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7 Reasons to Elope in Japan

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Why do you want to Elope in Japan? This is a great question and many couples will give lots of different reasons for doing so. We can’t possibly begin to start covering them all, but we can highlight the most common seven reasons people give for Eloping in Japan.

For those who want to skip the preamble, and get straight to the relevant points, the 7 reasons to elope in Japan, as given by our couples, are:

For more detailed ideas, read on!

#1 Stress Management

This is perhaps the most common reason couples give for choosing to elope over having a traditional wedding day. Wedding planning can be very stressful; there is a lot going on. A lot of people are involved and naturally, there are many things happening all at once and more often than not, there are so many people to please.

Now, don’t get us wrong: we love weddings.! We have had a lot of fun planning weddings and have worked with some awesome couples and have enjoyed many wonderful and memorable events. All wedding planning comes from a place of excitement and love.

However, after a few planning meetings, we often hear things like: “My mother wants…;” “My aunt thinks…;” “My sister says…,” or even “My father insists on…” These may be well and good IF, and it is a big “if”, the ideas, desires and opinions of the others align with those of the couple. However, rarely they do…

And each time we hear this, we notice a small spark of joy in the process extinguish in the eyes of our couples. And this is very sad. Too many people feel they should have a voice and couples often find themselves carrying out a very delicate balancing act of having the day they want and pleasing the people in their lives.

On top of this, there are all the other little elements that go in to putting on a traditional wedding: sending out invitations; planning the color scheme, decor and stationary; deciding who to include in the wedding party; what menu to choose; what to do with the kids and elderly; seating charts; entertainment and a whole host of other things I can’t think of right now.

In an elopement there are fewer people and things to worry about, making the whole process so much more fun. You can make decisions and change your mind, include the elements that matter to you and design a day that truly reflects who you are as a couple.

Then, at the end of it all, you will have a day that you can look back on without any regrets; a day filled with love, lots of wonderful moments and many wonderful memories. And isn’t that what it is all about? Creating those lifelong memories that feed your soul forever?!

In an elopement less is more. With fewer things to stress about, you can just enjoy the day, take your time and live in the moment. Where better to do that than in Japan?

#2 It’s Cost effective!

In short: dollars spent on a holiday and elopement in Japan will go further than dollars spent on a big wedding at home. Really, it’s a no-brainer!

The average cost of weddings is on the rise. These days, this is around £30,000 ($40,000), or about a year’s wages (again, an average). And when you add the cost of the honeymoon on top of this, it can well mean that some couples find themselves starting their married life in debt! When you consider that one of the main reasons couples fight is about money, this is a stress you could well do without!

An Elopement, however, is only a fraction of the costs of a traditional wedding. And it can combine the honeymoon with the ceremony. Since there are only the two of you, and maybe one or two guests, the total costs for the trip and the wedding may well be as little as a quarter of the average wedding!

The folks over at have calculated the average cost of a trip to Japan for one person, summarized below:

Airfare: $800 (Assuming you are coming from the US)

JR Rail Pass: $435 (depending on your itinerary, this may not be necessary)

Accommodation: $1750 ($125/day, many hotels less than half this)

Local Transport: $140

Attractions: $120 (Museum, shrine, temple entry)

Food: $560 ($40/day, assuming you don’t go anywhere swanky)

Day-to-day Spending: $200 (Convenience stores, cafes, street vendors)

TOTAL: $4005

When you also consider that the average cost of an elopement falls between $4500 & ¥8500, the total cost of your trip to Japan and elopement might be less than 40% the cost of a full wedding at home.

It really is that cost effective.

#3 Some people are just shy!

Standing up in front of hundreds of friends and family can fill even the most seasoned public speaker with dread... Standing alone with the person you love in a beautiful Japanese setting does not!

This is actually quite a common reason people give for choosing an elopement over a traditional wedding. Speaking from personal experience, the idea of sitting down to plan a speech and then deliver it was something of a blot on an otherwise great day. I am not the kind of person who gets nervous standing up in front of people, much less my friends and family. However, the memory of the speech I had to give is something I would rather forget. I know I am not alone.

If you are shy, you don’t need to put yourself through this. Why do something that you will look back on with regret?! An Elopement in Japan will be filled with love, awe and excitement: isn’t that how you want to remember your day?

#4 It’s an adventure!

Traditionally, the very idea of an elopement was seen as an act of rebellion. These days it is viewed more kindly, as an act of adventure. It is a chance for couples to travel to far flung destinations for their “I dos” and to create wonderful, unique memories as they start their new lives together. Eloping in Japan is all about creating unique experiences, and few places are more unique!

Japan has everything. For those seeking thrill, there are world class ski resorts, some great hiking trails, white water rafting courses, horseback archery, and even bungee jumping! And of course, the more traditional pursuits such as shrine and temple visits, exotic food and general sightseeing.

Since Japan is like no other country, whatever you do, where ever you go it will feel like the adventure of a lifetime!

#5 It’s eco-friendly!

Truth be told, this is not a reason that people actually give for choosing to elope in Japan. However, it is one that we think heavily favors elopements over traditional weddings.

In this day and age when the need to reduce our environmental impact is paramount, elopements are the way to go. They produce much smaller carbon footprints than weddings, which require lots of single use items for florals, decor, dining and general stationary.

“…the average wedding produces 400 lbs (181kgs) of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings per year, that is about 1 billion lbs of trash and as many emissions as approximately 4 people would produce in a year, in just one single day. And those numbers are most likely on the rise when you look at what today’s weddings look like. It’s more important than ever for couples getting married to really think about the footprint of their special day. Especially when there are so many green alternatives out there.”

No single use items means a clearer conscience and cleaner environment: a win-win for everybody!

#6 No guest list concerns.

Some wise old sage once said something along the lines of “when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.” This is certainly true when deciding who deserves an invite and who doesn’t.

The guest list can often be a bone of contention. And there is always a bit of a balancing act between budget concerns and keeping everyone happy.

However, the only two people who really matter are you, the bride and the groom. An elopement is a chance to have the day you want and to create the moments that matter to you. If you really want to please everyone, you can still have a party on your return.

A lot of couples find that when they tell their friends and family about their plans to elope in Japan, the people who truly matter will often find a way to be there for them to help them celebrate in a way that is important to the bride and groom.

Furthermore, a wedding ceremony and celebration in Japan will be a unique bonding experience for those that attend and create warm lifelong memories. An elopement surrounded by closest friends and family tops a wedding surrounded by fair weather folks anytime!

#7 Japanese culture

One of the words that people use to describe Japanese culture is Omotenashi. It basically translates into hospitality. But it is much more than that. Many visitors to Japan come away talking about the unexpected kindness of the people. This is omotenashi.

In the west, hospitality is often given with the expectation of reward. It is a transactional activity: the more you pay, the higher level of hospitality you can expect. However, in Japan, people are brought up with the idea that they need to be kind without expectation of reward. This idea has of course found its way into the Japanese hospitality industry, where people will go above and beyond what is expected or paid for.

It’ll make your experience in Japan all the more special and it is one reason why people fall in love with this exotic, mysterious unique country. And we are sure you will too!

What about you?

What ideas do you think we have left off this list. Are you planning to elope in Japan or have you already done so? What reasons were important for you in making your decisions to come out here. Let us know in the comments below and perhaps we can expand this list in another blog post.

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