How to Plan a Honeymoon Trip in Japan
Japan is a mythological destination for many adventurers in the past, and it still has an irresistible charm today, especially for those who have just married and can't wait to explore new exciting places as a unity. In Japan, you will find yourself immersed in the intense cultural variety and colorful nature to enhance happiness. In this article, we will introduce what you need to know specifically when planning a honeymoon trip to Japan.
Best Time to Have a Honeymoon in Japan
You can visit Japan for a honeymoon all year round since Japan has four distinct seasons and each season has very different characteristics. Therefore, you can enjoy various beautiful scenery depending on the season.
In spring, there are many spots where flowers such as cherry blossoms bloom all over Japan. Spring is a good time for a honeymoon trip since it symbolizes new beginnings, and the beautiful cherry blossoms will add some romance to the journey. There are many tourist spots in Japan where you can enjoy these flowers. For example, Kyoto as an ancient city is a perfect combination with the delicate cherry blossoms as the background of your honeymoon photo. If you would like to aim for the cherry blossom season, it is recommended to visit from the end of March to mid-April.
Cherry Blossoms Bloom
A honeymoon in Japan in summer is perfect for those who like to spend their holidays by the sea. In many seaside cities in Japan, you can find luxurious and comfortable resort hotels to enjoy leisure time with your loved ones. There are many spots in Japan that you can enjoy even in summer, such as near the sea in Okinawa where you can relax with your beloved in nature or stay active with marine sports such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing. However, summer is also typhoon season and Okinawa gets hit twice on average in July and August. Although if you plan to stay for a long time, it may not have a big impact. Many festivals and fireworks shows are also held in summer, so it would be a good chance to learn more about the amazing Japanese culture.
Compare to summer and winter, the weather in autumn is more comfortable for the trip including a lot of activities and festivals during the harvesting time, so you can enjoy a variety of Japanese delicacies with your significant other. Autumn is the season when you can enjoy watching colorful leaves. Kyoto is one of the most famous cities to find the most beautiful autumn foliage in autumn. The leaves are beautiful during the day, but temples such as Kiyomizu-Dera are lit up at night, so you can enjoy a different view. The best season for autumn foliage on the main island of Japan is from mid-October through early December. And if you want to watch it earlier, it is also possible from mid-September on the island of Hokkaido.
Red Leaves of Kyoto
There are also many ways to enjoy winter in Japan, such as winter sports and illuminations. Hokkaido is recommended as a destination you prefer to visit in winter. Although it is an area where you can enjoy the scenery and gourmet food in every season, winter seems to match its atmosphere the most with the winter decorations. In winter, there are more sports to enjoy and there are many snow festivals all over Hokkaido which are difficult to be found on the warmer main island. It is recommended to visit from late January to February if you are looking for the best snow. After a day of sightseeing or activities, you can bathe in the warm hot spring and maybe luckily watch the snow falling outside together. Overall, winter is ideal for couples who enjoy winter activities and spending a cozy time together.
The To-Do List for Honeymoon in Japan
1. Visit shrines and temples
Visiting shrines and temples is an easy way to understand beliefs and traditions that are deeply rooted in the lives and minds of modern Japanese people. In particular, the shrines and temples that stand quietly in big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka have an atmosphere of another world combining tradition and modernity. For example, if you are in Tokyo, you can visit the well-preserved Senso-Ji. And if you are in Kyoto, Kinkaku-ji or Fushimiinari-Taisha are also very attractive and unique. In some shrines and temples, you can write down your wishes and hang them in the designated place, which is good for couples to leave a memory in Japan with their wishes for long-lasting love.
2. Drink and eat in an izakaya
An izakaya is a place where you can enjoy not only alcohol such as sake but also a variety of dishes at reasonable prices. Izakaya represents a unique Japanese culture where everyone drinks, eats, and enjoys and shares the little happiness or sadness of the day. Small traditional yakitori shops are especially popular among all genres of izakaya. In izakaya, newly married couples can find themselves easily immersed in a delightful festive mood, which can also be another way to get used to the future of living together every day.
3. Sing in a karaoke
Karaoke is now loved all over the world, and Japan, the birthplace of karaoke, is where you can have an easy experience if authentic karaoke, You can find them everywhere even in small cities. In Japanese karaoke, you will be able to have your own private room to enjoy a sweet time singing. You can also order food and drinks from a tablet. Enjoying new experiences such as singing in karaoke is definitely what makes the honeymoon trip more exciting.
4. Soak in a Japanese hot spring "onsen"
Japan is famous for its hot springs "onsen" spread all over the country. In Hakone, Japan, you don't have to go all the way to a hot spring town to find a hot spring. In some hotels, you can also find rooms with private open-air hot springs all for yourselves. There is no doubt that you can have a romantic stay with your loved ones soaking in the hot spring while enjoying a beautiful view and comfortable room.
