Greetings to visitors to Japan during the glorious spring season. The end of March welcomes the beginning of the Cherry=Sakura tree blooming season. This time of year is usually very popular for Japanese people to gather with their friends and family and co-workers to enjoy the spring weather sitting under Sakura trees eating and drinking and general merry making.

However, as you might guess, spring also welcomes an abundant array of beautiful blooming flowers including snow willows, daffodils, magnolias, camellia, and various wild flowers growing in fields and along rivers. These and other flowers continue blooming throughout spring into summer and finally giving way to autumn and winter flowers.

So actually it is possible to enjoy “Hanami” not only in spring but throughout the year in Japan! For couples planning a destination wedding or destination elopement in Japan please be assured that you can enjoy a wide variety of beautifully blooming flowers all year round. Contact Wedding Pro Japan for information on destination wedding planning, elopements, Legal Weddings, Japanese traditional musical entertainment, Geisha and Maiko, location photography, and Kimono rental in Japan.

It would be our great honor and joy to assist you with any or all of your wedding ceremony and party needs.

 

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Concerning the Corona Virus Crisis

During this time of great uncertainty and hardship throughout the world caused by the Corona Virus Crisis, Wedding Pro Japan Corp. offers our sincere condolences and best wishes to all those affected.

We are praying for a quick end to the crisis and a swift return to normalcy.

Very sincerely yours.
Wedding Pro Japan Corp.

Creating an Original Wedding Ceremony

Congratulations on your decision to have your elopement or destination wedding in Japan. At Wedding Pro Japan we are committed to creating an original, order made wedding ceremony designed according to our customer’s wishes.

The first step towards creating an original wedding ceremony is for the couple to understand the basic ceremony order.

For your reference, here is a basic non-religious wedding ceremony program order:
1. The Celebrant greets guests. Announces the start of the wedding ceremony.
2. Groom’s entrance announcement. The groom enters.
3. Bride’s entrance announcement. Guests stand. The bride enters.
4. The couple arrives to stand before the Celebrant. Guests sit.
5. The Celebrant greets and congratulates the couple.
6. Affirmation of intent.
7. Short non-religious prayer for the couple’s successful and prosperous married life.
8. Letter reading from the Groom to the Bride, then the Bride to the Groom.
9. Wedding vows.
10. Ring exchange.
11. Pronouncement.
12. Wedding Kiss.
13. The Celebrant reads a short message to the couple.
14. Introduction of the newlywed couple to the guests.
15. Group photo.

The order of ceremony outlined above can be changed or revised according to the couple’s wishes.

Once the couple decides to have a wedding ceremony, Wedding Pro Japan will send the couple a list of 15 questions concerning the couple and their relationship, so that we can know the couple better.

Next, the Celebrant will schedule a video meeting with the couple using Skype, Facetime, Messenger, or WhatsApp to meet the couple face to face and discuss the various details of the wedding ceremony.

Using the data from the answered questionnaire and the video meeting, the Celebrant will create a rough draft of a wedding ceremony, and send it to the couple to check and make any necessary revisions.

The Celebrant will then make a final draft of the wedding ceremony and send it to the couple for a final check. As the wedding day nears, up to the wedding day, the couple may make any revisions to the ceremony as they like.

Wedding Pro Japan is very flexible to ensure that the wedding ceremony is created exactly according to the wishes of the couple.

Contact Wedding Pro Japan to help you create an original wedding ceremony designed specifically for you and your needs.

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Getting Around Kyoto

Special Note: Wedding Pro Japan provides pick up and drop off options for our customers.

When visiting Kyoto you will be surprised to find how easy it is to get around the city. There are numerous options from which to choose for getting around from one place to another: buses, subways, trains, taxis, bicycles and walking!

However on your holiday or special day when time is so precious and valuable, taking public transportation can be a time consuming nuisance. In particular, buses can be extremely crowded and will take forever getting through traffic jam packed Kyoto streets. Trains can get you close to where you want to go, but they too can be crowded, and in the end cost more than a taxi.

On the other hand, taxis might cost a little more but can help you avoid congested areas and get you directly to where you want to go quickly, and can be cost efficient if you have three or four passengers who can split the bill. Remember, you do not need to tip taxi drivers in Japan.

Nevertheless, if you are planning an event with Wedding Pro Japan: an elopement, a destination wedding, vow renewal, party, or location photo shoot, for a fee cheaper than a regular taxi, we provide several pick up and drop off options for you and your guests.

