Despite its much-touted modernity, Tokyo is a surprisingly traditional city — both in customs and attitude. And as such, even in Harajuku, that mecca of fashion and youth culture, it’s still possible to see timeless sights such as this.
Despite the month coinciding with rainy season, the idea of being a June bride is still a very popular one in Tokyo — the potentially inclement weather clearly not enough to dampen the apparent romance of an early summer wedding.
Yet despite the possible setbacks, this young couple appear to have experienced pretty much the perfect ceremony. No rain whatsoever. Wonderfully lush greenery. Plus a setting just as picturesque as the traditional procession.
The formal — not to mention timeless — beauty of an official Japanese wedding photograph. All perfectly choreographed in the equally timeless and beautiful surroundings of a Tokyo shrine.
Japan happily adopts new trends and customs, more often than not blending them so effortlessly into the culture that in no time at all they are part of the culture. But, as rapidly as things change, in many ways they also stay very much the same. An impressive feat that is particularly noticeable when it comes to traditional festivals.
Almost always boisterous and packed affairs, it’s immediately clear that many of them haven’t altered much in the countless decades they have been held. Something that’s especially true when it comes to Asakusa’s Sanja Matsuri, which dates back as far as the sixteen hundreds in its current form. Plus many more centuries earlier in regards less organised celebrations.
An event that, along with the same customs, is clearly just as much fun as it has always has been.
Of a very similar intensity too.
The only real change being the faces on show — both of those involved, and those not.
Due to their rigid formula and unrelenting adherence to time, Japanese weddings can often be uncomfortable and overly serious affairs. As such, lightheartedness may not see the light of day until the second party, and any act of spontaneity is simply out of the question. A strict sense of decorum that in many ways made the post-ceremony scene below all the more endearing.
Greeted by a large group of strangers that very quickly formed around them, the young, rickshaw driven newlyweds were treated to spontaneous applause and joyously uninhibited encouragement. All of which resulted in a wonderfully out of the ordinary moment that made their surprised looks all the brighter.
Due to the intensity of his stare, however, it was impossible to resist going through the process again, with the resultant image replicating pretty much the exact same expression and an identical pose. The only real difference being a slightly incongruous looking plaster.