No one was paying any particular attention. Except for me, otherwise, the enormous mass of pilgrims continued shuffling forward in the park to the hundred or so steps leading to the ornate golden shrine.
This was the most people-noise that I had heard so far around a country of normally soft-spoken individuals. It was a festive holiday weekend in Japan, and I was in the middle of a new cultural experience. I stepped aside reverently to honor the group's brief opportunity for photographs.
The couple was posing for a photoshoot with their bridal party in Kanagawa, Japan. The wedding photographer was orchestrating animated poses while the wedding coordinator, to the bride's right, was arranging the gown to its best advantage. I caught the humor of one participant in the second row to the left had his cell phone positioned for informal shots.
Outside the picture frame, family and friends were milling about taking their own photos and offering advice. I couldn't understand a word of it. However, the expressions on their faces were enough to imagine the ribbing the couple was receiving from well-meaning peers. That's universal, wouldn't you say?
This was the first of several wedding parties that I happened upon during my Japaneses travels. For each one, the bride and groom wore a traditional regional outfit. They used serene gardens for backdrops away from any interruptions, unlike this one.