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What is an Elopement in Japan?

You are considering a magical elopement in Japan. Great! These days, more and more people like you are are choosing to elope out here. It has become one of the best places in the world for romantic, intimate settings in which couples choose to say “I do.” But, what does this, mean; what are the options and what exactly is an elopement in Japan?

Before we answer that, we should first define what we mean by “elopement,” since there are a number of competing ideas about this.

We consider an elopement to be an intimate ceremony for the bride and groom and (maybe) a few guests. It typically takes around 5 hours from hair and makeup to completion. However, can go longer if desired.
It is an event designed to put the focus solely on the couple, by removing the stress usually associated with larger wedding planning. An eloping couple have more options than those opting for a more traditional wedding day.

All elopements in Japan are romantic. They are wonderful experiences full of magic, mystique and wonder. Whether you are looking fro something more traditional or modern, Japan has something for everyone. Let’s look at some of the options.

Garden Elopement

An elopement in Japan could be at one of the many picturesque Japanese gardens in Tokyo and beyond. Of course here, they just call them Gardens! (Those who know Friends will get this joke!)

Some are set among the splendor of world heritage sites. Others might be in the mountains or even a quiet suburb of Tokyo, where we have found some hidden gems.

Whether you want to dress up in full wedding kimono, something a little more low key or full on western attire, a garden can offer the perfect setting for you to say your personal vows.

Garden elopements are perfect for those who want something low key, encompassing a simple ceremony and photo-shoot. These were our bread and butter when we started this business, and some of our best client interactions have taken place in these gardens.

Elope in Japan
Japanese gardens, even public ones, can offer a sense of seclusion during week days.

Shrine Elopement

An elopement in Japan can be a ceremony for two at a shinto shrine. Experience the magic and mystique of Japan’s indigenous religion on your day, in a stunning setting. There are some beautiful shrines available, some conveniently located close to major transport hubs, others more secluded in the heart of the Japanese countryside. Which ever you choose, you can be sure of an incredible experience.

It is an opportunity to wear a traditional kimono and feel like a princess. Our wonderful kimono vendors will take you through the selection and fitting. They will accompany you everywhere before and during the ceremony, like your very own lady in waiting.

Some shrines are cool with couples opting for western wedding attire too!

Wearing a Wedding Kimono during your elopement in Japan.
The wedding kimono experience is second to none!

World Heritage Temple Elopement

An elopement in Japan could be at a 1000 year old, World Heritage Temple in Kyoto. Many people choose to get married in Japan because it is different. How many people can say they got married at a world heritage temple in Kyoto? You can’t get much more different than that.

You could experience the majesty of a Buddhist ceremony or have a much more personal ceremony in a private garden on the temple grounds.

Mount Fuji Elopement

An elopement in Japan could be against the backdrop of the conical shape of the Mt. Fuji. If you are a fan of nature and mountains, this iconic mountain could be your personal backdrop as you say “I do”! There are a number of spots to choose from, some quite accessible, others not so. But anywhere with a view of Mount Fuji is special.

Elope in Japan against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji.
Mt Fuji from the shore of Yamanakako.

Secluded Elopement

An elopement in Japan could be in the secluded setting of a private house and/or garden. With so many picturesque houses up and down the country, but especially in Kyoto, you can be spoilt for choice! Some of these houses double up as accommodation too, so you can extend the magic even longer than the wedding day itself.

Elope in Japan in a secluded garden.
Secluded Garden Elopement

Nature Elopement

Beyond Mt. Fuji, an elopement in Japan can be on the beach, in the mountains, by a lake, next to a waterfall or even a bamboo forest. If you are more of the "adventure type" it could even be in the mountains of Nagano or Hokkaido. It could be deep in the forest during momiji season (autumn changing leaves), or beneath the cherry blossom in some private garden or secluded countryside spot.

City Elopement

For the more cosmopolitan types, what could be more romantic than enjoying the romantic city lights? Perhaps even include a mini photo-tour around the city, taking in some of the iconic parts of Tokyo, Kyoto or beyond.

Elope in Japan city photo-shoot
Photographer: Simon Bonny


An elopement in Japan is the wedding ceremony and honeymoon rolled into one. Go straight from the ceremony/photo-shoot to your honeymoon on the same day. Extend the magic of the wedding day throughout your whole stay in Japan. You won’t want to leave and you’ll forever have a unique connection with Japan.

Furthermore, Ayako is a certificated travel consultant. That and our combined knowledge of the country, means we can be your personal concierge here in Japan.

Whether you opt to elope in a shrine, temple, garden, countryside or city, an elopement in Japan is Romantic. It is all about you. We are here to make your day your way!

Get in touch, we want to hear from you!

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