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With its abundance of pristine nature and vibrant cities, Japan has long been a beloved honeymoon destination for all types of couples, from city lovers to those seeking wellness experiences or nature-focused adventures.
Whether you want to shred it up on the crisp, powdery snow in Niseko, explore some of the oldest temples in Kyoto, or take a private sushi-making class in Tokyo, the country has activities for just about everyone. If this sounds like something you and your soon-to-be spouse have been searching for, keep reading for everything you need to know about planning an unforgettable Japan honeymoon.
Meet the Expert
Catherine Heald is the co-founder and CEO of Remote Lands, a luxury travel agency specializing in Asia.
Planning Your Japan Honeymoon
From experiencing the cherry blossoms (sakuras) to enjoying a private onsen (hot spring) in the mountains, Japan offers incredible cities to explore and ample opportunities for both relaxation and adventure.
With regards to when to visit, experts say all year round is great, but it truly depends on what you’re looking for in your honeymoon. For moderate weather, spring and autumn are your best bet. While spring is breathtaking in Japan, it’s also peak tourist season due to the cherry blossoms, so expect higher occupancy and prices. However, if you’re into snow sports and aiming to avoid crowds, the winter months (December to February) are the best. While two weeks is ideal, 10 to 12 days is absolutely enough time to get a good feel for the country.
- Language: Japanese
- Currency: Yen
- When To Go: Anytime, but winter is best for skiing and spring is ideal for catching the cherry blossoms (typically bloom between March to April).
- Getting There: Japan is about a 10 to 15-hour plane ride just about everywhere in the U.S. Nonstop service is available from bigger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, and a few others.
- Transportation: In terms of getting around Japan, the train system is the best. Bullet trains make it super convenient to get to all the main cities. For the ski and nature towns, you’ll likely have to take domestic flights. In the cities, public transportation (like the subway) is an affordable, quick way to get around, and there is also a bus service available.
- Must-Pack: Depending on what your itinerary is, you’ll want to bring some outdoor or ski wear, along with cute, comfortable outfits for exploring around the city. Pack a bathing suit, too, since most hotels have an indoor pool.
Places to Stay During Your Japan Honeymoon
An assortment of intimate boutique properties and larger, luxurious hotels make up the hotel scene in Japan. Whether you’re looking for something off the beaten path or accommodations with luxe amenities, Japan has fabulous accommodation options for all honeymooners.
With unobstructed views of the Tokyo skyline and Imperial Gardens, Aman Tokyo is an exemplary reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Oversized rooms with a simple, pared-back Japanese-inspired design include large bathtubs overlooking the view, a perfect spot for two. After a day of exploring all Tokyo has to offer, book yourself a couples massage in a spa, followed by time spent enjoying the pool—that’s 30-plus floors above the street— atop the reclining daybeds. And while the property is a splurge, the hotel team goes above and beyond, filling every request, which will just make your time there much more meaningful.
Park Hyatt Kyoto
Located atop a hill overlooking the city, the Park Hyatt Kyoto consists of just 70 rooms, offering just the right amount of privacy. Boasting gorgeous views of the nearby temples, private gardens for the rooms, and cozy vibes throughout the property, the hotel, dubbed as the guesthouse, feels like a peaceful oasis from the second you walk in.
Nestled in the midst of the lush green island of Yakushima, Sankara is a nature lover's dream. According to Heald, the resort is the perfect launching point for hiking up to see thousand-year-old sacred sugi trees that blanket the small remote destination. Secluded between mountains and forests, the picturesque spot serves as a fantastic place to relax with the sounds of nature echoing in the background.
The Ritz-Carlton Nikko
Monk-led meditation sessions, complementary nature excursions, lakefront views, and a private indoor and outdoor onsen make the Ritz-Carlton Nikko a must for those planning to travel to the region just outside of Tokyo. Savor the delicious food using local ingredients and daily fish catches at the onesie restaurant, visit the nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites, and take advantage of the beautiful nature surrounding the property by exploring the nearby waterfalls, lakes, and wetlands with a guided bike ride to maximize your time at the property.
A visit to Japan isn’t complete without a stay at a traditional Japanese ryokan, and Nishimuraya Honkan is one of the best. “This traditional ryokan serves delicious kaiseki cuisine and is the ideal base for exploring the area and soaking in the town’s numerous public onsens,” explains Heald. The property has over 160 years of history, and although it’s in the center of town, the lush gardens surrounding it offer ample privacy.
Sweeping views, twinkling lights, and floor-to-ceiling windows are some of the main features upon entering the Conrad Osaka. Set on one of the highest floors of the Nakanoshima Festival West Tower building, it’s a heavenly spot to enjoy the picturesque sunset with cocktails (or mocktails) for two. The spacious guest rooms, yuzu-or-sake-infused treatments in the luxe spa, and proximity to the city’s main attractions are added bonuses.
This luxury ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) is the ideal place for couples to simply relax. Hidden within the lush forests of Niseko, all of the 15 secluded villas have private onsens (both indoor and outdoor), along with large windows with immaculate views of the surrounding white birch trees. Grab a book or movie from the lobby to take back to your room, dress up for a cocktail at their lobby bar with volcano views, or arrange a multi-course omakase meal experience to make the most of your stay.
The Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz Carlton Reserve
If you’re looking to take advantage of Niseko’s powdery snow, The Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz Carlton Reserve, offers the ability for guests to ski in or out directly onto the slopes. With just 50 rooms and suites, the serene alpine getaway is meant to help guests discover themselves through nature, offering activities like snowmobiling, snowboarding, snow-shoe tours, and more. But if you aren’t into cold weather, the green mountain forests, an assortment of outdoor activities, wildflower fields, and local dairy farms are equally as exciting.
Things to Do During Your Japan Honeymoon
Whether you’re traveling around the country or sticking to a few cities, there’s no lack of activities to do in Japan. Here are a few of the activities that we recommend, ranging from taking advantage of the great outdoors to immersing yourself in the country’s rich culture.
From bamboo forests to picturesque mountains, Japan is filled with beautiful scenery. Adventurous couples will adore hiking, bike rides, or guided nature walks through some of the most popular spots (like Nikko).
Enjoy Winter Sports
If you’re heading to Japan during the winter, you must head up to Niseko to take advantage of the fresh, powdery snow. Activities like snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are available at most resorts.
Take a Cooking Class
You can’t get a taste of Japan without trying to learn some of its iconic dishes. Learn how to make traditional dishes such as homemade gyoza, ramen, or sushi, and come home with a few new tricks to spice up date night.
See the Shrines and Temples
Arguably some of the most iconic symbols of Japan are opulent shrines and temples scattered throughout the country. Visit the popular ones (like Fushimi Inari in Kyoto) or head to the ‘love shrines’ where you can go to get a blessing on your new marriage. Either way, the structures are spectacular and rooted in so much history.
Have a Cherry Blossom Picnic
If you’re honeymooning during sakura season (around March to April), be sure to incorporate a daytime or sunset picnic into your itinerary. Your hotel can arrange an experience or you can grab food at some of the stalls within the parks and do something a little impromptu.
Take a Sake Brewery Tour
If you and your significant other are food lovers, you'll adore a tour of a Sake Brewery, an alcohol made from fermented rice. During the experience, you can see the entire process from start to finish and then try out a few of them (along with unique treats like sake ice cream) when you finish. The process of making sake is rooted in a lot of history and it’s a fun, easygoing activity that you’ll both enjoy.
Visit Museums and Exhibits
Regardless of whether you want to immerse yourself in an interactive exhibit (like the TeamLab Planets in Tokyo) or something a bit quieter (like the Mori Museum in Tokyo), you’ll be able to find a whole slew of fun options within the cities.
- Can't-Miss Romantic Experience: During the spring and fall, head onboard the Sagano Romance Train that runs through Kyoto. The open-air train ride runs through the gorgeous scenery and is a must-do for couples. Once you hop off the train, take a scenic boat ride back where the boatman uses long bamboo poles to steer.
Where to Eat During Your Japan Honeymoon
Japanese cuisine is rooted in a lot of fish, thanks to the fact that it’s an island. Traditional dishes vary based on the region, but you’ll find different varieties of ramen, soba, and sushi all over the country. Here are a few of our can't-miss spots to experience during your romantic getaway:
Yakitori, a popular street food in Japan, is typically a grilled chicken skewer. Toriyo Roppongi in Tokyo opts to give the traditional snack an upgrade by serving it omakase-style. Couples can expect a meal that includes seven different varieties of the dish and a few egg-based dishes mixed in. With breathtaking views of the Tokyo tower and the surrounding skyline, it’s a perfect spot for honeymooners to dine.
A visit to Tokyo must include udon, and Taniya is the perfect spot. Upon walking into the small shop, prepare to be dazzled by the glass-encased udon-making area where chefs hand-make the popular noodle in front of your eyes.
Try your hand at some of Japan’s most popular sweets (like shaved ice) in a restaurant in Kyoto that sits alongside romantic koi ponds.
The Barn by Odin
With a focus on fresh and local produce, you’ll adore the farm-to-table menu in this delicious Hokkaido spot. While the dishes are ever-changing, the delicious cocktails and drinks are not, and they are equally as delicious.
Located within the Four Seasons Kyoto, Sushi Wakon provides an intimate, private sushi experience for all diners. Each dish is crafted with ingredients that are flown in daily from Tokyo’s Toyosu market, and the chef prepares everything right in front of you during the interactive dinner.
For traditional Soba, head to Rakuichi, a small Hokkaido restaurant where the noodles are made right before your eyes. The menu is ever-changing, based on seasonal ingredients, but you can always expect the noodles to be fresh, chewy, and delicious.
Budgeting for Your Japan Honeymoon
Japan can be a relatively affordable destination, however, with the flight costs from the U.S., a trip can get quite pricey—especially if you go during peak season or plan to fly in business class for the 10-plus hour journey. Hotels are generally expensive, whereas activities, food, and transportation are very reasonable. Because of this, it’s best to budget more rather than less so you can make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime trip.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your honeymoon on the less expensive side, it’s worth checking out Airbnbs or staying in hotels that aren’t in the center of the city. Booking your airfare well in advance or with points or miles can be a huge cost saver, too.