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What happens if you marry someone in Japan?


Japan is a country with a rich cultural heritage and unique customs, especially when it comes to marriage. If you’re considering marrying a Japanese citizen or getting married in Japan, there are several things that you should know to ensure a smooth process. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on what happens if you marry someone in Japan.

Legal Requirements for Marriage in Japan

Before you can legally marry someone in Japan, you need to fulfill certain requirements. These include obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility from the local government office, registering your marriage at the same office within 90 days of the wedding ceremony, and presenting proof of identity such as a passport or residence card.

Japanese Snack Box

Choosing the Right Venue and Date

In Japan, weddings can take place at various locations such as shrines, temples, hotels, or even on a cruise ship. It’s important to choose a venue that suits your preferences and budget. Additionally, certain dates are considered auspicious for weddings in Japan, such as November 22nd or January 6th.

Japanese Wedding Customs

Japanese weddings have their unique customs and traditions. For example, the bride and groom may wear traditional Japanese attire such as a kimono or hakama. The wedding ceremony may also involve rituals such as the exchange of sake cups or the folding of origami cranes.

Financial Considerations

Getting married in Japan can be an expensive affair, especially if you choose a high-end venue or opt for traditional attire. You may also need to consider other expenses such as travel costs or visa fees if one of the partners is not a Japanese citizen. It’s important to plan your finances carefully before tying the knot.

Residency and Citizenship

If you’re a foreigner marrying a Japanese citizen, you may be eligible for residency or citizenship depending on the circumstances. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s advisable to seek professional help from an immigration lawyer.

Marriage Benefits and Obligations

Once you’re married in Japan, you’ll enjoy certain benefits such as joint tax filing or spousal visa sponsorship. However, you’ll also have certain obligations such as sharing financial responsibilities or adhering to social norms regarding gender roles.

Divorce Proceedings

If things don’t work out between you and your spouse, you may need to go through divorce proceedings in Japan. The process can take several months and involves several legal formalities such as mediation sessions or property division.

Cultural Differences and Challenges

Marrying someone from a different culture can pose some challenges such as language barriers or differences in values and beliefs. It’s important to communicate openly with your partner and be willing to compromise and adapt.

Family and Social Dynamics

In Japan, family ties are strong, and social interactions are often hierarchical. If you’re marrying into a Japanese family, it’s important to understand their customs and etiquette. You may also need to navigate social hierarchies at work or within the community.

Maintaining Your Relationship

Marriage is not just about the wedding ceremony; it requires ongoing effort to maintain a healthy relationship. This may involve learning each other’s love languages, managing conflicts effectively, or seeking professional counseling if needed.


Getting married in Japan can be an enriching experience that allows you to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and customs. However, it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements, financial considerations, cultural differences, and relationship dynamics involved. By planning carefully and approaching the process with an open mind and heart, you can create a fulfilling life with your partner in Japan.

What happens if you marry a Japanese person?

Foreigners who have married Japanese citizens can still meet the requirements for naturalization even if they are not employed or have no source of income. This means that even if you become a full-time homemaker after marriage, you can still apply for naturalization in Japan.

Can I become a Japanese citizen if I marry a Japanese?

To obtain citizenship through marriage in Japan, specific requirements must be met, including living in Japan for at least 5 years on a long-term visa and showing proficiency in the Japanese language. These requirements must be met by January 31, 2023.

Can you live in Japan if you marry someone?

To reside in Japan with a Japanese spouse, you need a visa for a Spouse or Child of a Japanese National. Your marriage must be legally recognized in Japan, which involves registering it at a local government office in your area and having it approved.

Do you get permanent residency if you marry a Japanese?

Typically, this visa demands that the applicant reside in Japan for a decade. However, individuals who are the spouse or child of a Japanese national or a permanent residency visa holder, and have been married for over three years, can apply for a permanent residency visa with a certified three-year stay term.

Can a Japanese marry a foreigner?

Under the Nationality Law in , marrying a foreigner does not result in the loss of Japanese nationality for the Japanese spouse. In situations where Japanese women marry foreigners, they may be able to obtain their husbands’ nationality, depending on the laws of the country the husband is from.

What happens if you have more than 2 Child in Japan?

A policy has been implemented that prohibits those with more than two children from obtaining government employment, government-provided housing, or participating in local elections. This article from ET Magazine explores similar restrictions imposed by other countries, as well as incentives offered to encourage having more children.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Planning a wedding in Japan can be overwhelming, so it’s essential to have a checklist to help you stay organized. Some key items to include on your list are choosing a venue, selecting attire, arranging for catering and decorations, and hiring a photographer or videographer. You may also need to book accommodations for out-of-town guests and plan transportation to the ceremony and reception.

Pre-Wedding Ceremonies

In addition to the wedding ceremony itself, there are several pre-wedding customs that you may want to consider. For example, a “mizuage” ceremony involves the bride’s family giving symbolic gifts to the groom’s family as a sign of respect and gratitude. Another tradition is the “yui-no” ceremony, where the couple exchanges gifts with their parents as a way of thanking them for their support.

Post-Wedding Celebrations

After the wedding ceremony, it’s common to hold a reception or “kai-reception” for friends and family. This may involve traditional Japanese cuisine, such as sushi or tempura, and entertainment such as music or dancing. In some cases, couples may also have a “honeymoon party” where they celebrate their marriage with close friends or family members.

International Marriages

If you’re marrying someone from another country in Japan, there may be additional legal requirements or complications. For example, you may need to obtain a visa for your spouse to live in Japan or go through an international divorce if necessary. It’s important to research these issues thoroughly and seek professional advice if needed.

Same-Sex Marriages

Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in Japan at this time. However, some cities and wards have begun issuing certificates of partnership that provide some legal protections for same-sex couples. If you’re considering a same-sex marriage in Japan, it’s important to research your options carefully and understand the legal implications.

Cultural Sensitivity

When planning a wedding in Japan, it’s important to be sensitive to cultural differences and customs. For example, it’s considered impolite to wear white to a Japanese wedding since it’s traditionally associated with funerals. You should also be mindful of etiquette around gift-giving and table manners during the reception.

Final Thoughts

Getting married in Japan can be an exciting and rewarding experience that allows you to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and traditions. By planning carefully and understanding the legal requirements, cultural differences, and relationship dynamics involved, you can create a memorable wedding that reflects your unique personalities and love for each other.

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