The wedding Monday at Angkor Wat was traditional Khmer, complete with one elephant and two ox carts carrying the dowry of 36 different fruits offered to the spirits of the temple.
There was traditional Khmer music and clothes, even traditional Khmer comedians cracking jokes.
But neither the bride nor groom was Khmer. A Japanese couple, 27-year-old Imada Akihiro and his 26-year-old bride Takano Yukiko, spent nearly $6,000 to come to Angkor Wat along with 14 guests from Japan. The wedding excursion was arranged by New Cambodia Tours. Manager Chheuy Sophors said his company wanted to promote Khmer-Japanese relations, to show that Cambodia was now a land of peace, and to showcase Khmer traditions and culture.
The bride and groom had never been to Angkor Wat before. “When I arrived, I knew why Angkor was one of the wonders of the world,” Akihiro said. “I am very happy my wedding day was at Angkor.”
“A lot of Japanese people are reluctant to come to Cambodia, because they are scared of the security,” said Yukiko. “But when I arrived at Angkor Wat, it is not [dangerous] like they thought.”
The couple was scheduled to fly back to Japan Monday night. Both said that if they have children, they would suggest they get married at Angkor Wat, too.