Japan Emperor, Empress Watch Their First Horse Race, Autumn Tenno Sho at Tokyo Racecourse

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor and Empress wave from the state guest room during the Tenno Sho race at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo, on Sunday.

The Emperor and Empress watched the autumn edition of the Tenno Sho horse race at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu on Sunday.

“Tenno” is Japanese for “emperor” and the spring edition is held in Kyoto.

This was the first time for the Imperial couple to watch a horse race, and the first time in 11 years that an emperor has done so when the now Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emerita did so.

The 2,000-meter race on turf was won by Equinox, the favorite in the race, in a course and race record time of 1 minute 55.2 seconds. Jockey Christophe Lemaire tipped his cap and bowed deeply to the applauding Imperial couple in the stands.

The Emperor and Empress watched from the state guest room, occasionally viewing the race with binoculars,

“That was an amazing race,” the Emperor said.