Whether you are a couple who seeks adventure and fun or one that prefers a relaxing scenic getaway, Japan offers a multitude of thrilling experiences for newlyweds on their honeymoon.
There is even a unique opportunity to be dressed in a Japanese wedding kimono and participate in a private tea ceremony and calligraphy class. If you would like to find out more about this exquisite honeymoon package, please click here.
During the planning stages of your Japan honeymoon, there are several things you and your spouse need to hash out first to ensure you get off on the right foot.
The best season to be on a honeymoon in Japan
Japan is a nation with four very distinct seasons; it’s a quality proudly displayed in the nation’s cultural and culinary endeavors, so the time of year you visit is, without question going to influence your experience of this wonderful nation.
Winter (December – February)
To say many corners of Japan are freezing in winter would be an understatement. Depending on the year, the crisp winter air means that often the city is covered in a fine smattering of snow in January, which can be beautiful, but not always convenient. One of the highlights of a winter visit is the opportunity to ski the nation’s world-class ski fields in Hokkaido and Nagano and soak in the picturesque outdoor onsens.
Thanks to the cherry blossoms and spring festivals, this is the most popular time to visit. If you want to avoid crowds and costs, try and book outside Golden Week, the nation’s national holiday week. If you are trying to coincide your honeymoon with cherry blossom season, keep a close eye on the forecast because these fleeting flowers bloom at their own pace. That said, this time of year is the most idyllic in terms of temperature and weather, making it a calendar highlight.
Tokyo summers are nothing short of sweltering. Between June-late July is typically the wet season and is a time of high temperatures and higher humidity. However, plan a visit in August. You’ll be privy to perfect beach temperatures and the peak of matsuri (festival) season, which is one of the most exciting, colorful, and cultural times of the year.
Autumn (September – November)
Equally as stunning as the spring flowers, Japan’s ‘koyo’ or autumn season is when the nation is awash in gold and red foliage. Also, as summer dies down, the temperature is far milder, and the skies clear and beautiful. If you’re the outdoorsy type and want to explore Japan’s more natural side, this is an ideal time to visit.
The best cities to explore on a honeymoon in Japan
Kyoto has to be one of the most romantic places in Japan; here, even the trains look like they’ve been ripped from the pages of a whimsical storybook. Despite its popularity, it’s fair to say as you stroll through pockets of old-world Kyoto, a sense of calm settles over you. It’s the perfect place for a couple on a honeymoon to explore the country’s historical and artistic side.
Home to countless museums, art shows, iconic shrines and temples, markets, there’s so much to see or do. Be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities to partake in tea ceremonies, kimono dressing, and stay in a traditional ryokan while you’re there!
If you’re after some more excitement, like the upbeat energy of jostling with strangers through bustling streets, admiring the streets painted with the light of neon signs, and incredible food, Osaka provides everything you’re looking for. Also home to Universal Studios and a world-class aquarium, you’ll never get bored in this fun-loving city.
From Osaka, you can catch a bullet train to Kobe to sample some of the richest beef in Japan and admire japan’s port-side elegance.
If you need a little break from the nonstop, high-speed energy of Tokyo, then a night or two in nearby Hakone is the perfect solution. This onsen resort town, not far from Tokyo, is known for its stunning mountain views, picturesque parks, and relaxing open-air hot spring baths. Locally, it’s long been known as an ideal couple’s getaway, where loved up pairs can spend some quality time in the relaxing private onsens and secluded locally run ryokans.
If you’re a couple looking for a more off-the-beaten-path honeymoon location away from the tourist hot spots, then Fukuoka is for you. Home to plenty of unique experiences and specialty food like Fukuoka ramen and zubora udon. This modern city has it all. Explore the city’s scenic canal, go museum hopping, and admire the seaside, including a Seaside Park that boasts a brilliantly hued sea of blue and pink flowers.
What’s even more exciting is that you can also take a ferry to the neighboring islands or a train to the quaint historical town of Mojiko Retro, which used to be a trading port populated by colonial-style buildings.
