Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Japanese Wedding

Saturday we went to the wedding for our friends Mark and Minako. It was a beautiful day for a wedding, which is fortunate because the rainy season began on Friday. The sun was shining though on Saturday and there was not a cloud in the sky. They were married at the base of Mount Hachiman in the shrine where most of the festivals in town are held. They both wore traditional Kimonos for the ceremony. All three of us went to the wedding. Logan was in a good mood for most of the time but he did get a bit excited and at other times a bit cranky. But that is neither here nor there.

The wedding itself was very interesting. It was a very traditional Shinto style ceremony. They both drank some sake and there were speeches in Japanese, then they were married. And it was on to the party. The reception was held at a hotel close to our home and we went from the mountain to the hotel directly. There was a long wait between the ceremony and the wedding, but Logan had a lot of fun running around the small room and entertaining all of the waiting guests. He did get a bit cranky during this time, but it was because he was hungry. Jenny and he went down to the lobby to get some cake to snack on and while they were gone we were all called to a room to get our picture taken with the bride and groom. Logan had not finished his cake and was very upset and did not want to get his picture taken, but eventually he calmed down and I hope that they now have a nice picture to remember the day.

The party was held next. We were served a wonderful dinner. There was elegant sushi, tempura seafood, and the best roast beef that I have ever had in my life. The beef was perfectly marbled with fat and it practically melted in your mouth. It was so good that I had two servings of it. I am fairly sure that it was Omgyu, which is local Omi beef. The cows are given daily massages and feed beer to ensure that the meat is extremely tender. If you have ever heard of Kobe beef, Omi beef is regarded in Japan as being better.

The wedding was an amazing experience and we are very grateful to have had the experience. Not only of seeing a Traditional Shinto wedding ceremony, which is a bit rare these days because people here like to have more western style weddings, (most churches that one sees here are actually only wedding chapels) but being able to participate in a reception party as well.


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