What do we need to know to get married in Japan?
April 19, 2006 1:28 AM   Subscribe

A Tokyo elopement - can it be done?

My girlfriend and I, both Australian citizens, are planning on eloping to (in?) Tokyo at the start of May. We know about (and have made arrangements to obtain) the Certificate of No Impediment, but outside of that, we don't really know what else would be involved. We don't want a ceremony, just to go into some sort of City or Municipal Office and get some dude to declare us man and wife. Does anyone know whether we have to book ahead for this sort of service? Or how much it will cost? Or of any Tokyo-based information services that might be able to point us in the right direction?
posted by bunglin jones to Travel & Transportation around Tokyo, Japan (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Based on the information from following two websites, you'll need your passports and birth certificates along with the certificate of no impediment (foreign resident registration isn't required unless you plan to reside in Japan for more than 90 days). The Australian Consulate charges 9400 Yen for their services. I can't find any list of fees for the marriage registration form (which requires two witnesses) from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government so I would recommend checking with the Australian Consulate in Japan for further advice.

I found this info on the Australian Government Consular Office in Japan website.

And some more from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for foreigners living in Tokyo.
posted by plokent at 2:55 AM on April 19, 2006

I think you can do this through your embassy. I'll admit I'm unclear on the details, but when I lived in Japan, I had an American friend who married a British guy. As she told it, they "got married" by doing nothing more than posting notices at their respective embassies. Admittedly, that seems a little dodgy, but you can't get less ceremonial than that.

At any rate, I suggest contacting the embassy and seeing what they can arrange.
posted by adamrice at 6:52 AM on April 19, 2006

I am unclear on the details as well, though an American co-worker of mine was married in Japan when we both lived there. I remember he had to deal with more than a few headaches, including filling out some forms (in Japanese).

I have a feeling, however, (as was mentioned above) that your embassy will be able to point you in the right direction, and there is probably somewhat of a market for this kind of thing.
posted by dead_ at 8:34 AM on April 19, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all - we'll keep trying at the embassy
posted by bunglin jones at 7:00 PM on April 19, 2006

Best answer: I called the Minato Ward City Hall (Minato-kuyakusho) in Tokyo, which is the ward that happens to be the place where most embassies of various countries are located in Japan. Which means that the people who work at the city hall there are used to dealing with matters such as yours and they were actually rather helpful. In a nutshell, Yes, you can get married in Japan even if you don't live here, and it won't cost you anything to do it. Well, maybe a few hundred yen for the paperwork, but anyway, all you need is to show them the necessary papers.

What plokent wrote above seems to be accurate. Along with the stuff listed in the page of the Australian Embassy in Japan (linked by plokent above) and their Japanese translations (important!), you need to fill out a "kon-in-todoke" (resgistration of marriage form). When you do this, you'll need two witnesses. These witnesses don't need to be Japanese, but they do have to be over 20 years old. You'll also need your passports, and they recommended that you translate the page with your photograph on it into Japanese.

And according to them, that's basically it. Just make sure you have all the papers you need, and the necessary Japanese translations. Plus witnesses.

Congratulations on your marriage and hope things go smoothly!
posted by misozaki at 10:04 PM on April 24, 2006

« Older Practical Joomla Advice....   |   Save my suede handbag! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.