Imperial Couple Visit Nara Prefecture

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan traveled to Nara Prefecture on Saturday to begin a three-day visit in the area. For the first day of their visit, where they met Asuka Town residents affected by floods in 2011, Empress Michiko wore a dove grey saucer hat. The hat had a slightly raised rim and was trimmed with a large, layered origami bow.

Empress Michiko, November 15, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I think this hat is new

On Sunday, the Imperial couple attended the 34th National Meeting for Healthy Ocean, held in Kawakami Village. For this event, the main reason for the couple’s visit, Empress Michiko repeated a petite, flat cream saucer hat trimmed the bows which coordinated with her black and white houdstooth suit set.

Empress Michiko, November 16, 2014 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, November 16, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: October 11, 2014; November 29, 2013

For the final day of this trip today, The Emperor and Empress visted the oldest Shinto Shrine in Japan, Omiwa Shrine in Sakurai City. Empress Michiko wore a pale beige rimmed saucer hat trimmed with a bow in the same fabric as her suit jacket.

Empress Michiko, November 17, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I think this hat is new

While the hats worn by the Empress on this trip are fairly neutral ones in shapes we have seen her in many times, I was intrigued by the coloured scarves she added to her suits yesterday and today. It’s lovely to see even little flashes of colour in her wardrobe! What do you think of this trio of saucer hats worn in Nara Precture?

Photos from 47newsSankeiAsahi Shimbun; and Sankei

11 thoughts on “Imperial Couple Visit Nara Prefecture

  1. I hope it’s not disrespectful to say that I think they are the cutest couple! They look like people you could go up and hug. I love her houndstooth outfit–the flash of red really adds to it.

  2. I think the Empress does an impressive job of picking/creating hats (and entire outfits) that are different from each other but yet so extremely similar and loyal to one style. They are so under-stated, but the more one looks as the hats, the more features there are and the more embellishments one finds that the tie the hats to the remainder of the outfits.
    Like Queen Elizabeth, the Empress seems to have narrowed herself down to one pair of shoes to wear with all outfits (and one specific handbag, it appears, unlike the Queen’s ever-expanding collection of various black models).

  3. The houndstooth ensemble is a winner. Colour blocking and contrast add some zip, a change from the Empress’s more typical gentle palette. The cape/jacket’s darker, red lining and modern brooch offer up a more dynamic look that is transforming! However, these teeny hats perched well down on the forehead would, personally, drive me a bit nuts, tipped precariously over one’s brow. The Empress has clearly made them her own. They don’t add height which may be a factor as she’d then appear taller than her husband… perhaps this is a concern within traditional Japanese culture? I’ve no idea but some women are keenly aware of not adding height when one’s partner is shorter, but for others, it’s a non issue. At any rate, it IS really nice to see a little more colour on the Empress.

    • Interesting observation about the height of her hats- as a younger woman she did wear tall crowns (see here) but perhaps the height thing became a consideration. Empress Michiko does not wear tiaras anymore (due to headaches) and I wonder if the small, light hats are because of this as well?

  4. Ordinarily I don’t like these tiny hats and think they look silly, but on a small person the proportions are better and the hat looks fine. She has such a lovely serene face, and she always looks very chic and polished. I’m a fan.

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