Recommended Destinations Depending on Different Preferences
Japan is not considered a big country, but there are plenty of ways for you to enjoy it as a honeymoon destination. Due to the limitation of time, you may not cover all the attractions and activities, so here are some inspirations according to different preferences.
1. Relax at a luxurious resort near the sea
Okinawa is one of the best honeymoon destinations for those who would like to relax in a seaside resort, there are plenty of resort hotels on both the main island of Okinawa and the islands around it such as Miyakojima and Ishigakijima, one of the best places for the lovers to explore. You can take a direct flight from Tokyo to the main island and other popular islands. If you are planning a 3 days honeymoon in Okinawa, it is recommended to stay on one island and explore multiple islands if you plan to stay for more than 1 week. In Okinawa, you can enjoy sightseeing spots such as the Churaumi Aquarium, while enjoying a relaxing stay at a luxurious resort hotel.
Another resort destination is Atami in Kanagawa prefecture, which is about a 3-hour train from Tokyo. Atami is surrounded by mountains and the sea where you can also enjoy hot springs with your spouse. There are also activities that allow you to see sea creatures up close during diving and snorkeling. If you decided to go to Atami for your honeymoon, it is recommended traveling also to the Izu Peninsula. The ocean-view hot springs in Shimoda and the beach in Minamiizu can also add some romantic taste to the trip.
Seascape of Okinawa
2. Enjoy a variety of activities and sightseeing from the traditional to the modern
Kyoto is one of the world's leading tourist destinations with many attractions. For couples who like history and tradition, it would be nice to visit Kyoto on their honeymoon. It is also attractive that Kyoto has good access to sightseeing spots such as Nara, Kobe, and Osaka. Kyoto is one of the top destinations for newly married couples to experience the best of Japan. You can cycle through the streets, visit historic temples, and admire historical buildings, as well as watch traditional Geisha performances and experience craft making.
Even if you have already visited Tokyo before, the center of the culture of Japan will always surprise you in a new way. In Tokyo, tons of new activities and sightseeing spots keep popping into people's eyes and as a newly married couple, you will find exciting things to do. You can constantly feel the combination of tradition and modernity, from the well-preserved Buddhism temple Senso-Ji to the futuristic Tokyo Sky Tree, and from the sacred Shinto shrine Meiji-Jingu to the most crowded area of Shibuya. A trip to Tokyo will be a journey to open both your eyes and mind and it is one the best way to explore so many new things with your loved ones!
3. Soak in nature
Whenever you visit Hokkaido, you can always find special natural scenery that you can only see here. Besides the breathtaking snowy landscapes in winter, offering places where you can enjoy winter sports all year round, such as skiing, flowers, and fresh greenery in spring and summer, and colorful leaves in autumn are also worth seeing. It is also attractive that you can enjoy both delicious food and nature and historic townscapes all at once.
Hakone is recommended for the nature-lovers that would like to visit places that are easily accessible from the city. Hakone is the closest hot spring area to the main cities of Japan, where you can visit many famous sightseeing spots, spend a relaxing time in nature and historical resorts, and enjoy activities such as hiking and cruising. There are many hot spring ryokans in Hakone with open-air baths overlooking Mt. Fuji. There are many hiking trails and parks rich in nature where you can enjoy walking or cycling, so it is recommended for those who want to relax slowly.
Lake Aishi of Hakone
4. Unique honeymoon experience
Theme parks such as Tokyo Disney Resort can be considered unique honeymoon destinations. If you stay at an official hotel, you can receive benefits for staying at the park, and there are accommodation plans for anniversaries, so you can enjoy a special and romantic Disneyland stay. Universal Studio Japan in Osaka is also a popular theme park. It's easy to access other sightseeing spots in the Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara, so it's a good idea to add it to your sightseeing course. There is also a VIP ticket with a dedicated guide to creating a special day.
With the extensive network of inland waterways, cruise travel is another way to enjoy your Japan honeymoon, which is becoming more popular every year in Japan. And it is also recommended for couples who want to spend a relaxing and special honeymoon. The cruise schedule is wide ranging from 2 days to 13 days depending on various plans. Luxury cruise ships offer a variety of activities each day, and many offer a wide variety of dining options. It is convenient to be able to visit remote attractions without moving the accommodation. If you have the time and budget, you can also choose the plan to travel all over Japan.
How Many Days to Stay in Japan for a Honeymoon Trip
The length of your honeymoon depends a lot on how much vacation you have. In the case of overseas travel, you always have to make sure there are two days for the flights to go and return in the schedule. Therefore, it seems that an itinerary of more than a week is unavoidably necessary.
