Akihito will be the first Emperor in just under 200 years to give up their throne with his eldest son taking the position later today.
On a Friday night in northern Tokyo, babies and toddlers ran around a brightly decorated preschool with their parents.
The sound of their laughter mingled with conversations from young parents, who sat on cushions on the floor eating, chatting, and letting go of stress from the week — the last one of an era that’s spanned 30 years.
They were also thinking about an upcoming historic moment on Tuesday, when Japan’s beloved emperor will be essentially retiring, the first to do so in over 200 years.
“We are going to open a bottle of champagne and do a countdown,” said Noritaka Takezawa, a father of two young kids.