Aiden`s omiyamairi

Omiyamairi (お宮参り) is the first visit a baby makes to a shrine. You can read all the nitty gritty details in this handy wikipedia article if you are interested.

Usually this ceremony takes place on a baby boy`s 31st day of life (and a baby girl`s 32nd day of life), but we are busy people, and it has taken a bit longer for us to get organised.

We celebrated Aiden`s omiyamairi during his 10th week!

We arrived at the shrine (Hiraoka Jinja - on the Kintetesu Nara line) at about 11am and met the photographers who took our pictures pretty much as soon as we got there. That was lucky because it was incredibly hot yesterday (about 33 degrees) and we all sweated off our makeup and started looking very bedraggled very quickly!

Unfortunately I have to wait for those pictures to be developed before posting them, but I promise I will.

Aiden looked cute; my MIL wrote this character 大 on his forehead (in pink lipstick!) which means big, and he wore a white cap and a white bib.

First my MIL wore the kimono and held Aiden. The kimono is not a regular kimono which takes hours to put on, but a kind of wrap-around apron which is much easier. We also tied the following items to the kimono (they are part of a miyamairi set which you can buy at the department store for about 15,000yen) as well as lucky envelopes containing 1000yen notes given to Aiden from friends and family...

After having our pictures taken we went into the shrine where the priests blessed us. They recited a prayer and inserted all our names (and even our address) and swung a tamagushi around a bit. It was nice, and the shrine was lovely and cool and relaxing. We even got to drink a sip of sake after the prayer!

I wanted to take my own photos of us all looking nice and dressed up. It was the first time Yoshi has worn a suit in at least 10 months, so he looked really handsome, and Yoshi`s mum looked nice in her dress too... but I told you it was pretty hot, and Yoshi didn`t stop complaining the whole time we were there. He was in such a rush to leave (and get changed out of his suit) that we had to hurry things along and I couldn`t get any of my own pictures. I finally convinced him to snap a quick picture of me and Aiden just before we hopped in the car. Better than nothing I suppose...

Aiden does not look pleased. I`m sure he would be complaining about the heat if he could! (Hasn`t he grown a lot? He is holding his head up by himself and looks like such a big boy already!)


  1. Boo to Yoshi, he should've sucked it up and posed for a few shots for you :( men...

    you look gorgeous and my goodness, Aiden looks adorable! He has grown quite a bit! I can't wait to see the professional photos!!

  2. YOU look stunning. And I'm sure (keep writing Shou) Yoshi would have looked handsome had you had the chance to snap the impatient boy!

    I have never heard of tying things off the kimono so that was very interesting. We just did the proper kimono and blessing for Shou, the blessing for Marina and nada for Ryu. Poor third child.

    looking forward to the other pics.


  3. Aiden is getting so big. And you look fab in this picture, I'm jealous (I'm a big old sweaty mess in this humidity). I've heard vaguely about this ceremony, but didn't really know much about it. Sounds interesting.

  4. Thanks lovelies! I had a nice time - I am really interested in all the Japanese ceremonies that we don`t have back home. I sometimes think I am way more into it all than my Japanese friends and even my husband. Such a cool way to celebrate a baby! I am currently looking into the meaning of all the things we used to tie onto the kimono, so watch out for that in another post.

  5. time to de-lurk:
    Hi Fran,
    I came across your blog back in August searching for birth experiences of western women in Japan. I adore your blog especially the shopping tips and descrpitions of everything Japanese. I'm from the UK, have been married to a Japanese guy for a year (it is our 5th year together) and we now have a little boy who is 9 weeks old. Today we took him to the shrine for his Omiyamairi. The things you write about really resonate with me. I am now a stay at home mum and I love being a mum and this little town where i live but sometimes it is hard living so far away from home, in a rural place, where it is freezing cold and not working. Your blog gives me lots of useful information so thank you.
    Bye for now, Nikki in Yamagata.

  6. Thanks Nikki!! Congrats on the birth of your baby boy :) Whats his name? Your story sounds a lot like mine, so I know that you have your good and bad days like me. I have never been to Yamagata (I haven't seen much of rural Japan except for the places around Kansai), but I have heard its very beautiful.

    I totally understand you feeling lonely, so please keep in touch, and email me (you can use the contact tab at the top of the page) any time.
    If you come to Osaka someday - let me know.
    Fran xx


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