Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan , born 23 February 1960 is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, which makes him the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Naruhito’s childhood was reported to be happy, and he enjoyed such diverse hobbies as music, mountain climbing, and riding. He played with the children of the royal chamberlain, and he was a fan of the Yomiuri Giants in the Central League, his favorite player being No. 3-turned-team manager Shigeo Nagashima. One day, Naruhito found the remains of an ancient roadway on the palace grounds, sparking a lifelong fascination with the history of transportation, which would provide the subject of his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. He later said, “I have had a keen interest in roads since childhood. On roads you can go to the unknown world. Since I have been leading a life where I have few chances to go out freely, roads are a precious bridge to the unknown world, so to speak.”
In August 1974, when the prince was 14, he was sent to Melbourne, Australia for a homestay. Naruhito’s father, then the Crown Prince Akihito, had had a positive experience there on a trip the year before and encouraged his son to go as well. He stayed with the family of businessman Colin Harper. He got along with his host brothers, riding around Point Lonsdale, playing violin and tennis, and climbing Uluru together. Once he even played violin for dignitaries at a state dinner at Government House hosted by Governor-General Sir John Kerr.