Archive for December, 2011

sayonara, 2011!

What a crazy month!

I’m off to America for the week (BY MYSELF AHHH), yay! See you all on the other side!


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i lob you!!

Ah, marriage. For a while I was firmly on the Joni Mitchell don’t-need-no-paper-keeping-us-tied-and-true side, living in sin, calling each other “partners” like a Western movie and/or law firm. But marriage as an institution began to make a lot more sense after living in a foreign country– not just for visa reasons, although it makes it easier– but because in some way it solidifies your support system and connection to wherever you are. Also, finding someone you like a whole lot helps romanticize the notion as well.


The big-bad wedding industrial complex is kind of a separate issue. We love our friends and family and I hope no one feels like they were excluded by us basically having in some way a parentally supervised elopement, but it was very liberating to strip the wedding down to the bare bones and not get lost in the small details. (Plus, we will certainly have a party with everyone at some point– that’s the part everyone likes, anyway?)

Anyway, the way that marriage works in Japan is that everyone has to submit a wedding registration at the local ward office. You don’t even have to go together! They don’t even give you a marriage certificate unless you ask and pay for it! It’s bizarre. I bet you could secret marry someone pretty easily here. There’s a minimal amount of extra documents and it requires two witness signatures, but that’s it. A DMV-style marriage. I think it cost us 4000 yen all together, 90% of that being the US embassy’s notarization fee to prove I wasn’t already secretly married.

We spent the morning at my parents’ hotel doing a little pre-celebrating, primping, and reflecting. Had some cake, tears, champagne. Happy Wedding! Then we all got on the train and went back to our neighborhood. I had thought the actual time at the ward office would be very short and we would be on our way 15-20 minutes later, but they made us:

1. Confirm the order of my name and how it was going to be spelled

2. Then rewrite my parents names on the “parents” section of the form as last first middle

3. Then write all the witness section in katakana

4. Then rewrite their names in the witness section as last first middle (and then katakana again)

For some reason this couldn’t have been done all at once or even before we filled out the form so they would take everything, shuffle back to their desks for 20 minutes, come back with something else for us to write or check. After a little over an hour of waiting, we finally got the all-clear and we were done! Ta-dah. The next day when we went to pick up our fancy marriage certificate (have to specifically ask for that one too), the lady apologized for making us wait so long the day before. Thanks ward office lady!

The festivities continued at Disney Sea which was, in a word, freezing. But we got to show my parents why Disney Sea is the best and most beautiful Disney park, which was fun, and then got to stuff our faces with meat at Korean BBQ, which was even more fun. Even better, it was toasty warm. We were all appropriately exhausted by the time we all got home.

It was a lot of fun, very simple, and almost no stress– exactly what we wanted, and mostly made possible by my parents being there with us. Thank you Mom & Dad!

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mickey christmas!!!

I’m still working on my long parents/getting married post, but in the meantime:

Hello, tiny Mickey Christmas tree! Hello, adorable wedding present from Nojimom!

ahhh I can hardly stand the cuteness. The Mickey Christmas tree was a gift from my parents while they were here. Thanks!

One more omake. Noji and I leaving the ward office after filing all our paperwork and waiting a million years. Gratuitous bag shot, hollaaa:

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