Last month as I was showing a foreign friend around Tokyo – first visit – we saw this gorgeous couple at their wedding ceremony in Tokyo’s main Meiji Jingu shrine. I know I have posted wedding ceremonies many times before but I just can’t help myself! The only ones who had the benefit of the parasol was the couple themselves, the others had to do without anything to shield them from the fierce sun that beautiful afternoon, hence their shut eyes!
Almost every time I visit the grand shrine in Kamakura, the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu there seems to be a wedding going on. It’s a great opportunity to see the finest kimono and listen to the thousand of years old ceremonial music being played live. I caught this ceremony a couple of days ago, the bride looked really nervous as she was taking instructions from the priest assistants. Since it’s currently Golden Week here in Japan the shrine was packed with tourists and visitors enjoying the great weather and that in itself should be enough to make any bride nervous! The groom looked much more relaxed. It’s not all that common to see these traditional ceremonies performed out in the open, usually they are confined to the inner sanctum of the shrines. At most you can see the traditional wedding parade if you visit places like the Meiji Jingu in central Tokyo, but this shrine in Kamakura (Kanagawa prefecture) is one of the best for seeing traditional weddings!
Another very colorful, gorgeous wedding ceremony showing off yet another one of the many set ups a Japanese bride wears during the short ceremony. As they walked past me the bride gave me a big smile, I am not sure why since there were about 20 other people shooting the ceremony. My big camera must have lured here into thinking I was a pro. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened to me in the this shrine! During the main holidays, you won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes between the wedding ceremonies, so if you are a tourist and want some very colorful shots to bring home, nothing beats Meiji Shrine on a weekend!
I know, it’s cheating, but if there is one place you are always guaranteed of getting something interesting to shoot, it’s at Tokyo’s central Meiji Jingu, or the Meiji Shrine. I saw this wonderfully happy looking couple, both in very traditional Japanese wedding costumes. Don’t you just love the smile on his face? He is one happy married man!