Crystal clear water, colorful tropical fish, pristine white sand, and a culture that blends island lifestyles with Chinese history and Japanese charm, Okinawa is without question one of Japan’s most fascinating destinations.
Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture, and it’s an archipelago, a cluster of many small islands. Naha, the biggest island of the bunch, is the capital. A roughly two-hour flight from Tokyo, Okinawa is the perfect destination for those who want a taste of Japan’s island life. If you’re looking for something a little more remote and for a destination with unparalleled beach scenes, consider spending a night or two on Ishigaki and Iriomote.
The centerpiece of the nation, a visit to Japan, isn’t complete without spending some time admiring the magnificence of the picture-perfect Mt. Fuji. Ideal for a busy day trip or a weekend or overnight escape, Mt. Fuji is surrounded by rugged, untamed nature and spectacular views no matter the season.
Some of the Mt. Fuji’s most popular attractions include the Fuji Five Lakes area, home to the picturesque and tranquil Kawaguchiko Lake, and the deep blue Lake Motosuko. Looking further afield, another key destination is Fuji Q Highlands, an amusement park that hosts some of the most gravity-defying and hair raising rollercoasters in the world!
Nestled deep in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture sits Takayama, a historic town with plenty of old-world charm, and an architectural legacy that draws folks from all over the map. During feudal ages, the town was the center of Japan’s timber crafting scene, where highly skilled carpenters would gather, build, and sell their wares. Not far from Takayama is Shirakawago, an iconic folk townhome to gassho zukuri (grass roof houses) local to the area.
The meticulously maintained traditional wooden houses that flank the streets of Takayama today still draw guests from all over the globe looking to soak up a bit of authentic old-style Japan. In Takayama guests can also try the much loved local Hida beef, a luxurious type of wagyu that’s as melt-in-your-mouth delicious as the more famous Kobe beef. For something a little different, try the lightly seared Hida beef sushi, a piece of perfect Hide beef set atop a small bed of pearly white rice.
Lavish shrines, lush foliage flanked hiking trails, stunning lakes, roaring waterfalls, steaming hot springs, and a few wild monkeys, Nikko is a truly magical destination and one that would make for an unforgettable honeymoon.
Sitting at the entrance to Nikko National Park, the town of Nikko is most famous for Toshogu, a lavishly decorated mausoleum to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Nearby sits a cluster of other shrines and temples, a symbol of the town’s role as a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship. While it’s stunning throughout the year, the area is most beautiful in autumn when the seasonal foliage transforms the landscape into fiery shades of red, gold, and orange.
Kanazawa is quickly becoming a popular destination for those who want to experience what it’s like to live in a historic Japanese town but without the crowds of Kyoto. During the second world war is was the second-largest city in Japan after Kyoto to escape destruction by air raids, and as a result, retains plenty of authentic traditional Japanese charm.
You can admire much of Kanazawa’s traditional charm by visiting the Higashi Chaya District. It’s a teahouse district that flourished during the Edo Period; here geisha would perform and entertain wealthy guests. Another city highlight is Kenrokuen Garden, a landscape garden regarded by many to be the best of its kind in Japan.
The capital of Japan, a visit to Tokyo, is a no brainer. This sprawling city has it all, history, fascinating culture, stunning seasons, and culinary creativity. Spend your day at one of Tokyo’s highly esteemed Disney Parks and the Studio Ghibli Museum. Then, travel to picturesque gardens and do some window shopping and café hopping on your more leisurely days.
The Most Romantic Ideas on a Honeymoon Destination
Here are some of the major cities’ highlights and where to experience them.
- Kinkakuji Temple: Kick-off your time in Kyoto by visiting the awe-inspiring Golden Pavilion. Glittering in the pond’s reflection, this landmark is one of Kyoto’s most iconic. The best way to feel its wonderfully serene ambiance is to walk around the area at a leisurely pace, taking in the scenes of this powerful spot.
