Forum Posts

Ross Harrison
Sep 26, 2022
In Important Updates
Hi guys, It is great to finally be able to work with confidence and get you married! Since the border opening was announced late last week, we have understandably been inundated with messages and request. Many of your plans could not be finalised until the borders were declared open and so there are a lot of I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed. As you know Serendipity is made up of just Ayako and me, and so in order for us to deal with the sudden increase in workload after 900+ days of eerie quiet, and more importantly for everyone’s mental health, which has no doubt taken a battering these past few years, we must move forward with methodical caution. This way we can ensure that each and everyone of you has the special day you are all dreaming of. We are working with the following schedule to get through everyone and start finishing off your plans: Autumn couples: meetings are happening right now; March couples: meetings available from Thursday, 13th October April couples: meetings available from Tuesday, 25th October May couples: meetings available from Tuesday, 8th November June and beyond: meetings available from December. We do apologies for the inconvenience this may cause. Naturally, if something really pressing comes up, do leave a message here in the forum. Please be sure to tag both Ayako and me (@Ross Harrison and @Ayako Harrison) so that we get notified, and we will respond as quickly as possible. We do understand how anxious and excited you may be feeling at the same time, so are we. But it is essential we work through the sudden increase in workload as methodically as possible. If any Spring couples are considering a move to autumn 2022, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We do have a few dates left, but time is of the essence. One important thing to note: it has been so long since travel was permitted, that many eloping couples may find that friends and family may want to take the opportunity to come to Japan and accompany them on their special day. This is great. However, please note that this creates a different set of challenges that need to be incorporated into the planning, and may require a change of venue. Depending on the number of guests, the event could become a Micro-Wedding, and require a different fee structure. We use the following as a guideline for guests: Elopement: a ceremony & photoshoot for couple and/or up to five guests; typically 5 hours on the day Micro-Wedding: small wedding with up to 20 guests; typically 7 hours on the-day Wedding: 20+ guests and full day assistance + day before If you are waiting for a meeting or an email/message response, we ask for and thank you all for your understanding and support as we work to make each of your days perfect. Thank you as usual and we look forward to touching base with all of you in the coming weeks/months. Ross & Ayako
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Ross Harrison
Sep 22, 2022
In Important Updates
It's happening! Finally!! After 27 months of closure, the country, and by extension we, are back in business!!!!! We were about to hit the sack this evening, when the news came in that Japan will open to visa free, solo travel from the 11th October!! We are actually having a drink to celebrate as we can't sleep! Here's the article in full: TOKYO -- Japan will resume visa-free entry for individual travelers on Oct. 11, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Thursday in New York, bringing its border rules close to pre-pandemic norms for the first time in about two and a half years. "We will remove the cap on the number of people entering the country, and will resume accepting individual travel and visa-free travel," Kishida said. At present Japan only allows package tours, and requires visas for all visitors, in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Daily arrivals have been capped at 50,000. But this has made the country more and more of an outlier, as most other economies have fully reopened to tourists. Starting on Oct. 11, short-term visitors will no longer be required to apply for tourist visas. Before the pandemic, Japan allowed visa-free short-term travel from people from 68 countries and regions, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the U.S. And with no need to book tours through travel agencies, it will be easier to visit. The Japanese government hopes to boost the economy through inbound tourism, taking advantage of the weak yen. The currency is hovering around 24-year lows, touching 145 per dollar at one point, which makes Japan a more attractive destination for international travelers. Before COVID-19, Japan accepted a record 31.8 million visitors in 2019, making it one of the most popular destinations in Asia. Thanks to its cultural resources and airport infrastructure, Japan ranked No. 1 on the World Economic Forum's latest Travel & Tourism Development Index, released in May. We are drinking now, to celebrate. But will get to work in the morning, contacting our Autumn hopefuls to finalise planning and set up a call. Have a great day and we can't wait to speak to you all and finalize the details and/or push on with the planning with greater confidence! Go on, have a drink to celebrate!!
