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Japanese honeymoon market remains elusive for Waikīkī wedding businesses

wedding waikiki japan
Sam Eifling/AP
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AP
FILE - This 2014 photo shows a wedding couple being photographed in Waikīkī. (AP Photo/Sam Eifling)

Japan relaxes additional travel restrictions next week but the weakening yen has put a damper on the rebound of visitors. The Conversation reached out to small businesses tied to the Japanese honeymoon market.

We spoke with Ai-ako Barlag from the bridal salon Sayumi’s Princess Garden. Barlag says the company handled more than a dozen weddings a day before the pandemic. Now it's just a few a week.

We also spoke with Joan Lizo-Urbano from Something Borrowed Wedding Hawaii, a storefront that opened up in the Waikiki Hyatt Regency during the pandemic and is just hanging in there. She’s hopeful there will be a turning point next week with travel, but knows the weak yen is making it tough.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Oct. 6, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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