- Meet and greet with a real-life geisha in Kyoto: Many visitors wander the streets of Kyoto for days in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the elusive maiko (geisha), but here you can get up close and personal. This Japanese tea ceremony experience is an excellent introduction to the timeless Japanese tradition and its associated rituals. If you’re looking for a unique and romantic Japan honeymoon experience and the opportunity to meet one of Japan’s most revered figures, make sure to try this. Free kimono is possible for those who arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony.
- Stay at a cozy and atmospheric Kyoto ryokan: Book at least a night’s stay at a highly-rated Kyoto ryokan, which is a traditional Japanese inn that usually features a hot spring private bath. Most ryokans also offer a delectable dinner banquet of the freshest seasonal ingredients. If you’re looking for something scenic or central, we suggest exploring the Gion district in Kyoto, more specifically somewhere near Gion’s Shirakawa canal.
- Get excited at Samurai and Ninja Museum: Located in the heart of Kyoto sits Kyoto’s Samurai and Ninja Museum, a historical and hands-on exploration of the city’s more enigmatic figures. Admire authentic samurai swords and replica armor that was once abundant in feudal Japan. Get the heart racing and sign up for a Tameshigiri (target test cutting) or ninja training experience in Kyoto. The venue also offers kimono and yukata experiences, tea ceremony services, and zen meditation services making it Japan’s largest experiential museum, and a once stop destination for all your traditional Japanese interests.
- Explore the world’s best hotpot at Nishiki Market: Dive stomach first into Nishiki Market, Kyoto’s culinary hotspot, and home to a ton of excellent products to eat on the go, or take back home to whip up a romantic meal. The market was founded all the way back in 1310, making it a historic institution. Lined by more than 100 shops and stalls, the area is known as “Kyoto’s kitchen”, and it’s the best spot in the city to score seasonal specialties and food, like sushi, dried seafood, pickles, and Japanese sweets.
- Explore the wondrous attractions of Arashiyama: From the ethereal bamboo forest to its hidden temples, Arashiyama teems with wonders that will leave you speechless and in awe. This UNESCO World heritage recognized destination is a must-visit for any occasion, but it’s the perfect place for a little romance surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty.
- Take the romantic Sagano Bamboo Train: While you’re in Arashiyama, don’t forget to take the romantic Sagano train ride, which becomes an open-air train during the summer months. The train ride starts at Saga Torokko station and ends at Kameoka Torokko station, following the picture-perfect Hozukyo Ravine along the way. During its 25 minute journey, the ride will showcase the city’s beauty throughout the seasons so you can admire the scenes of the changing leaves in autumn and spring’s cherry blossoms.
- Take sweets making class: Osaka is a food-obsessed city, in Osaka there’s a saying “Osaka wa kuidaore!” which translates as in Osaka people eat ’til they drop!” Often referred to as the nation’s kitchen, there’s no better place to learn of the art of crafting Japanese sweets than at Maikoya Osaka. Sign up for sweets making and Tea ceremony workshop and learn all about the hands-on fun and challenges that come with crafting soft, colorful, and delicious traditional wagashi sweets, each of which is specifically made to match the tea’s flavor. The English-speaking instructor will walk you through not only the creation process of the sweets but also offer contexts, like seasonality and history.
- Explore Dotonbori: Buzzing ambiance, restaurants, street food, shops, and catchy neon signs, like the iconic Glico Man, Dotonbori canal is the beating heart of Osaka. Perfect for dining on the water, admiring the sights and people watching, you can’t go to Osaka without visiting Dotonbori. Take a romantic stroll along the water after dinner, and enjoy the ample people-watching opportunities.
- Visit Universal Studios Japan: If you like Disneyland, you’ll love Universal Studios, Osaka’s vibrant tourist attraction. Boasting rides 10 times more thrilling than its Disney counterparts and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter; there’s so much to see and do here it’s nearly impossible to pack it into one day. Some of the other themed attractions feature Japanese anime favorite Sailor Moon, Death Note, and Attack on Titan, so you can also satisfy your inner geek.