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Ross Harrison
Sep 04, 2022
In Important Updates
Copied and Pasted from the COVID category to cover all bases: I have updated the latest blog post with clarification on the travel guidelines: https://www.elopeinjapan.com/post/can-tourists-enter-japan Please check the post if you haven't done so already. In short the confirmed rules are copied and pasted below: __________________________________________________________ IMPORTANT EDIT Updated 4th September 2022 - Source: Japan Tourism Agency (as of the time of writing, currently only available in Japanese) The new rules are as follows: Anyone can enter from any country No pre-flight PCR test required as long as travalers have three vaccine doses. Travel agencies are responsible for booking the return flights and all accommodation. Itinerary is not required - tourists are free to travel solo once in the country The travel agency is responsible for maintaining contact throughout the stay and providing guidance in the event of infection - this contact may be via telephone, email, text or SNS. Travellers must follow all anti-virus guidelines __________________________________________________________
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Ross Harrison
Aug 29, 2022
In Important Updates
Hi guys, We hope you are well. Following the recent announcement by the Japanese government, that I updated to this blog post - https://www.elopeinjapan.com/post/can-tourists-enter-japan - Ayako and I have reached out to one of our contacts who is a travel agent and CAN sponsor your trips if you would like to come out before the borders are fully opened. This is especially relevant to our Autumn couples. Please reach out sooner rather than later, if you want to pre-empt any further announcements from the government. If you have the required ERFS form from a travel agent, the visa application will be a lot smoother. We are still thrashing out the details about how it might all potentially work with the agency (agencies) but wanted to let you know that there may be a way for you to come to Japan sooner rather than later. We are also awaiting news from other travel agents, to see if we can spread the load a little, and offer you a few choices for comparison. Please comment here or in your private chat rooms, to let us know what you would like to do. Thanks and best wishes, Ross and Ayako
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Ross Harrison
Jun 24, 2022
In Important Updates
Hi guys, We hope you are all well. Just wanted to let you know that I will be in the UK on a family visit from the 1st until 16th July. While I will be checking emails, I won't be able to respond very quickly. If it is urgent, one of us will get back to you as soon as we can. Apologies for the inconvenience in advance and thank you for your understanding. Cheers, Ross
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Ross Harrison
May 19, 2022
In Important Updates
Hi guys, Due to an oversight on our part, we have lost access to our original email server (we can receive but not send emails). As a result of this we have now (at least temporarily) switched to info@elopeinjapan.com This switch may or may not be permanent. You of course, can still communicate with us here on the FORUM. We will keep you posted. Thanks Ross ands Ayako
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Ross Harrison
Jan 04, 2022
In Important Updates
Happy New year to one and all! We hope you had a restful Christmas and well deserved break, and are ready to enjoy whatever the New Year throws at you. We decided to take the last week to 10 days off completely for some R&R and are now back in the office. We have, as have you, been keeping a close eye on the fluid COVID situation, and have been updating the FORUM with pertinent info when it comes through. Right up to the discovery of the Omicron variant, we were hopeful of a restart in Spring. Our optimism was rewarded in the final weeks of November when the government started to relax the entry restrictions at the borders. However, as soon as Omicron was discovered, they slammed them shut again, and that is the situation we are in currently - 4th January 2022. As more news and data comes in regarding the reduced hospitalizations and death rates, new rumors have started that the government might relax border entry again, as long as all entrees are fully vaccinated and boosted - though, the sticking point seems to be quarantines: will they be necessary? If so, how long? The keyword in that last paragraph is “rumor”. So, where does that leave us? Sadly, none of the above helps us at all. The borders are still closed and we have no idea when they will open. As we have seen throughout this pandemic, the situation can change at the drop of a hat, either opening up possibilities or cruelly taking them away. Our advice this year is the same as it was last year. Give yourselves a final cut-off date by which you decide to either push ahead and hope for the best or simply postpone… again… We suggest making the decision about your cut-off date as soon as possible, so that if you decide to postpone it to later this year or next, we might be able to fit you in. As you can imagine, we now have a backlog of events dating back over two years. The important thing is to get in early. We are doing our best to keep dates open for postponing couples, but judging by the hits we are continuing to get on the website, Japan is still a favored destination for elopement and wedding couples. Therefore, as soon as the borders are opened, we are expecting a flurry of inquiries which will make it increasingly difficult to keep dates open. As always, we will be happy to talk in person and thrash out new dates (and plans, if necessary). Let us know your thoughts. Have a great day and a good start to the year and we hope to hear from you soon. Best wishes, Ayako & Ross
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Ross Harrison
Jan 04, 2022
In Important Updates
We hope you are all well and had a restful break! We are now back in the office after taking a week to ten days off for some R&R. We wish you all the very best as you begin 2022, which will, fingers crossed, see a return of international travel! We have all waited long enough!!! Stay well!
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Ross Harrison
Dec 24, 2021
In Important Updates
Hello one and all, We wanted to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. After almost 2 years of this COVID enforced limbo, we are growing cautiously optimistic - despite the Omicron setback - that 2022 will see a return to weddings in some form or another. We thank you for your patience and continued support, and can't wait to meet you all in person when you do finally make it out to Japan. Once you are out here, your trip will be all the more special after the long wait, and we can't wait to give you the wedding you have long been looking forward to! For now, stay safe, stay well and enjoy the well deserved Christmas break. Love to you all from Ayako, Ross, Miles and Chick (the dogs wouldn't pose in the same photo, so we took two!!) 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻
Merry Christmas!! content media
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Ross Harrison

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