Experience a Shinto-style wedding!

Avail yourself of a wedding photography plan at a shrine

Shinto-style wedding at a shrine is one of the experiences you can only have in Japan. In addition to Izumo Oyashiro (Izumo-Taisha Grand Shrine) which we featured in our article, there are many other shrines across Japan that offer a wedding ceremony service such as “Kamigamo -jinja Shrine” and “Shimogamo -jinja Shrine” in Kyoto, shines which are designated as world’s cultural heritages. In order to arrange and prepare for a wedding however, you need to make arrangements with the shrine and local companies.

Shimogamo-jinja Shrine
Wedding at Shimogamo-jinja Shrine. Miko (one of the positions in Shinto, a female attendant to the gods) leads the bride and the groom.

If you simply want to enjoy the atmosphere of a Shinto-style wedding, you can just have photos taken with a Shinto-style wedding costume. Generally such a plan includes fees for a rental Shinto-style wedding costume, hair-styling, dressing and photography.

Kyoto Wedding Costume Photo shoot in Kyoto recommends foreign visitors companies that offer professional photography services. Photos are usually taken at Toyokuni-jinja Shrine, or Yoshida -jinja Shrine which is famous for delivering a good match and lasting marriage. An English-speaking interpreter also accompanies the shooting.

Make an enquiry well in advance

If you want to hold a wedding ceremony at a shrine in addition to photography, contact the shrine directly or use a bridal company that produces shrine wedding.

Shinto-style wedding
At a Shinto-style wedding, the relatives of the bride and the groom are seated separately.

To contact the shrine directly, call the number or send an e-mail to the address listed on the shrine’s website. If you want to hold a wedding ceremony at Kagura-hall at Izumo Oyashiro for example, e-mail to Izumo Oyashiro Order joho@izumooyashiro.or.jp in English. However, we recommend that you contact them well ahead of time as it may take some time for them to respond to your enquiry.

Sacred sake
An image from a Shinto-style wedding. Sacred sake is used during the ceremony which represents tying the knot.

In order to hold a wedding ceremony at a shrine, you need to arrange a rental costume, make-up, dressing etc. It will be a good idea to use a bridal company to arrange them for you for your convenience.

For example, TNC Bridal Service, which offers Shinto-style wedding plans at shrines in Kyoto such as Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, deals with enquiries in English and accepts wedding applications from overseas. You can hold your wedding ceremony at Kamigamo-jinja Shrine or Okazaki-jinja Shrine with their Kyoto Wedding Ceremony plan, but you can also request a shrine of your choice. The plan includes fees to be paid to the shrine for your ceremony as well as a rental costume, make-up, dressing, an English interpreter and pick-up from Kyoto city to the shrine. The list of shrines available as a wedding location can be viewed on the company website “Kyoto Style Wedding”. A number of hotels also offer accommodation packages that come with a shrine wedding.

It takes a lot of work to prepare and make arrangements for a wedding ceremony whichever country you hold a wedding. There is no doubt that having a Shinto-style wedding at a traditional shrine will make an unforgettable experience in Japan. Try and experience a Shinto-style wedding at a shrine!