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. 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! (Long life and happiness).
101 thoughts on ““Shinro Shimpu, Banzai” – Witnessing New Beginnings In Japan!”
Beautiful aren’t they?
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.
Thank you Kathryn. It was such a wonderful experience 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂
… and how could I forget the red paper parasol? Simply divine, spotlit by the sun!
Yes! And I remember struggling to find an image to represent red for the ‘My world in five colours’ challenge 🙂
I hope you tagged the parasol shots “red” – there’s sure to be a red challenge sometime in the future!
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.
It’s wonderful to hear about it Madhu. I’m so glad your trip was so filled with unexpected delights 🙂
Such a beautiful and happy day, Madhu! It gives such great joy to share in others’ happiness and you captured it all so wonderfully.
It really was Sahbina. Thank you, You are kind as always 🙂
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.
Isn’t it? We rally were delighted to have been able to witness all this Lynne 🙂
Fantastic – I was hoping you’d post a wedding Madhu! Wish granted!
You got an overdose! This is way more photos than I would normally include in a post 🙂
Right time right place huh! Fabulous photos and glorious colours. The brides’ headdresses are so different to anything we see in Europe
I guess 🙂 Not sure if this is a common occurrence during weekends or whether it was indeed an auspicious day. The headdresses were indeed beautiful!
Very interesting post with wonderful captured snots… 🙂
Thank you LeDrake. You can’t blame me for getting a bit carried away 🙂
Great timing Madhu, thanks for sharing, its almost like being there!
It was, and we were running around trying to capture all on camera! Glad you enjoyed it Gilly.
Yeah, that was my reaction when I spotted the first parasol! Then I saw another, and another…..:-)
It all looks so elegant, Madhu. Fabulous photos. 🙂 How lucky for you that you were there to see all this.
Thank you AD. We were certainly lucky to have visited on the day we did 🙂
I love everything about this post and I really like the red umbrella. Much happines to all the newlyweds 🙂
Thanks Judy. I was worried I had gone a bit overboard with the photos, but couldn’t decide which to leave out 🙂
Amazing and beautiful sequence of pictures – and I enjoy how you structured the post, as well, with the gallery at the end. ~ Kat
Thank you Kat. That gallery doesn’t seem to appear as nice when viewed on an IPad! Shall have to figure out why.
Just beautiful! The Kimono and the hat are gorgeous. Was the wedding ceremony long? Thank you, Madhu!
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 🙂
Wonderful look in to another culture’s wedding ceremonies. Thanks, Madhu. Lovely!
Always fascinating isn’t it? Especially when we know as little as we do about them.
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!!
Thank you 🙂
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 🙂
It does and I am really glad you did!
Thank you Florian! Just popped over to your site and loved what I saw 🙂 Shall surely be over to explore more. Appreciate your stopping by to comment.
Thanks for having a look at my blog! It’s very “special interest”, but I am surprised how popular it became over time…
These are fabulous photos! The wedding celebrations are so colourful and exotic, and your description fills in some important detail.
Thank you Denise 🙂 Happy to be able to share what I saw.
Beautiful Shinto weddings ceremony, great job @Madhu ! 😀
Thank you and glad you enjoyed it Anna 🙂
I agree with Debra: exceptional costumes! Beautiful photo session, Madhu!
Thank you Marina. We understandably, went berserk 🙂
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. 🙂
That is good then James! To witness not one, but several weddings was a real treat and I just couldn’t not share 🙂
“Shinro Shimpu, Banzai” to these newly married couples. 🙂 What a wonderful glimpse of their culture. Thanks a lot for sharing it. There costumes look so colorful just like ours. Great post.
Not quite Arindam, our weddings are an assault on the senses 🙂 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 😀 Let me assure you, this was VERY different!
Absolutely lovely! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thank YOU for stopping by 🙂
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.
We really were. Had to laugh at the robot officiated wedding piece 🙂
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.
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 😀 And our – the South Indian – weddings are not even as much fun as the raucous North Indian ones!
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!
You are most welcome Kate. They were too charming not to share 🙂
very traditional – I’ve read, that muslim persons get no permission to settle in Japan – is that a correct information?
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.
Just checking you haven’t had to climb up onto the roof of your car yet, and are all battened down for this big storm we’re expecting tonight?
Not quite 🙂 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.
Good to hear you’re not on the roof – fingers crossed for us all, particularly the folk in Jaffna and the far north 🙂
Un bellissimo reportage. Hai avuto modo di avvisare gli sposi che stanno facendo il giro del mondo :)?
Thank you 🙂
They are kind of celebrities now, captured by hundreds of tourists! But they probably know that considering they allow themselves to be photographed 🙂
Fossero stati occidentali avrebbero chiesto i diritti d’autore 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂
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!
The brides you show are so beautiful and their gowns are true works of art. You are so fortunate to have witnessed such beautiful beginnings.
Beautiful brides, grooms and photos, Madhu.
Amazing photographs Madhu. I love that you took the time to explain the wedding ceremony and all the rituals involved. Lovely post. 🙂
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.
I love traditional dress, how beautiful.
What a beautiful gallery … you have a knack for documenting events 😀
Shinro Shimpu, Banzai to newly weds!
Lovely! beautiful pics and costumes. I’m guessing the ceremonies were a lot simpler and faster than ours 🙂 !!
And a lot more elegant! Without all the ‘galata’ if you know what I mean 🙂 Can’t remember a silent Indian wedding that I have attended, and I am not refering to the music.
True 🙂 🙂
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.
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!
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.
They must miss the attention 😀
Thank you Nathy, delighted to make your acquaintance 🙂
Wow! Gorgeous images. You did capture the magic and wonder of a special day, not to mention Japan’s culture. Beautiful beautiful!
How auspicious indeed to witness so many wedding nuptials… and the brides looked divine. 😉
Beautiful Japanese Culture my friend 🙂
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. 😀
Such great close shots. Like you were a part of the wedding party. And oh, the attire. Thanks.
Beautiful… Love Weddings… Love Japan
Did you send them a copy of the Photos?
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.
Beautiful! Everything about these wedding ceremonies looks so beautiful!
They were! And we were fortunate to have an opportunity to witness them!
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.