Japanese weddings

Although they’re becoming rare, some people still have traditional Shinto weddings. Today’s photos are from a wedding at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. It’s a good place to catch a glimpse of bridal parties, and you have a good chance of seeing one if you’re there on a Sunday afternoon.




Japanese people usually give cash rather than wedding gifts, and the money is given in these ceremonial envelopes.


Coming of Age Day Fashions

January 12 was sejinshiki, Japan’s Coming of Age Day. All over the country, ceremonies are held to celebrate people who turned 20 that year officially becoming adults.








Bird man street performer

Kyudo demonstration at the Meiji Shrine

The Culture Day (Nov. 3) Festival at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo is something I look forward to every year. I’ve been four times, and still get excited about going because it’s so great for photography. I tried out the Jidai Matsuri in Asakusa last year, but a lot of the costumes were kind of cheesy, and it was so crowded it was hard to take photos.


The festival starts at 9:00 in the morning, but the first big event is the kyuudo (Japanese archery) demonstration, which starts at 11:00.


This old man seemed really shaky – except when he had a bow in his hands.


Everyone was given a small cup of sacred sake after the ceremony.


The hats are kind of funny, but the kimono are just gorgeous.


There are more photos of this festival at:



Outdoor Haircut


Getting an al-fresco haircut in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.

Kawasaki Halloween Parade 2008

The Kawasaki Halloween Parade is held on the last Sunday of October every year near Kawasaki Station. There are other big Halloween celebrations in places like Harajuku, but the Kawasaki version is more for adults. They have DJs and dancing, and there aren’t so many kids. It’s definitely worth checking out.

This guy made a lot of kids cry. He was dressed up as Anpanman, a bizarre Japanese superhero, whose name means “Bread With Sweet Bean Paste Man.” He fights against Baikinman (Germ Man) and is, according to Wikipedia, the most popular fictional character in Japan for children under 12. This subversive costume maker is depicting him with bites taken out of his head, which is what upsets the kids so much.


Official website: http://lacittadella.co.jp/halloween/ (Japanese only)
Video of the event: http://celestialkitsune.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/kawasaki-halloween-festival-2008/

Face-shrinking Masks

These scary-looking Hannibal Lector masks are actually to make a woman’s face smaller. The idea is that you wear them in the bath or while you sleep, and sweating makes your face smaller. The one on the right is for in the bath, the one in the center is for the sauna, and the one on the left is for sleeping.

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