Best Places to Honeymoon in Japan
21 February 2023
Japan is one of the most incredible honeymoon destinations in the world, and one of the most unexpected. From ancient cities with hidden Michelin-star restaurants to stunning countryside with spiritual connections, this is the place to kick back and reconnect with your loved one after the craziness of a wedding.
And, if you want to add a dash of island paradise into that mix, it’s easy to add Bali, the Philippines, or Vietnam to your itinerary.
The Top Honeymoon Destinations in Japan
A honeymoon is a very personal thing. Planning it needs to be a tailored approach – this is not a case of one-size-fits-all, and the finer details really matter to our travel experts. So, if you have envisaged exploring new places, soaking up rich culture, discovering exciting food, or hiking in breath-taking scenery then this is where to start creating the most memorable Japan honeymoon that you and your partner can imagine.
Read on for our best honeymoon destinations in Japan.
For Romance: Kyoto
Kyoto is the picture-perfect image of Japan. It is also a city of contrasts. On the one hand, time seems to have stopped. Geisha stroll down cobbled streets, Zen masters meticulously tend to manicured gardens, and temples are named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On the other hand, art, fashion, and food are forward-thinking, trend-setting, and modern. There is no end of activities for couples in Kyoto, Japan on honeymoon, but here are some of our favorites.
- Take a pottery or cooking class together
- Cycle through the back roads of the city
- Tour historic buildings
- Learn the art of mindfulness
- Eat, eat, and eat some more
- Do absolutely nothing at a traditional onsen spa
- Walk along the Kaga River
- Visit the Nishiki Market and delight in its unique delicacies
- Start the day early, walk up to the top of Fushimi Inari and admire the view of Kyoto
- Head to the Bamboo Forest and feed some snow monkeys
- See cherry blossom in spring
Where to stay: The Celestine, Kyoto seamlessly integrates the look and feel of a modern luxury hotel with the tranquility, hospitality, and ease of a traditional ryokan.
Best for honeymooners that: Want to find the most romantic places in Japan and immerse themselves in the country’s traditional culture.
For Nature: Nikko
Natural beauty is in abundance in Nikko National Park. Dramatic mountain slopes that change color with the seasons decorate the landscape in this region of Japan, just north of Tokyo. Among the forest trees are the magical Kegon Falls, serene Lake Chuzenji — romantically known as the Sea of Happiness – and over 100 buildings that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site shrines and temples of Nikko. The most famous of them all is the Toshugo Shrine, dedicated to one of the country’s greatest Shoguns, Ieyasu Tokugawa. An impressive complex of around a dozen structures, it includes sacred storehouses, a library of Buddhist texts, a prayer hall, a bell tower, and of course the Shogun's tomb. Lacquered scarlet and covered with real gold leaf and lively carvings of dragons, lions, and elephants, it's both visually dramatic and rich in significance. Hiking and canyoning around this lesser-known part of the country is nirvana for nature lovers. For those looking for a slower-paced honeymoon in Japan, sink into natural hot springs and watch the incredible bird life fly by.
Where to stay: The Ritz Carlton is a stunning contemporary piece of architecture in a serene lake-front setting from which to explore the national park. It has a Zen rock garden and fabulous onsen hot baths.
Best for honeymooners that: Are nature-lovers, who feel their best in the outdoors and are looking to slow time down.
For Food: Tokyo
Japan’s capital is a buzzing hub of old and new. It has outstanding hotels, stylish boutiques, an impressive line-up of art galleries, museums, nightclubs, and iconic architecture. And if it is food that you love, Tokyo consistently surpasses all expectations. A honeymoon in Tokyo is a culinary adventure that can see you trying anime-themed cakes in Harajuku one minute, eating ramen in Shinjuku, and a three-Michelin-star tasting menu the next. One thing all of Tokyo’s restaurants have in common is experience. Our travel experts have tried and tested hundreds of restaurants in Japan and can make all the reservations for your honeymoon. Of course, Tokyo is much more than its food scene though. Meander around world-class temples and gardens, dip into designer shops, be dazzled by the city’s bright lights, and stare in general wonderment at the sheer brilliance of this city.
