Chihiro Matsumura, left, and Mayu Fukuda wear traditional kimonos as they visit the Kokyo Gaien National Garden in Tokyo on Monday, April 29. They were taking photos at the park, which has views of the Imperial Palace, to commemorate the end of Akihito's reign as emperor. "Emperor Akihito really cared about Japanese people," Fukuda told photographer Shiho Fukada.
Shiho Fukada for CNN

An end of an era: Japan reflects on Akihito

Updated 6:23 PM ET, Tue April 30, 2019

Chihiro Matsumura, left, and Mayu Fukuda wear traditional kimonos as they visit the Kokyo Gaien National Garden in Tokyo on Monday, April 29. They were taking photos at the park, which has views of the Imperial Palace, to commemorate the end of Akihito's reign as emperor. "Emperor Akihito really cared about Japanese people," Fukuda told photographer Shiho Fukada.
Shiho Fukada for CNN

Japan's much-loved Emperor Akihito formally abdicated on Tuesday, becoming the first emperor to do so in 200 years.

Throngs of well-wishers — from both Japan and overseas — flocked to Tokyo this week to get a glimpse of the Imperial Palace and show their respects.

Akihito, 85, cited health reasons for standing down. He will be replaced by his son Naruhito, who has already assumed some of his father's duties.

Photographer Shiho Fukada lives in Tokyo and talked to many Japanese people to get their thoughts on Akihito, his abdication and their hopes for the future.