Singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada, 31, revealed on her blog Monday that she plans to marry her 23-year-old Italian fiance on May 23.
In a message to her fans and the media, Utada, whose 1999 multi-million-selling debut record, "First Love," is one of Japan's biggest-ever hits, said they are planning to have their wedding ceremony in a church by the sea near Fasano in south Italy.
She said: "I'm getting married soon... This is unexpected even for me and makes me chuckle a bit but my partner is an Italian man. My partner is a sincere, nice man loved by many friends."
Sports Nippon reported that Utada's fiance is a bartender working in a hotel in London and the two got to know each other when Utada was staying there. Last summer, he introduced her to his family who live in Fasano.
A local magazine in Fasano, reporting the news, said it was like a fairytale that a Japanese superstar and a normal boy will marry, and predicted that the town will become internationally famous, according to Sports Nippon.
Utada said she decided to go ahead with the wedding despite her mother Keiko Fuji's death last year in a fall from her 13th-floor Tokyo apartment.
"When I talked about my fiance in my last conversation with my mother, she was so glad, that I thought 'I've not seen my mother this cheerful in many years,'" Utada said.
It will be Utada’s second marriage. She was previously married to photographer Kazuaki Kiriya, 45, in 2002. They divorced in 2007, with the couple citing differences in future vision and communication problems.© Japan Today/AFP