For up to four passengers you can enjoy a smooth ride in our Mercedes Benz, or for larger groups up to seven persons we can provide you with space and comfort in our Nissan Serena mini-van.

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We can pick you up at your lodging and then later take you back or to a nearby location of your choosing. We are very flexible.

For larger groups we can arrange extra taxis and/or a mini bus if you want to keep all your family and guests together.

Please let us know if you will need assistance getting around Kyoto on your special day. Wedding Pro Japan is happy to support you with any or all of your elopement, destination wedding, vow renewal, or location photography needs. Check out our “Options Page” here: Options.

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Touring Kyoto and the Shinto Shrines of the Seven Lucky Gods

Did you know that in Kyoto there are seven Shinto Shrines dedicated to the “Seven Lucky Gods”: Daikokuten, Bishamonten, Ebisuten, Juroujin, Fukurokuju, Benzaiten, Hoteison, and that the tradition to tour around the city and visit all seven shrines originated in Kyoto.

Today I would like to discuss Daikokuten.

In Japan, Daikokuten (大黒天), the god of great darkness or blackness, or the god of five cereals, is one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Fukujin).

The god enjoys an exalted position as a household deity in Japan. Daikoku’s association with wealth and prosperity precipitated a custom known as fukumusubi, or “theft of fortune”. This custom started with the belief that whoever stole divine figures was assured of good fortune if not caught in the act.

Daikoku is variously considered to be the god of wealth, or of the household, particularly the kitchen. He is recognized by his wide face, smile, and a flat black hat. He is often portrayed holding a golden mallet called Uchide no kozuchi, otherwise known as the “mallet of fortune”, and is seen seated on bales of rice, with rats nearby signifying plentiful food.

At the Shinto Shrine dedicated to Daikokuten in north Kyoto, near Kitayama Street, it is possible to have wedding ceremonies, elopements, vow renewals, or is also a beautiful place to have a location photo shoot.

During your visit to Kyoto, consider going off the beaten tourist path and go out and explore the Shrines to the Seven Lucky Gods. Contact Kyoto Wedding Pro Japan for all or any of your elopement, vow renewal, wedding, or location photography, and traditional Japanese kimono needs.

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AKE OME

Happy New Year!!

Japanese people say, “Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu” or “Ake-ome”, in the New Year as a greeting.

Also, it is customary for Japanese people to send New Year’s greeting cards, called “Nenga-jo”.

Japanese people will send Nenga-jo to friends, family, coworkers, business partners, and other special and important people in their lives, wishing them good health and prosperity in the New Year, just like persons living in a Christian based culture might send Christmas cards.

This year Wedding Pro Japan sent out over 200 postcards wishing all a wonderful Year of the Rat!

May you also have a wonderfully healthy, happy, and prosperous 2020😃!

 

 

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The Beautiful Four Seasons of Kyoto

From long ago for Japanese people Kyoto has an image of having cold winters and hot summers. In fact local people often greet each other by saying, “It is so cold, isn’t it?”, or “Oh it is so hot today, isn’t it?”

However behind the “hot” and “cold” image that Japanese people may have of Kyoto, Kyoto people have a great love and pride for the four distinct seasons that Kyoto enjoys year round because of the wonderful beauty that the different seasons bring.

The scenery of Kyoto, the mountains and forests, parks, temples and shrines all look beautifully different in each season.

Now in January as winter sets in, while the remaining colors of autumn slowly disappear around the city, in the surrounding mountains we can see snow capped summits that hint at the impending cold weather and snow sure to come.

In spring on the same mountains we can see blooming cherry blossoms, weeks after the cherry blossoms around town have fallen. In summer the mountains show a variety of beautiful verdant green, while in autumn the mountains explode into a kaleidoscope of colors.

In Kyoto every season brings vibrant beauty which can be found not only in the surrounding mountains but wherever you venture and explore around in the city.

So whatever time of year that you choose to visit Kyoto, rest assured that the city’s lovely and never ending yearlong beauty eagerly awaits to shine on your sightseeing experience.

 

1.  Photograph of Mt.Hiei taken in the winter of 2020.

 

2.  Photograph of Mt.Hiei taken in the summer of 2019 from Takaragaike Park, with the International Conference Center in foreground.

 

3.  Photograph of Mt.Hiei taken in the autumn of 2019 from Takaragaike Park, with the International Conference Center in foreground.

