Bridal firm in Matsue to Start Offering Wedding Photoshoot Tours for Foreign Visitors

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The couple smile as they put drinks from a vending machine on each other’s cheeks, as instructed by the photographer.

MATSUE —Amid the recovering demand for tourism following eased coronavirus restrictions, a bridal company in Matsue city, Shimane Prefecture is planning wedding photoshoot tours for foreigners visiting Japan.

In November, the Matsue-based Marie Yashiro Co. invited three couples from Taiwan for a test tour, where wedding photoshoot is reportedly popular. Company officials said they aim to sell full-fledged tour packages in the next fiscal year after refining the content based on participant feedback.

The firm decided to plan the tour in response to recovering demand for inbound tourism, focusing on the popularity of photo weddings among couples in Taiwan and Hong Kong. As the project was selected as a recipient of the Japan Tourism Agency’s subsidiary program to help create tourism content, the firm is preparing to start the tour in cooperation with the Matsue city government.

In 2019, according to the city government, a total of about 78,700 foreign visitors stayed overnight in Matsue. By country and region, Taiwan accounted for about 20% of the visitors, making them the largest group.

“[Matsue] regards East Asia as a priority market, and we believe the project by a private-sector company will contribute to the local economy,” said a Matsue city official.

Couples who took part in the trial tour visited the Tamatsukuri hot spring resort and the area surrounding Miho Shrine in the city. They changed into yukatas and dresses at a quaint ryokan inn and a Japanese garden and posed for photographs following instructions by a Taiwanese photographer.

A Taiwanese woman, who is a fan of Japanese culture, participated in the tour with her boyfriend. “In Taiwan, you cannot experience a wedding photoshoot in kimono,” she said. “It was also nice to be able to enjoy a Japanese garden, where you can see the seasons change”.

Kenta Hiroto, who oversees the project at Marie Yashiro Co., said he was aware people wished to have wedding photoshoot in Japan even before the coronavirus pandemic. “We hope to take advantage of the growing inbound demand and boost Matsue’s tourism through our project,” he said.

The company plans to accept applications for the tour through social media ads targeting Taiwanese visitors from as early as February next year.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The two were also photographed at a footbath spot in the Tamatsukuri hot spring resort area.