“Shinro Shimpu, Banzai” – Witnessing New Beginnings In Japan!

Wedding 11

Despite rare, high tech instances of nuptials being led by robots, the majority of Japanese are said to prefer traditional Shinto weddings at venues of their choosing, or more commonly, in their neighbourhood Shinto shrines.

We must have chosen a very auspicious weekend to visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura, judging by the number of wedding ceremonies in progress!

This bride’s white Kimono, called ‘Shiromuku‘, seemed like very fine silk and was exquisitely embroidered with auspicious crane motifs.Β The groom wore a Haoiri-Hakama, a men’s kimono.

It was as much fun watching fellow tourists running around in excitement, as it was to watch these beautiful couples in their wedding finery and their solemn, elegant traditions.

Please join me in wishing these newly weds, Shinro Shimpu, Banzai!Β (Long life and happiness).

Wedding 12

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

101 thoughts on ““Shinro Shimpu, Banzai” – Witnessing New Beginnings In Japan!

    1. I think traditional clothing is not supposed to be referred to as “costumes”. The Japanese clothing in your photos is truly beautiful. I have never seen a traditional Japanese wedding and it was lovely to share your experience! Thank you.

  1. So colourful and exotic, eh? It’s as if you arrived on the most auspicious day in June, the favoured month for weddings here when you’d be forgiven for thinking everyone is getting married on the same few days πŸ™‚

    I loved the bride’s ‘hat’ in the early shots – and the gorgeous kimonos she and her friend in the autumn colours wore – so simple, elegant and yet out of this world. I’m so glad you had these unexpected additions to your trip πŸ™‚

      1. Yes! And I remember struggling to find an image to represent red for the ‘My world in five colours’ challenge πŸ™‚

    1. We were thrilled beyond words! We received an overdose of Japanese culture in one day! There were new-borns draped in vibrant silk and older children in costume offering ritualistic prayers too. And the parents were all so welcoming and kind and acquiescing to a million requests to pose for pictures! These people are truly special.

  2. Such a beautiful and happy day, Madhu! It gives such great joy to share in others’ happiness and you captured it all so wonderfully.

  3. The embroidered crane motif on the bridal kimono is exquisite. Love the red parasol. You were fortunate to be there on such an auspicious day and occasion.

  4. Right time right place huh! Fabulous photos and glorious colours. The brides’ headdresses are so different to anything we see in Europe

    1. I guess πŸ™‚ Not sure if this is a common occurrence during weekends or whether it was indeed an auspicious day. The headdresses were indeed beautiful!

  5. I love everything about this post and I really like the red umbrella. Much happines to all the newlyweds πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Judy. I was worried I had gone a bit overboard with the photos, but couldn’t decide which to leave out πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Kat. That gallery doesn’t seem to appear as nice when viewed on an IPad! Shall have to figure out why.

  6. Just beautiful! The Kimono and the hat are gorgeous. Was the wedding ceremony long? Thank you, Madhu!

    1. Not very long Amy, About half an hour from the time they were all seated. It was indeed a bonus to be able to see the entire thing πŸ™‚

  7. You share the best pictures! I do feel like a voyeur as well but the Bride was just exuding brilliance and the pomp and ceremony so traditional , I was envious!
    Thank you Madhu!!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚
      I always battle with the ethics of posting people pictures. That’s the reason I never clicked too many of those before. But in Japan everyone seems to welcome being photographed! That made me feel less guilty, if that makes any sense πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Florian! Just popped over to your site and loved what I saw πŸ™‚ Shall surely be over to explore more. Appreciate your stopping by to comment.

  8. Not sure what else to add Madhu, but these photos are truly extraordinary! The vivid colours, the sublime kimono, and the expressions on the faces of bride and groom… reading this has certainly brightened up my day. πŸ™‚

    1. That is good then James! To witness not one, but several weddings was a real treat and I just couldn’t not share πŸ™‚

  9. “Shinro Shimpu, Banzai” to these newly married couples. πŸ™‚ What a wonderful glimpse of their culture. Thanks a lot for sharing it. There costumes look so colorful just like ours. Great post.

    1. Not quite Arindam, our weddings are an assault on the senses πŸ™‚ Way more colourful and blingy…the jewellery alone is blinding, and with a million people butting in with a million suggestions! And the noise levels….now that is rather hard to beat πŸ˜€ Let me assure you, this was VERY different!

  10. You are lucky! I would love to see this. I have to say, the traditional weddings sound beautiful and not so sure about the robots.

  11. Elegance. That is one thing the Japanese constantly show in their rituals. From your pictures I can tell that the ceremonies were such elaborate and elegant rituals.