- Book a private Japanese tea ceremony and take come unique wedding photos: Add a little cultural education to your romantic vacation by trying a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It’ll help you really appreciate the intricacy of Japanese culture and offer a meditative opportunity for contemplation, plus it’s fun! Maikoya also offers a tea ceremony experience where guests can get dressed up in beautiful Japanese style kimonos and get their honeymoon pictures snapped during the experience. If you’re feeling inspired, they offer love-themed calligraphy classes too. It’s a special experience you’ll never forget.
- See the beautifully chaotic Shibuya crossing from a different perspective: Get in the center of all the action and make your way to the famed Shibuya Crossing. Head to the mega-complex Shibuya Sky and make your way to the top floor viewing platform for one of the most awe-inspiring views in the city, nothing but rolling city skylines and open air. Alternatively, for something a little closer to ground level, grab a seat on the upper floors of the famed Shibuya Scramble Starbucks to watch the world go by, latte in hand.
- Be swept away by the artistry of Team Lab: Officially titled MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless, or Digital Art Museum for short, is a constantly evolving world of tech, art, and endless inspiration. This uniquely futuristic museum is a labyrinthian network of exhibits featuring displays that blur the borders between art, science, and our human senses. Put aside plenty of time to explore as the museum is comprised of five separate sections: Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Lamps, and the En Tea House, within which contain additional mini displays. Get lost in the world of art.
- Write your wishes on ema in Meiji Jingu Shrine: This central and historical shrine built a century ago is one of the biggest can’t miss attractions in town for all types of travelers. As well as a stunning nature flanked walk and gorgeous and large torii gate, this sacred shrine is an excellent place to make a wish on ema (wooden plates), which you can purchase for a small donation. Just maybe, one of your newlywed wishes will come true.
Get lost in the canal city of Hakata: Far more laid back than its other city contemporaries, Fukuoka is a great place to unwind and enjoy the chilled out essence of Japan’s smaller cities. One of Fukuoka’s key attractions is Canal City Hakata, an extensive shopping and entertainment complex that could easily be regarded as a city within a city. Home to entertainment, shopping, and food as well as very unique architecture it’s truly a one of a kind destination.
Spend a romantic night in a Hakone ryokan: Need a little break from the nonstop sightseeing in Japan? Beloved for its parks, stunning mountain views, and relaxing onsens, Hakone is a wondrous mountain resort town perfect for every Japan honeymoon itinerary. For years, it’s known as a couple’s getaway, thanks to its relaxing onsen and exciting activities. Book a room at one of the town’s cozy little ryokan inns and let the rest of the world just melt away.
Travel costs for a honeymoon in Japan
We have compiled the most common travel costs for visitors to Japan:
- Travel insurance: Take into consideration typhoon season if you are traveling in August and early September. Usually, insurance prices range between $80 – 150 USD.
- JR Rail Pass: This is something that can be ordered online before embarking on your trip. Once you have this, use it as often as you can by choosing the JR train lines when traveling. It costs around $300 – 500 depending on the length of time you choose to use it.
- Train tickets: When traveling the subway lines, occasionally the easiest route is not the JR train line route, and you’ll likely purchase tickets for these. The cost can quickly add up, so to be safe, set aside approximately $100 USD in cash for subway tickets for seven days of travel.
- Accommodation: A top-rated three-star hotel costs $110 – 130 per night including breakfast, while a ryokan sets you back $250 USD per guest on average but includes a traditional Japanese breakfast and/or dinner.
- Food: Meal prices range from $5 to 18 USD. Bring enough money if you have pre-booked a meal at a high-end restaurant.
- Experiences: Tickets to museums and historical sites are priced around $4 – 5 USD and theme park tickets at approximately $70 USD.
- Sim Card: Choose one that provides data so that you can use the train journey Apps and Google Maps. You can purchase this from convenience stores, just remember to bring the ejector tool for your phones with you so you can replace the sim card. The price ranges between $40 – 80 USD depending on the number of days you will be using it.
- Shopping: Remember that there will likely be added tax on top of the stated price.
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