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Dream Comes True! My Wedding in Japan
Written by: Tuti Alawiyah
We never know when or where we will meet our soulmates. But when it is the time, it will just happen. I never expected that my first article on Food Diversity/Halal Media Japan titled Pursuing Study From The Tropical Country to The Land of Snow in Japan will be the way I meet my future husband. Yes, he knew me first after reading that article on the Food Diversity page last February and approached me via a third party to propose a taaruf process. In principle, taaruf is an attempt for a person to get acquainted with someone purposing to find a life partner without any processes that deviate from the principles of Islamic sharia, such as dating before marriage.
Long short story, after we both decided to get married, the problem we faced is about the time and place to get married. At that time, we have not got vaccinated yet, in addition to the quarantine process and so on, it is difficult for us to go back to Indonesia and hold the wedding there with both families. So that we decided to proceed with the marriage in Japan, precisely at Tokyo Camii Mosque, even without family’s attendance in person (they attended virtually on zoom and Instagram live).
Procedure You Will Need to Proceed With To Get Married in Japan
After I got married, some of my friends asked me about the procedures to get married in Japan. So, in this article, I want to share about the process, especially the procedures we have done as I and my fiancé are both foreigners in Japan.
To make it simple, I divide the process into two sections, there are the procedures we have done at Embassy and ward office, and Tokyo Camii Mosque for holding the Islamic Marriage.
Procedures at Embassy and Ward Office (Civil Registration Marriage Process)
For me as an Indonesian, the first thing I did when I decided to get married here is accessing the website of the Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia in Tokyo Japan (KBRI Tokyo), because we need to get a document called Marriage Acknowledgement Letter/Kekkon Gubi Shomeisho issued by the Embassy to register our marriage in Japan.
The website provides information related marriage process between Indonesians or between Indonesian and foreign nationals.
Basically, the documents to get married in Japan are not much different from those required in Indonesia. We will be asked to collect the documents from The Office of Religious Affairs (KUA) and The Civil Registry Office (Kelurahan) in our domicile of the home country.
Note that the Embassy requires the original documents (not copied or scanned) to be submitted, so we needed our family in Indonesia to help us with the necessary documents and ship them all to Japan. If you are preparing this step, kindly consider carefully the estimate of documents arrival and all the possible revision process with your time plan to hold the wedding. In my case, I need a month and a half to get all the documents shipped to my address in Osaka along the way from my hometown in Indramayu, West Java, Indonesia.
After the documents are complete, first, we have to attach them in an email to [email@example.com] to be checked. Once the Embassy approved, I made a reservation to come to the Embassy in person with my fiancé to fill in the Marriage Acknowledgement Letter form and bring all the original documents. The other important thing to be noted is both bride and groom must show up at Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo. So that I traveled from Osaka to Tokyo to proceed.
On the same day after we got the Marriage Acknowledgement Letter from Embassy, we brought it to the ward office where one of us is living to fill the Marriage Registration Form (Kon-in Todoke). We need to come there with other two friends because the ward office requested two adults (male or female over 20 years) as witnesses that our marriage is true. The other things that we have to bring along besides the Acknowledgement Letter from Embassy are a passport, residence card, and family register. Before you go to process this step, please kindly check your domicile ward office in advance in case of additional documents. The process in the ward office doesn’t take a long time, less than an hour the Marriage Certificate (Kekkon Juri Shoumeisho) is issued and it is officially registered in Japan.
We sent back two copies of the Marriage Certificate to the Embassy with the copy of the passport to obtain the Acceptance of Marriage document. You will need this paper to obtain the spouse visa in Japan Immigration or report your marriage once you back to Indonesia.
Request for the Islamic Marriage to the Embassy
The procedures at Embassy have not been completed yet. After the civilization process, next, we were going to proceed with the Islamic marriage. To do so, we need to contact the chief of Islamic Marriage from Embassy (Mr. Akhmad Munir) to reserve a schedule. In this process, usually, they will request extra documents such as the power of attorney letter (surat kuasa wali nikah) from the Bride’s father if he couldn’t attend the Islamic marriage process.
Actually, the process can be done in most of the mosques in Japan, but if you are an Indonesian, it’s better to request to proceed with the chief of Islamic marriage from the Embassy so you can get the marriage book (buku nikah) in your wedding day. In my case, I did my nikah in Tokyo Camii with the chief from Embassy.
Islamic Marriage at Tokyo Camii Mosque
Tokyo Camii Mosque is the biggest mosque in Tokyo that also provides an Islamic marriage service (nikah) for Muslims in Japan. To hold the Islamic marriage there, first I need to fill out the marriage form via its website. We reserved August 8th, 2021 as our big day. Fortunately, the venue was available. The staff then contacted us by email to confirm the date and time. For holding the wedding in Tokyo Camii Mosque, there are some requirements such as the Marriage Certificate from the ward office, bride and groom’s ID photos, copy of passports, and 10,000 yen admission fee. In the end, Tokyo Camii Mosque will also issue the Islamic Marriage Certificate.
Basically, the nikah will be held in the mosque (prayer space on the 2nd floor), but If you want to use the hall on the 1st floor as well for holding the reception, extra charges will be applied around 15,000 yen/hour. The hall is quite spacious and can accommodate about 100 people. However, due to the pandemic, we only could invite no more than 40 people that day.
My wedding in Japan might be quite simple than what usually people hold in Indonesia, but for me it was just like a dream come true, having the simple, yet solemn and impressive wedding in my favorite place ever. Even my husband and I couldn’t celebrate the marriage together with family, we got a lot of support and help from many people. Special thanks to OMCT Family (Ohanajaya Muslim Community Tokyo) and IPMI Japan (Ikatan Perawat Muslim Indonesia) that help us to prepare all stuff in such a limited time.
Finally, my new life is just started, and I always seek Allah’s help and blessing in every episode of my journey ahead. I hope this article can give you a brief image of the marriage process as a Muslim and a foreigner in Japan, and may Allah ease all of your plans to get marry or finding your soulmate soon, InsyaAllah.