Mea culpa, kind readers. Despite August's image of being an empty time spent listening to the shrill cry of cicadas in the heat, I have been busy (and partially defeated by the weather).
After first freaking out about the potentiality of meeting Matcha-kun's parents way back in December, I eventually chilled out about the whole thing. Since I would be using a few days during Obon to escape to Hakuba, we decided that it was time for the day of judgement (dun,dun,DUN!... just kidding).
I am happy to say that it was pleasantly uneventful and non-traumatic for everyone involved. Matcha-kun's mother was friendly, his father only slightly bemused. I was then taken around to all the various grandparents... apparently they did not tell one of his grandmothers that I am not Japanese, as a surprise. She was only slightly taken aback, and further confirmed my theory that grandmothers all over the world are basically the same, when she pronounced 'お人形さんみたい！' ('you look like a doll!'... which is exactly what my grandmother does).
1- You don't need to alter your style dramatically, but go with the most simple, moderate side of your looks.
2- Come bearing gifts. Keep them small and edible, as anything too flashy will make people feel uncomfortable.
3- Obviously (I hope) be polite, and answer odd questions as kindly and seriously as possible (for example: 'Do you have tatami floors in Europe?' or 'Do you eat jam?')
4- Your significant other's family is probably just as nervous as you are, so do your best to relax.
Zenkouji is a rather impressive temple, reminiscent of Todaiji in Nara with its dark wood and thatch. The street leading up to the temple has a wealth of lovely Meiji buildings (the Gohojin hotel is particularly pretty), as well as smaller temples which serve as lodgings and (very importantly) many shops selling my beloved oyaki!