 

Might you be interested in having a simple wedding ceremony or vow renewal and photo shoot wearing traditional Japanese kimono in a lovely park with the famously historical Mt.Hiei in the background, or a Japanese garden in beautiful Kyoto? Please contact Wedding Pro Japan Corporation for any or all of your Japan destination wedding or Kyoto wedding needs.

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Getting Legally Married in Japan: Five Easy Steps

Are you a non-Japanese couple but want to get legally married in Japan? Here is what you need.

Recently I called the US Consulate in Osaka, and the Kyoto Ward Office Marriage Department and inquired about all the things that a foreign couple needs to get married legally in Japan.
Please note that the rules are not the same for all countries, but the process is very similar. The explanation below will give you a general understanding about what you need to do to get legally married in Japan.

 

STEP ONE: Get the “Certificate of Eligibility”

First of all, you need to get a special document called a Certificate of Eligibility= “Kon-in you-ken gubi shomeisho” from your home country’s Embassy (usually located in Tokyo) or Consulate.

To get the document you would normally need to make an appointment online in advance.
For US Citizens here is the URL for the United States Embassy in Japan.

The document is NOT AVAILABLE for US Citizens at the US Consulate in Nagoya, AND, you cannot get this Certificate of Eligibility document outside of Japan.
The Certificate of Eligibility= “Kon-in youken gubi-shoumeisho” is a notarized and legal document that declares to the Japanese government that you are NOT currently married to any other person and are legally eligible to get married in Japan.
This Certificate of Eligibility must be notarized by your country’s Embassy. For US Citizens the cost is US$50.00.
Then the Certificate of Eligibility needs to be translated into JAPANESE (Wedding Pro Japan can provide this service).
And you need your PASSPORTS.
So, in summary, to get the Certificate of Eligibility= “Kon-in youken gubi shoumeisho” you need:
1. Your Passports.
2. A small fee (For US Citizens, $50.00).
3. Online Appointment.
Then you would go to the Embassy or Consulate on the promised date at the schedule time, get the Certficate of Eligibility and have it notarized.

 

STEP TWO: Get Certificate of Eligibility Translated into Japanese

You will then need to get the Certificate of Eligibility translated into Japanese.
Wedding Pro Japan can assist with translating and interpreting for a small fee.

 

STEP THREE: Apply for the Marriage Certificate

Next you need to go to the local Japanese government Ward Office in the area where you live= “Shiyaku-sho” or “Kuyakusho” to submit the necessary documents.
Not well that to apply is FREE of charge.
For the Japanese Government you need to provide:
1. Your passports, and best to have another form of identification, such as a driver’s license.
2. The Certificate of Eligibility= “Kon-in youken gubi-shoumeisho” (and a translation of that into Japanese).
3. A filled out Official Japanese Marriage License Application form= “Kon-in Todoke” which is provided and you fill out at the City Hall or Ward Office.
4. You and your fiance’s signatures.
5. AND the signatures of TWO witnesses.
6. The witnesses should bring photo identification.
Note well: If the witnesses are not residents of Japan, then they will need to bring their passports.
(Wedding Pro Japan can assist with interpreting at the City Hall or Ward Office, and if the couple needs witnesses, Wedding Pro Japan can also provide
witnesses).

 

STEP FOUR: Pay for and Receive the Official Japanese Marriage License= Juri Shoumeisho

Next, while at the Japanese Government Ward Office you should pay for and get the Official Japanese Marriage License= “Juri Shoumeisho”.
Note well that getting officially married at the Japanese government office is FREE.
However, it will cost about 450yen to get a printed version the Official Marriage License= “Juri Shoumeisho”.

*You need this document to take back to your home country to use as proof of your marriage.

 

STEP FIVE: Translate the Official Japanese Marriage License= Juri Shoumeisho into your Native Language

According to the US Consulate staff, they explained that for US Citizens it is useful to ALSO get translated into English the “Juri Shoumeisho” because the document provided by the Japanese government is written in Japanese, and government officials in the US will not accept a document not translated into English.
For citizens of other nationalities it will also likely be necessary that you will need to have yourJapanese Marriage Licence= “Juri Shoumei-sho” translated from Japanese into your native language.

Please note well that Wedding Pro Japan can provide English to Japanese and Japanese to English translating and interpreting for a small fee.

Please contact Daniel at Wedding Pro Japan Corp if you have any questions.

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