    1. Yes, and elegant In their everyday lives too Bama! We couldn’t help comparing these with the chaos that is an Indian wedding and laugh πŸ˜€ And our – the South Indian – weddings are not even as much fun as the raucous North Indian ones!

  12. Madhu, these are beautiful with their delicacy and those flashes of scarlet. Thank you for showing us a kind of wedding I have never seen before!

  13. very traditional – I’ve read, that muslim persons get no permission to settle in Japan – is that a correct information?

    1. Strange, I just got a mail from a friend on the same subject! I think that is a bit exaggerated and out of context Frizz. In my opinion, the reason there are lesser Muslims (and for that matter Indians) is probably because of the language barrier and lack of availability of Halaal food. Apparently their naturalization process is tough for any foreigner. I could be wrong, but I doubt there is religious bias there.

    1. Not quite πŸ™‚ Some rain spells predicted and gusty winds but there is no cyclone warning! Does seem a bit too calm. Keeping my fingers crossed.You take care Meredith.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚
      They are kind of celebrities now, captured by hundreds of tourists! But they probably know that considering they allow themselves to be photographed πŸ™‚

  14. Thanks Madhu – for a lesson in Japanese weddings. I’ve to catch up on your posts – right now we are in the midst of the monster Hurricane Sandy and I’m hoping and praying we don’t lose power – can’t venture out but would love to keep browsing if I could πŸ™‚

    1. Hope it wasn’t too bad Shaantz.
      We had a bit of a scare yesterday with our very own cyclonic storm! It was more heavy winds than rain and our area got off very lightly. We didn’t even have our scheduled power cut – go figure!! The TNEB guys must have not reported for work πŸ™‚

      1. Glad you were not affected Madhu – if you didn’t even have your scheduled power cut, you sure got off lucky! Good. Of course, NY is badly affected but I got off lucky too with only an hour of power cut, and many folks will be without power for 7-10 days….it is also getting colder here with each passing day. Stay safe!

  15. Amazing photographs Madhu. I love that you took the time to explain the wedding ceremony and all the rituals involved. Lovely post. πŸ™‚

  16. Japan is absolute the most exciting country I been to – it’s this with their strong tradition and legacy plus the modern enviroment they have too. I was there in the late 1970. Amazing photo you have provided us with – and kimonos are so stunningly beautiful. Just love this post … fantastic job.

  17. What a beautiful gallery … you have a knack for documenting events πŸ˜€
    Shinro Shimpu, Banzai to newly weds!

  18. Lovely! beautiful pics and costumes. I’m guessing the ceremonies were a lot simpler and faster than ours πŸ™‚ !!

    1. And a lot more elegant! Without all the ‘galata’ if you know what I mean πŸ™‚ Can’t remember a silent Indian wedding that I have attended, and I am not refering to the music.

  19. It just goes to show you the difference between cultures. I feel like, had you taken these pictures in the US, the bride would be not nearly as gracious. As always, amazing pics. The colors are so vivid.

  20. It’s so nice you had the opportunity to see this. i also prefer the traditional weddings, they are so lovely and elegant. I love the kimonos in general and someday hope to return to Japan to get one. My best friend’s mother was a professional kimono maker in Japan.
    I love the cranes and their meaning to the Japanese.
    Beautiful photos, Madhu!

  21. Wow, those are some beautiful pictures. I love that the bride and groom wear traditional clothing and almost all the attendants too. I was almost sad when one of my Korean friends married in a western, white dress.
    I would have felt like a voyeur too, but then marrying in a touristic attraction comes with spectators. I know in Salzburg weddings are held in a palace that is also a tourist attraction, and couples are always photographed by tourists. So much so, that some Japanese couples come there to get married.

  22. Wow! Gorgeous images. You did capture the magic and wonder of a special day, not to mention Japan’s culture. Beautiful beautiful!

  23. Japan is the greatest with this area. They sure keep tradition in serious practice and preservation. You captured this event oh so well. Shinro Shimpu Banzai.
    .. with a bow.

    I guess I can never marry Japanese style. 3 sake’s too much for me. πŸ˜€

  24. Beautiful photos, and what a photo opportunity!
    It’s coming to be for many Japanese that this is just the first wedding dress to be worn on the same day, that a full scale Western wedding gown is the next, sometimes with a Western style ceremony added to the Shinto one.

  25. Those are beautiful. Many Japanese young people today fly to Guam for their weddings and do it western style. While they are not Christians it is considered cool to have a marriage in a Christian church there. On my trips to Guam it was interesting to see these weddings cared for almost in relay. I like the Japanese traditional weddings with all their ceremony and beauty.

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