Asama kisuge plants (to be distributed to public facilities).|
|Aug. 19, 1958.||Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess visit the Karuizawa wildflower “Pressed Flower Exhibition” (Central Community Center)|
|Sept. 3, 1959.||The Crown Prince’s Palace presented the Karuizawa Botanical Garden with a gift of 300 Asama kisuge plants (to be distributed to public facilities).|
|Aug. 10, 1961.||Karuizawa International Friendship Party was held in the presence of Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess (Karuizawa Prince Hotel)
The 100th Anniversary of the Insurance Recreation Area was held throughout the year and a commemorative ceremony was held.
Their Imperial Highnesses’ presence at the Karuizawa International Friendship Party that followed.
|Jan. 27, 62.||The 42nd National Ice Hockey Athletic Meet is held.|
|Aug. 8, 62.||The Karuizawa International Goodwill Fellowship, the same as the previous year, was attended by Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.|
|Jan. 12, 62.||The beginning of the poetry party (Karuizawa-related poems) *Prince Fumihito (Prince Rei) sings a poem.
Summer has passed, and I’m heading for my car pass in the mountains of Usui.
Songs by His Imperial Highness Prince Akihito KONNOHNO
The squeak of the apt-type wheels… nostalgic… The train going up the Usui Pass
|Aug. 17, 1963.||Crown Prince and Princess Hirohito visit the Karuizawa Botanical Garden|
|Sept. 24, 1963.||Mayor Masato Sato and Councilor Tadashi Kanai record their sympathy at Prince Tomohito’s Palace, wishing the Emperor’s recovery.|
|Jan. 7, 1964.||Emperor Showa (Hirohito) passes away (6:33 a.m., aged 87 years and 8 months, mourned on February 24)
Crown Prince Akihito, the 125th successor to the throne, is enthroned and the year is changed to “Heisei”.
*2 November 12, Accession Rites Ceremony at the Hall of the Imperial Throne
Heisei era (1989.1.8- )
|February 1, 1 year||Public Relations Karuizawa: Photo feature page published in memory of Emperor Showa|
|2 years 6 months 29 days||Princess Reinomiya marries Princess Noriko Kawashima, creating the Akishinomiya family.|
|2 years, 8 months, 4 days||Crown Prince (Prince Hiromiya and Prince Tokuhito) summering in Karuizawa (until the 13th, summering at the Sengataki Prince Hotel)|
|2 years, 8 months, 7 days||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a summer retreat (until the 12th; the Crown Prince and Empress stay at the Sengataki Prince Hotel)
Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress Participate in Doubles at Karuizawa Tennis Courts
|August 17, 2 years||Prince and Princess Akishino summering in Karuizawa (until 27th, at Mampei Hotel)|
|August 18, 2 years||Prince and Princess Akishino visited the Karuizawa Botanical Gardens (three plants of Oba gibboushi were presented at their request).|
|3 years January 26||His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince visits Karuizawa for the Opening Ceremony of the National Athletic Meet|
|January 27.||Attended the opening ceremony of the Karuizawa National Athletic Meet|
|3 years, 8 months, 7 days||Cancellation of the summer retreat of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress
(Scheduled from the 7th to the 13th, painfully refraining from the catastrophe caused by the massive explosion lava flow of Mt.)
|4 years, 8 months, 8 days.||Summer retreat in Karuizawa by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince (until 14, summer retreat at Sengataki Prince Hotel)|
|April 29, 5 years||Tree-planting ceremony in commemoration of the wedding of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince to the Crown Prince|
|5 years, 6 months, 9 days||Crown Prince (Prince Hiromiya and Prince Tokuhito) marries Princess Masako Owada|
|6 years, 10/19/13||Mr. Taro Ogawa, Chairman of the Town Council (Vice Chairman of the Association of Chairmen of Prefectural Town and Village Councils) was invited to attend the Autumn Garden Party.|
|November 9, 2008.||Visit of Prince and Princess Akishino to Karuizawa Jirikuen|
|April 9, 2009||Request for a visit by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, Mayor Kunio Matsuba, and Chairman Seiichi Ide on behalf of the Council
Bring a letter of request jointly signed by the heads of 32 organizations in the town addressed to His Imperial Highness Prince Furukawa Kiyoto of the Imperial Household Agency.
|April 22, 2010||Invited to a tea ceremony hosted by the Emperor and Empress and attended by the Mayor and others
*Rensui-no-ma, Empress’s Palace*During the discussion, talked directly with His Majesty the Emperor about the curling competition,
Mr. Yasunari Nakayama, Assistant Director, stated that the people of the town are looking forward to your visit,
His Majesty may have been concerned, but he said, “I’m glad that the curling competition has become well known to everyone.
When Their Majesties left the hall, Mayor Kunio Matsuba thanked them for inviting him,
The Empress, who loves Karuizawa, said, “Are the fist blossoms of Rizan beautiful and pure white again this year?
|Apr. 29, 2002.||Planting of a tree to commemorate the birth of Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko of Japan * Planting of azalea trees in the garden of the new hospital|
|Aug. 26, 2003.||The Emperor and Empress of Japan visit Karuizawa for their first summer retreat in 13 years, guided by Mr. Sato, Director of the Karuizawa Botanical Garden
Next, visit the Tanikawa Shuntaro exhibition at Karuizawa Kogen Bunko.
