Updated: Oct 15, 2021
If our UK based friends are anything to go by, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo sparked an interest in all things Japan. And that is despite the COVID restrictions. During the two weeks of competition, friends and family were constantly messaging us about their new found interests in and desire to visit Japan. But the truth is, even before Tokyo hosted the sports extravaganza, it was a hot place to visit. And, it was already a rising star in the destination elopement industry as more and more people are choosing to elope in Japan.
It isn’t hard to see why! Japan is a country of endless beauty; wonder; culture; art; hospitality and much, much more. It is also a land of traditions, customs, and rituals: many of which are still mysterious, even to the Japanese. It is a place where the old and the new sit effortlessly side-by-side. And to top it all off, the views in the city, countryside, beach and mountains are out of this world!
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Put simply, Japan is Stunning! (All photos by @rossharrison_tokyo, unless otherwise stated)
Despite being steeped in history, it effortlessly embraces the past, present and the future. It is a place where people, young and old enjoy the trappings of modern life while decked out in traditional garb. No one bats an eyelid when folk ride the crowded trains in their finest kimonos. Modern buildings employ themes that have endured for centuries. Some structures, such as Tokyo Sky Tree, were even built with the same age-old anti-earthquake technology as those found in the many temple pagodas, dotting the landscape up and down the country. Japan is forward thinking, yet charming, traditional and picturesque.
But, what does all this mean for you, the eloping couple?
One word - everything! It means you can pretty much do what you want! You have a choice of venues in the city or countryside; beach or mountain top and you can choose between traditional style ceremonies or secular ones with a modern twist. The choice really is up to you. No wonder more and more people are looking to Elope in Japan.
Your Day, Your Way!
As elopement specialists at Serendipity Flower and Wedding, our motto is “Your day; Your way!” We believe that there is something for every couple. No two ways need be the same. Whether you want to go fully traditional or modern, or a bit of both!
This is a key point. A lot of venues are quite restrictive when it comes to putting on weddings. They may require the use of their own contracted photographers, stylists, florists, caters etc. If they allow third party vendors in, they may charge a "bringing in" fee. These restrictions and hidden costs can add up and cause something of a headache - which is what we want to avoid.
Our job, is to listen to your vision, and make sure we can get as close to it as possible. You might want to get married in a shrine and have photos in a garden. Alternatively, you might want to have a ceremony in a garden and then photos around the city. Mt. Fuji could make a stunning back drop; so too could the famous deer in Nara park. Perhaps snow and mountains are more your thing - Japanese ski resorts are world famous for their powder snow! Or even a wedding on a beach beside the Pacific Ocean. The possibilities are endless.
Filled with ritual and steeped in meaning, a wedding at a shinto shrine is an incredible experience that will entwine you with the heart of Japanese culture and tradition.
A ceremony and photo-shoot in a Japanese garden is simple, rustic-elegance at its best. Gardens we choose are located away from the general hoy polloi and are quiet intimate places. Perfect for couples eloping in Japan!
Enjoy the seasonal changes that run (almost) like clockwork. Have a photo-shoot beneath the cherry blossom, on a picturesque bend in the river. If you are lucky, a Japanese punt will float by.
Have a ceremony in a gorgeous garden then a photo-shoot in a national park, with iconic Japanese elements as a backdrop.
Make you vows in a buddhist temple: similar to the indigenous shinto ceremony, and just as beautiful.
Get married in the pristine, powder snow of the many ski resorts in Nagano, Niigata or Hokkaido.
There are of course SOME things that we can't legally do, or may require a permit, that may or may not be easy to get. But what we can promise, is that we will put your vision front and centre, and do everything we can to see it happen.
How can we help?
As specialist elopement planners based in Tokyo, it is our job to make the connections and seek out the venues. It is our job to bring all the separate pieces - venues, vendors and wedding props - together to make your day unique. For those on a budget, we can do everything in house - with the exception of the venue, of course! We can do the officiating, photography and floral arrangements. For those who want to mix it up, we work with some of the best photographers and stylists in Tokyo. We will be glad to bring them aboard for your big day!
We love the people we work with, and we know you will love them too! When you know everyone loves what they do, and are good at what they do, you can rest assured that your day will be perfect!
Many of our couples have been to Japan before, but many have not, so things can get quite overwhelming. It is always nice to know you have resources to use to help you plan your trip and to have a friend waiting for you here in Japan.
We are here to help you get the most out your trip, before, during and after the big day. From recommending places to go, restaurants to try and places to stay, we aim to be here for you from the day you arrive to the day you depart.
To help you visualize your trip, we have started making "My Maps" in Google Maps, filled with places we recommend. All of our maps can be found in our Forum - this is an ongoing process, and more and more maps are being added and updated all the time.
We encourage you and all our eloping couples to start all manner of conversations with us, away from the formalities of email and zoom, to get a better insight of things on the ground. This is especially important during the ongoing pandemic, but will continue long after.
** Feel free to become a forum member to access this information and let us know what you would like to know before your trip out here, whether you elope in Japan or not!
When are you Coming?
As of writing (September 2021), the country is still closed due to COVID travel restrictions. But this pandemic WILL come to an end. So, even if you don’t have a date for your elopement in Japan just yet, now is the time to start talking; start considering the options and narrowing down those that su As the world begins to open up post COVID, the real question is not “why elope in Japan,” but how will you elope in Japan?”