Wherever Japan's royals go, there too goes Fumiko Shirataki: in summer heat and winter cold, to the ocean and to the mountains.
Except when it snows or rains too hard.
Left: Shirataki, her friends and well-wishers take photos of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Right: Empress Michiko waves to well-wishers from a vehicle.
"They know our faces by now, so when we raise the cameras I guess they think 'here they are' and they face towards us and wave," said Shirataki, who always wears sneakers and trousers for ease of movement while she's on the hunt.
Shirataki and her fellow chasers, nearly all of whom are female, say their main focus is the royal women and their clothes. Because of time constraints - she works part time at a car dealership - she concentrates on the empress and empress-to-be.
Shirataki may already have reached the pinnacle of okkake success: this year, she shook hands with the empress.
"I've talked with them briefly before but that's the only time I'd ever been able to put out my hand ... I didn't realize I would do it."
"When I asked, she just said, in a small voice, 'If my hand is okay,'" she added. "And then I did."