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Japan hotel and temple join forces to offer gay and lesbian weddings

Kyoto’s Hotel Granvia and the Shunkoin Temple are welcoming same-sex couples to exchange vows with a traditional Buddhist wedding ceremony in Kyoto
Kyoto’s Hotel Granvia and the Shunkoin Temple are offering a same-sex wedding service.

Draped in wedding kimonos, standing in a Zen temple built in the 1590s, gay and lesbian couples have a new option for a commitment ceremony in Japan.

The Hotel Granvia Kyoto is offering a full traditional Buddhist wedding at the Shunkoin Temple for same-sex couples.

Even though same sex marriage is not yet legalized in Japan, the hotel joins other businesses around the world taking steps toward social acceptance of LGBTI couples while their home governments lag behind. Thus the ceremony is more of a spiritual commitment, as the couple does not gain any legal right through it.

The Granvia is the first Japanese hotel to join the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) in 2006 and openly promotes LGBTI travel to Japan.

Shiho Ikeuchi, Overseas Marketing Director said: ‘It is our challenge to bring these extraordinary weddings to the world.

'We are thrilled to offer LGBT couples from around the world this wonderful opportunity to experience the essence of a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony.'

The wedding package includes: ‘Everything that couples would need for the wedding and honeymoon!’ That includes:

  • a three-night stay at the Junior Suite with breakfast
  • two traditional wedding gowns
  • a customised wedding bouquet
  • limousine service to and from the temple and after the ceremony
  • the traditional Japanese wedding night dinner served for two

The whole package is available for JPY 777,000 for two people (approximately €5,500 or $7,653). For inquiries or reservations, visit Granvia Kyoto’s website.

There is plenty to experience in Japan before and after your wedding: Gay Star News has tasted the best eats on the Golden Route (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto) and has discovered a few interesting things about the country’s toilets.

For more tips and guides on Japan and other amazing wedding destinations, visit Gay Star Travel Facebook and Twitter.

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