Where to stay: A stay at Hoshinoya, Tokyo might just make you forget that you are in one of the busiest cities in the world. A modern reimagining of a ryokan, Hoshinoya has a rooftop onsen with spectacular views of Tokyo’s starry skyline.
Best for honeymooners that: Are experiencing their first trip to Japan and want to embrace the love of food, culture, and new experiences.
For the Coast: Ise-Shima Peninsula
If you are yearning for some sea air and coastal landscapes on your honeymoon in Japan, then the Ise-Shima Peninsula is for you. The water is what makes this area so special. It has been an official source of seafood for Japan’s imperial family since the fifth century. And it is here you will find the remarkable ancient tradition of the amulet-wearing female divers, plus delicious, spiky lobsters served in every which way – including soft-serve ice cream. Meet ama (female divers) who free-dive for 50-second intervals, some going as deep as 65 feet to scour the seabed for shellfish, seaweed, sea urchins, and pearls to sell. Hearing their incredible stories over a special seafood lunch in their huts is something you and your partner won’t forget in a hurry. Another highlight is discovering Ise-Shima National Park, which is a haven for hikers. This is where you will find Ise Jingu, Japan’s most sacred temple, a vast complex of Shinto shrines the size of Paris. The experience of being in Ago Bay and Ise-Shima is an incredibly calm and grounding one, which gives a close insight into some of Japan’s lesser-known traditions.
Where to stay: Amanemu is built around natural onsen hot springs and set within a forest overlooking Ago Bay. The buildings are inspired by classic Japanese ryokans, using natural materials that work in harmony with the views and surroundings.
Best for couples that: Have been to Japan before and are looking for something unusual or want to connect to a deeper side of Japan’s wonderous culture.
For Adventure: Lake Kawaguchi & Mount Fuji
Easily the most iconic symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji is the country’s highest mountain and the seventh-tallest peak in the world. There is nothing like seeing its magnificence from close-up. Lake Kawaguchi is one of five lakes in Fuji and the one with the best views. If you want to climb Mount Fuji, you will need to come in the summer (June/July) but for the views alone, the colder months are best (November – January). Surrounded by woodland paths, invigorating mountain air, and crystal-clear water, spend your days on forest treks, canoeing, horse riding, and star gazing in one of the most romantic places in Japan.
Where to stay: Nestled in the woodlands, Hoshinoya Fuji offers couples a rejuvenating glamping retreat, with unbeatable views of Mount Fuji. Activities include food smoking, electric bike tours, aerial stretching, nature tours, and canoeing.
Best for couples that: Want an active retreat after the chaos of planning a wedding and go off grid for a shared adventure.
Best Time to Honeymoon in Japan
The best times to honeymoon in Japan are spring (March-May) and fall (October and November). Our Asia Travel Expert Stacey Tieger says fall is her favorite season “because there are less tourists around, the weather is beautiful, and the landscape is transformed into an autumnal paradise.” But both offer warm, sunny days with (mostly) beautiful blue skies.
How to Plan Your Honeymoon to Japan
Our travel experts at Scott Dunn will put together a totally bespoke Japan honeymoon package for you, based on how long you want to stay and what your interests or hobbies are. We always suggest going to Japan for 10-14 days and consider including about four destinations in your itinerary. Japan is easy to get around and relatively small so you can pack in quite a lot in that time but if you want more relaxation you might like to take things more slowly, sticking to one city and one countryside location, for example. We take everything important to you and your partner and turn it into an incredible itinerary, thinking of every little detail and leaving no part unplanned, from restaurant bookings to unique Japanese experiences. Contact our Asia Travel Experts today.
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