If you love food, culture, and immersive travel experiences, it’s no surprise you’re thinking about a honeymoon in Japan.
As one of the world’s most appealing and fascinating countries, over the last several years Japan has become an increasingly popular honeymoon destination.
At Boutique Japan we specialize in designing unique custom Japan itineraries, and recently we’ve been fortunate to plan honeymoons for wonderful couples from around the world (read more about some of their experiences).
Below you’ll find essential tips on when to go, destinations to visit, where to stay, and of course what to see, do, and eat during your honeymoon!
Planning Your Japan Honeymoon: When to Visit
When it comes to honeymoons, scheduling is always an important question.
Will you visit immediately after your wedding? If so, planning your wedding and planning your honeymoon go virtually hand in hand, and you naturally have slightly less choice about when to visit Japan.
If you’re planning a “later moon,” then it may be worth thinking a little more about when exactly you’d like to visit Japan. To some degree, the decision may come down to whether you prefer warm or cool weather, or whether you’d rather travel at an off-peak time of year to encounter fewer tourists.
While winter tends to be a less popular time of year to visit than the more famous spring and fall, one could argue that there is little more magical and romantic than soaking in an open-air onsen (hot springs) bath while snow falls all around you.
Each season in Japan has its charms. Read more about Japan’s seasons and weather here.
Destinations to Visit on Your Honeymoon
You’ve decided to visit Japan for your honeymoon, and you’ve chosen your travel dates (see above if you haven’t!).
Next comes maybe one of the hardest (but hopefully also one of the most fun) parts: deciding which places to include on your honeymoon itinerary.
We’ve compiled a relatively short list of what we think are some of the absolute best destinations in Japan. The list is purposely not exhaustive, but there are enough worthwhile and inspiring places here to fill multiple trips to Japan!
But before you dive in, when it comes to determining where to go in Japan for your honeymoon, there are a few basic things to consider before getting lost in all the amazing possibilities:
How long will you be in Japan?
If you’re popping over for a “mini moon” of just a few days, you may only have the chance to visit one or two destinations.
If you’re splurging on a longer trip, it may well make sense to be more ambitious in terms of trying to fit in some extra destinations. Plus, as you explore, you’ll have time to learn about your surroundings, and maybe even dispel sushi myths firsthand.
Take it Slow, or Fast?
Are you the type of travelers who prefer to see fewer places, a bit more deeply and at a slower pace (let’s call this the “less is more” approach)?
Or would you prefer to in as many places as humanly possible, even if it means some rushing around (the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” approach)?
Of course, maybe you are somewhere in the middle and prefer a balance, taking it slow at times, and moving fast when it makes sense!
Do it All, or Do Nothing at All?
Are you looking for an active, culturally immersive honeymoon — or something more relaxing and rejuvenating?
This can also help determine whether your itinerary should skew more towards lively, urban experiences, or laid-back time in the Japanese countryside.
It goes without saying that many couples seek elements of both, though some strongly prefer one or the other.
Romantic and Unique Honeymoon Hotels & Ryokans
Even if you’re not fully planning a luxury Japan honeymoon, chances are you’re looking for at least one super special splurge. After all, this is your honeymoon!
Without a doubt, staying at a luxury ryokan is one of the most splurge-worthy experiences you can have in Japan. There really is nothing like the experience of staying at a luxurious traditional ryokan (Japanese-style inn).
Much more than merely a place to stay, visiting a ryokan is a profound cultural and culinary experience. To top it off, it is worth choosing a high-end ryokan that offers Japanese-style rooms or suites with private onsen (hot springs) baths. Imagine relaxing in your beautiful wood or stone bath, looking out into the forest (it’s even more otherworldly when it snows).
Along with its wealth of dazzling ryokans, Japan is also blessed with countless other stunning accommodations. Below are a small handful of our favorite honeymoon hotels and ryokans throughout the country:
- Aman Tokyo, one of a handful of our favorite luxury hotels in the Tokyo metropolis
- The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, a beautiful hotel with an impeccable location on the Kamogawa river in the ancient capital Kyoto
- Gora Kadan, a legendary luxury ryokan in Hakone
- Asaba, a beautiful ryokan in lovely Shuzenji Onsen, in Japan’s Izu Peninsula
- Benesse House, a unique museum-hotel on the art island of Naoshima (a must-visit for lovers of art and architecture)
- Beniya Mukayu, a luxurious ryokan near the Japan Sea coast, about one hour from the historic city of Kanazawa
- Nishimuraya Honkan, a beautiful ryokan in the charming onsen town of Kinosaki Onsen
See more of our favorite boutique and luxury hotels and ryokans, and a short list of our favorite ryokans within easy reach of Tokyo and Kyoto.
What to See, Do & Eat on Your Japan Honeymoon
For many of our travelers, food is a high priority when visiting Japan, and with good reason.
But in addition to its incredible cuisine, Japan offers so much to travelers interested in everything from history and traditional crafts to art, architecture, design, theater, and outdoor adventures.
For a glance at more of our favorite experiences in Japan, culinary and otherwise, check out our article on 25 Japan experiences to add to your bucket list.
As for Japanese food, below you’ll find a selection of our favorite “foodie honeymoon” experiences:
- Enjoy an impeccable kaiseki dinner featuring local and seasonal specialties
- Sample Japanese whisky at tiny cocktail bars on a private Tokyo nightlife tour
- Visit a locals-only izakaya with a local expert guide
- Have one of the best meals of your life at one of Tokyo’s best sushi shops
- Go on a “ramen safari” in Tokyo with a noted ramen expert, or immerse yourself in the ramen stalls of Fukuoka
- Explore gorgeous, irresistible depachika (department store food halls) in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka
- Walk and eat your way through the one-of-a-kind Tsukiji Market in Tokyo
- Cycle through traditional Kyoto while sampling local Kyoto culinary specialties
- Take a private Osaka food tour featuring hole-in-the-wall izakayas and non-touristy street stalls
- Enjoy a private tea ceremony at a charming teahouse in Kyoto or Kanazawa
- Learn all about sake (nihonshu) on a delicious private sake tour
We May Be Perfect For You
Whether you usually plan your own trips, or normally work with a destination expert, planning a trip to Japan can seem overwhelming at times.
If you are looking to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, we have resources that can help.