If you prefer a short honeymoon in Japan, it is recommended to choose popular cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto as your main destinations. In these cities, you can enjoy various types of sightseeing such as famous traditional spots and activities that help you learn Japanese culture. It is also possible to stay near Mt.Fuji and enjoy the authentic Japanese hot spring for one night since the area can be easily accessed from the big cities.
If you would like to stay in Japan for a longer and more relaxing time, it is recommended to stay around two weeks in the country. It will be better if you decide on a theme for your trip except visiting the classic tourist attractions, such as cherry blossoms, marine sports or winter sports, etc. According to your preferences, you can also explore other cities such as Hokkaido or Okinawa for a unique experience.
Luxury Hotels Recommended for Honeymoons in Japan
Staying in a luxury hotel is always a good choice to further enjoy your honeymoon. Here are some luxury hotels recommended in several popular destinations for honeymoon.
Oriental Hills Okinawa
Oriental Hills Okinawa is a hotel where you can enjoy your private time and it is perfect for a honeymoon. All 14 guest rooms are cottage types overlooking the sea from a small hill 30 meters above sea level. All suites are equipped with Japan's largest private pools. The hotel also has a private gym, private sauna, and golf lounge. The restaurant is based on the concept of providing high-quality cuisine comparable to first-class restaurants that you can find in the big city, even though it is located in Okinawa. It is a perfect place to celebrate your honeymoon in privacy and with stunning views.
Atami Kaihoro is a luxury hotel located in Atami, which is designed by the world-famous architect Kengo Kuma. It is a small luxury hotel with 4 rooms. All guest rooms have an ocean view. The luxury suite "Kiyonami" is a room of 90 square meters and there is an open-air bath on the terrace. The infinity design throughout the hotel building makes you feel like you are in a glass box floating on the Pacific Ocean. All the guests must be at least 10 years old to stay, so it's perfect for those who want to enjoy a quiet hotel stay.
The Westin Miyako Kyoto is a luxury hotel with the design concept of "The Queen of Elegance." The guest rooms are inspired by the nature of Kyoto and Higashiyama. They are designed to make the most of the wooden texture to create a relaxing space where you can feel the essence of Japan and Kyoto. In the hotel, there are also a buffet, French, and teppanyaki restaurants, so you can enjoy it according to your taste. In addition, there are plenty of activities such as a yoga experience, Japanese garden tour, tea ceremony experience, sake brewery tour, and fragrance making. The view from the rooftop garden overlooking the streets of Kyoto is also superb.
The Peninsula Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo is a luxury hotel that is next to the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park. The luxurious and modern interior is impressive for those who want to have a special stay. From the guest rooms, you can fully enjoy the view of the streets of Ginza, the Marunouchi area, and the Imperial Palace Gardens. There are 3 suite rooms with different themes, and each room has a different view. You can choose to enjoy breakfast in your room with full privacy and a nice view from the window. Afternoon tea at "The Lobby" of the hotel allows you to enjoy exquisite sweets while listening to live music. The hotel is also fully equipped with dining options such as authentic Cantonese and Japanese cuisine, and a spa that heals the mind and body after enjoying the activities of the day.
Hakone Ginyu is a luxury hotel located at an altitude of about 420 meters which allows you to enjoy a superb view of the mountains of Hakone. All rooms are equipped with open terraces and open-air baths where you can bathe while enjoying the scenery. The large public bath is designed to be an infinity bath that allows you to experience a sense of unity with nature. All rooms in Hakone Ginyu are equipped with a dining room, where you can enjoy both breakfast and dinner in your room. Therefore, it is recommended for those who prefer to have more privacy with their loved ones.
Hakodate Onuma Tsuruga Resort EPUY
Hakodate Onuma Tsuruga Resort EPUY is a luxury hotel in Onuma, Hokkaido. It is in the center of Onuma, where you can enjoy the richness of nature, such as herbs and flower gardens that you can only find in Hokkaido. It is recommended to stay in their rooms with private open-air hot springs while enjoying the surroundings of nature. In the restaurant of the hotel, you can have creative French cuisine using carefully selected seasonal local ingredients. For those who celebrate important events such as anniversaries, the hotel also provides in-room surprise cake service. Behind the hotel lounge, there is a terrace floating on a beautiful lake where one group per day can enjoy breakfast on. It is also a good choice to take wedding photos on the terrace.
Whatever season you choose for your honeymoon in Japan, there's no doubt that you can always find the best seasonal local food, culture, activities, nature, and thorough hospitality, perfect for the first memories of your life as a newlywed. Whether you usually plan your trip on your own or work with a specialist, planning a trip to Japan can sometimes be overwhelming. If you're looking to have a honeymoon of a lifetime, don't hesitate to contact us to make the most of your trip. Our experienced specialists will create a tailor-made itinerary based on your interests, schedule, and budget.
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