It’s very often the people you see or meet on your travels that stick in you mind more than the actual place or architectural buildings.  This is true of my visit to Tokyo.  Last month I spent the day doing a sightseeing city tour.  I viewed the usual touristy haunts, the Tokyo tower, Meiji Shrine, The Imperial palace East Garden and Nakamise shopping street.

It was while wondering around the levels of the Tokyo Tower I came across a group of Japanese school children.  The children were adorable and happy to pose for my pictures, laughing and giggling, as school children do.


I was more fascinated in the laughter and antics of these happy little, adorable children than I was of the panoramic city views from the viewing decks.  Quite impressive tower however- reminded me of a post-box red Eiffel tower.

I also had a wonderful, and lucky encounter at the Meiji Shrine.  Whilst there, I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time: just as a Japanese wedding procession was walking by.  I was stunned by this traditional and elaborate, but quite solemn parade.  I stood there for quite some time, completely fascinated, watching this very traditional procedure.

Priests led the bride and groom, followed by their friends and family.  What fascinated me more than anything was the bride.  I watched her for a while and in the whole time observing her, she just didn’t look happy and her smile looked very posed and forced.  It made me feel quite sad and hoped that this was just for drama and effect, and was perhaps this portrayal was the done thing in Japan wedding culture.

Her wedding attire for was a traditional pure white silk kimono.  However it was the white hood she seemed to hide under which intrigued me most about the whole wedding.   I’d never seen these ‘hoods’ before.  I later discovered that the bride chose a hood as her ‘Tsuno Kakushi’ (horn-hider) and that according to Japanese tradition she wears this veil/hood to hide her demon horns.  These horns are customarily a sign of jealousy and selfishness, attributes that in Japan should not be displayed at a wedding in front of the groom and his family.  Therefore, traditionally these ‘horns’ are covered up to indicate that she will carry out her role as a wife with patience and serenity and a gentle, obedient wife.  It was fascinating to see, and opened my eyes, to another bit of Japanese culture and tradition.



















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