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Sunday Snap: Meiji Shrine Wedding

Meiji Shrine Wedding |

While visiting the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan I was lucky enough to stumble upon a traditional Shinto wedding. It was so unlike the Western weddings I’m used to. Pictures were taken before the ceremony and the bride was primped and preened to within an inch of her life. A procession was then led by two priests and two shrine maidens, followed by the couple under a red umbrella, and finally family and friends. For such a happy occasion, I don’t think anyone actually smiled. A lovely Japanese gentleman I’d been talking to filled me in on what happens after they enter the shrine. During the ceremony, the couple shares three cups of sacred rice wine (taking turns drinking). A priest recites Shinto liturgy, and a shrine maiden performs a sacred dance. They then conclude with another solemn procession.

What’s been the most unique wedding you’ve witnessed on your travels?


  1. Aryn says:

    February 17th, 2013 at 8:50 pm (#)

    That’s so fortunate that you got to see that. It makes me happy to see the youth of Japan keeping these traditions alive. Sadly, I’ve never witnessed any weddings other than a couple American ones. Lovely but standard.

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