*27. Visited the Minamigahara reclaimed land in Komoro City for the first time in 20 years, held discussions with local residents, and toured the highland vegetable fields.
Early morning stroll in Old Karuizawa on the 28th
Afternoon Tennis match against a pair of former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata (Nanbara Kai Tennis Court)
*30th a.m. Climbing Mt.
Evening: The 24th Kusatsu Summer International Music Academy & Festival in Kusatsu (stay overnight in Kusatsu)
|Sept. 11, 2003.||Mayor Masayoshi Sato and Chairman Masujiro Gyoda thank Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress for their summer retreat and request a visit next year and beyond.
Thanking Mr. Mitsuru Watanabe, Chief of Staff of the Imperial Household Agency, for his visit and requesting that he visit next year and thereafter.
|Oct. 25, 2003.||The Crown Prince’s Palace presented the Karuizawa Botanical Garden with a gift of 300 grams of seeds (approximately 12,000 grains) of the Asama kisuge (Lonicera japonica).|
|Nov. 4, 2003.||23 grams of seeds of Lengeshouma (about 5,000 grains) were offered to the Crown Prince’s Palace from the Karuizawa Botanical Garden.|
|12/12/15||Unveiling Ceremony of the monument (erected in front of Karuizawa Hospital) *The poem “Yusuge no Mikoto” composed by the Empress in the spring of 2003.
I saw it in a field in a town in the evening, the color of the moon, and it was in bloom.
|January 1, 2004||The Emperor’s personal message (announced on January 1): “If Tsukushi people visit us, they will see Mount Asama with clouds over it.|
|Mar. 25, 2004||Crown Princess Masako takes a rest at her villa in Nagano Prefecture (Karuizawa)|
|September 28, 2004||Visit of the Mayor to the Imperial Household Agency, thanking the Botanical Gardens for the seeds of yusuge and reporting on their growth since then.|
|Jan. 12, 2005.||The Imperial Household Agency presented the Karuizawa Botanical Garden with a gift of 230 g (approx. 9,200 grains) of asama kisuge seeds.|
|Apr. 2, 2005||Asama kisuge seeds distributed to town residents, collected by Their Majesties and given to the town (distributed to 300 people)|
|May 22, 2005||Celebrating the engagement of Princess Norinomiya to Tokyo Metropolitan Government employee Keiki Kuroda
Commemorative planting of “Hitsujikusa” (30 plants at the edge of the pond in Yagasaki Park) by Princess Norimiya
|Nov. 10, 2005.||Kinomiya Commemorative Photo Exhibition (Former) Karuizawa Station House Memorial Hall, Ohga Hall|
|Nov. 15, 2005.||Special Concert in Commemoration of the Wedding of Her Imperial Highness Princess Kiyoko Norimiya, Violinist: Teiko Maebashi (Hosted by the town, Ohga Hall)|
|August 28, 2006||Her Majesty the Empress Visits the 27th Kusatsu Summer International Academy & Festival|
|Oct. 10, 2006||Tree planting to commemorate the birth of Hisahito Akishino, the eldest son of Prince Akishino
(Commemorative tree planting of Koya-maki cedars in the construction of a welfare complex and other facilities)
|Apr. 26, 19||Former Mayor Kunio Matsuba (Chairman of the Prefectural Election Commission) was invited to attend the Spring Garden Party.|
|August 24, 2008||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan visit Japan for a rest and relaxation, and are joined by Prince and Princess Akishino and their eldest son, Hisahito.
*24th, morning: Arrival at Karuizawa Station by Nagano Shinkansen special train.
Visit to Ohinata Settlement and Kaitakukan Memorial Museum: Vegetable field tour cancelled due to inclement weather
*26th Tennis at Karuizawa Kai Court, Old Karuizawa Walking Tour
*27th Kozu Ranch Tennis at Karuizawa Kai Court in the evening
*28th: Piano lesson by the Empress in Kusatsu-cho with musicians from Japan and abroad.
Voluntary Refrain from Scheduled Viewing of International Music Academy in Mourning for Death of NGO Ito, Afghan Kidnapper
Her Majesty the Empress performs a piece of music for one hour with musicians from Japan and abroad.
|April 10, 2009||Commemorative distribution of the 50th anniversary of the wedding of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (first 500 people to arrive at the Botanical Garden)|
|August 24, 2009||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 24, 2010||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 23, 2011||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 23, 2012||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 24, 2013||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 22, 2007||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 20, 2008||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 22, 2009||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|August 22, 2008||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visit Japan for a rest and relaxation|
|April 30, 2011||Emperor Akihito abdicates and accedes to the throne.|
|May 1, 1 year||His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Tokuhito, the 126th successor to the Imperial Throne, is enthroned and the year is changed to 2025.|