Happy Kochi Wedding Receptions: local traditions, local cuisine

“Are you nervous?” The sendou of the hotel staff asks a man in a tuxedo and a young woman wearing a beautiful white dress.

“Yes…” the handsome young man answers.

As the door opens, a J-POP wedding song begins, and the couple enters the wedding hall, the guests start to applaud. The man and women bow, and walk very slowly down the aisle, and take their seats at a special table in front of 300 people.

“What a beautiful the bride she is!” the emcee for the wedding reception says.

There are special points at a wedding reception in Kochi compared with other prefectures. They are a traditions and should be maintained.

A sawachi full of sashimi and other delicacies
A sawachi full of sashimi and other delicacies

If you participate in a wedding reception in Kochi, you can see strange platlers called “sawachi”. Sawachi is like this picture. This exist from the Edo period. A long time ago, sawachi prepared for at home parties in Kochi. Now, we can’t see sawachi because the sawachi is not cheap, so it is difficult to prepare sawachi. So, nowadays it is valuable opportunity experience it at wedding reception. There is a rotating table in the center of each table and sawachi with “sushi” “sashimi” are put on the turning table. Then, guests eat the big dishes with others who are sitting with them.

In other prefectures, guests usually eat course dishes, prepared dishes for each person. One guest from another prefecture says to me “This style is interesting!” He is from Tokushima. And adds “Is this style in only Kochi? I’ve never seen.” “Yes! I reply this is a traditional style. You are lucky person because you can find and experience the traditional culture like this, I hope this is a good opportunity for you.”.


After about one hour, a cook starts giving a demonstration of cooking called katuonowarayaki which is the traditional method of flash grilling katsuo with rice straw. The groom helps makes it. Everyone is taking pictures. Then, the “katuo” dishes are put on each table and everyone enjoys that.

This style is unique to Kochi. Many guests from other prefectures are very surprised. “Great!” “How an interesting!” “I’ve never seen it!” I can hear many guests’ real voices from all directions.

Nowadays, Japan is an aging society and the number of children is dicliing. The number of funerals is increasing while wedding reception are not. It is economic situation. “If you establish a funeral company now”, one hotel staff says, “maybe you can earn a lot of money!”

A cute bridal planner women talks me “It is difficult to get customers.” I ask her how she gets them, and she answers “There are customers who saw it on096 a blog, like word of mouth on the Internet, or they’ve attended a wedding reception in this hotel and they thought it was wonderful, or suddenly they come. However they find us is great!”

Kochi’s wedding reception’s cost is comparatively lower than other prefectures. In 2010, at the ranking of the wedding reception’s cost in Japan, Kochi was in thirty-nineth place. The average of the cost is 2,800,000 yen. But, the number of invited guests is larger than other prefectures, sometimes over 300 guests.

Opening the door, and the groom and the bride leave the hall.

“ I’m very satisfied, thank you so much.” The bride sobs. Staff looks glad too. Each guest exchanges greetings to the groom, bride, and both parents.”omedetougozaimasu.” “shiawaseninaranaikankine!” They each say one or two words and they are given a little present from the bride groom and.

“Today is a beautiful day. I’ll never forget. And I want to take over the traditional wedding ceremony like this.” And he smiled.

— by M. Yano


  1. Wedding receprion in Kohi is wonderful!
    I want to know about wedding reception in other prefectures.


  2. My wife used to play piano for weddings, and your article really brings back good memories. Thank you.


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