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InsideJapan Tours are pretty proud of how much we know about Japan and we think our passion shows through in what we do. We are very lucky to have been able to open up the door of Japanese discovery to other people and we are happy to say that those people return full of admiration for Japan, having developed a new found passion for the country and people. Some of our customers are already incredibly drawn to Japan and have developed a healthy obsession for the place. Sarah Gatecliffe is one of those people and is a huge pleasure to deal with.
Having travelled to Japan in 2010, Sarah and her Fiance will be travelling to Japan in May 2012 to get married – That’s how much it means to them! I asked Sarah as to why they had decided to get married in Japan and here is what she said:
Not content with just having one wedding I have decided to have two, both to the same man I assure you. After a ceremony here in my native England I will be jetting 6000 miles and hopping 9 time zones east to Japan, a country I fell in love with even before I stepped foot off the plane last year.
Ever since I can remember, Japan has had this kind of hold over me, like an itching curiosity that couldn’t be scratched until I saw it with my own eyes. Over the years I have scoured the bookshelves and travel magazines in the hope of reading something I don’t know about Japan, something new, no matter how small.
I don’t know what it is about Japan, but I am completely obsessed! But I’m not alone. When I booked my last trip at least 99.9% of people have replied with the same ‘I’m so jealous, I’ve always wanted to go to Japan’, when being told where I was going next. And I can’t pinpoint why people want to go anymore than I can for myself. We all have an image in our minds of Japan; Tokyo’s circuit board of neon, temples tucked away behind towering skyscrapers or the last remaining geisha of Kyoto flitting between the teahouses of Gion like heavily painted butterflies.
As soon as my fiancé and I started planning our wedding, I knew Japan was going to be our honeymoon destination. But after being together 8 years I wanted to do something special, something which we would remember for the rest of our lives and be a talking point at dinner parties; note: We don’t get invited to dinner parties but just in case we do. After doing some research I discovered that Inside Japan can arrange for couples to have a wedding blessing in Japan. Perfect! Hundreds of couples get married abroad every year; Mexico, Las Vegas and the Caribbean, so why not Japan?
Like most Japanese brides who choose to marry in traditional Shinto ceremonies, I will be wearing a white kimono and the wataboshi, a type of hood which is said to hide the horns of jealousy. Following our ceremony we will have the customary photographs before being whisked away as newly (Japanese) weds for a fantastic wedding dinner at the Granvia hotel where we will be staying. From the ceremony we will continue to explore Japan including the ancient capital Nara, the hauntingly beautiful bamboo groves of Arashiyama and a day trip to Japan’s animation Mecca the Studio Ghibli Museum.
If you have never considered Japan as a holiday destination then I would put those brochures to the Mediterranean away and contact Inside Japan. Even before the tragic events of March 11th Japan did nothing but welcome my fiancé and I with open arms and provide us with the best hospitality. You will never visit such a visually stimulating and fast paced metropolis like Tokyo or sample fresher produce found down Kyoto’s Nishiki dori. Japan is a truly inspirational place and is perfectly safe to visit. Just ask Lady Gaga…
Sarah is definitely up there on our top ten Japanophiles list (we haven’t really got a list, but if we had one, you would be there) and her enthusiasm for the country is obvious to everyone which is fantastic. Sarah has even promised us a review and photos of her Japanese wedding which we will be really keen to see. Watch this space.
Good luck to you both and thank you for your love of Japan!