Japan And Its Underrated Romance
There are truly so many underrated romantic destinations all throughout Japan to make for a uniquely unforgettable trip for any couple. Not only do you get to enjoy some delicious food and indulge in so many aspects of Japanese culture, but there are endless natural destinations to explore, some of which will cost you almost nothing to enjoy.
Japan is also a nice place to consider when you’re looking to get away with your partner but aren’t up for the same typical cities and countries that most couples escape to.
Romantic Destinations In Japan For Couples
Romance looks different for every couple. Thankfully, Japan can hit that romantic mark for just about anyone.
Those who want to go on adventures together or those just looking to get some quiet time away from the business of life are able to make the most out of a trip to Japan, whether for an anniversary, a honeymoon, or just because.
The Pristine Beaches of Okinawa
Get a little taste of the tropics without the overwhelmingly hot weather by staying in Okinawa. The charming prefecture is filled with quaint spots to eat, shop, and of course, enjoy sandy beaches. You’ll be blown away by how gorgeous the Okinawan beaches are, with bright and clear blue water and white sand.
Okinawa tends to be a quieter area than some of the bustling cities in Japan, so you can have a more relaxing and quiet time together without missing out on the best of Japanese culture.
When you’re here, you should consider staying at one of the many ryokans in the area to learn about the culture from the locals and enjoy a relaxing evening that feels more secluded.
Kyoto: The Romance Prefecture of Japan
Kyoto has the perfect blend of old-world charm, centuries of history, and plenty of landmarks that make for a romantic backdrop. You could easily spend your entire vacation in Kyoto with a full itinerary of memorable experiences.
There is the infrastructure that is hundreds of years old, perfectly manicured gardens, and so many good eats.
This stunning temple is known as the Love Shrine due to the Stone of Love in the main hall. The story behind the shrine surrounds two stones placed in the shrine.
To use these stones to find true love, you close your eyes and touch the first stone, then make your way to the second stone. If you can find it with your eyes closed, you will find your true love. Even though you’ll already be there with your true love, it’s still a nice thing to do together.
Shirakawa-go: A Winter Wonderland in Japan
Not many people realize that Japan gets snow, let alone has its own winter wonderland. Shirakawa-go is beautiful any time of the year but gets blanketed in the perfect amount of snow during the winter for those who want a holiday away but still want to experience some snow.
Shirakawa-go is a small little town that makes you feel like you’ve been transported into old Japan. The scenery is really breathtaking, even if you don’t go when there’s snow.
Take a quiet stroll through the streets day or night, and enjoy the cute homes surrounded by bundles of trees.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is no ordinary forest. It’s a treasure trove of seemingly endless rows of fresh bamboo trees, and it’s breathtaking. It also happens to be a place of historical significance to Japan and as such, has been deemed a historical site.
Make your way to the western side of Kyoto within the Storm Mountains, and you’ll find Arashiyama.
You can stroll around hand in hand and enjoy the walk any time of year. In the spring, you’ll have a chance to see some cherry blossoms amongst the bamboo. In the winter, a light dusting of snow completely transforms the area. Afterward, you can rest your feet as you take a ride on the Sagano Romantic Train.
Mount Fuji is breathtaking, and there’s no denying it’s a popular spot to see. However, there are so many places to discover surrounding the mountain that would make for a perfect romantic weekend. You have your pick of ryokans to stay at with relaxing hot spring baths, delicious food, and friendly people.
There is also a lot of crystal blue water near Mount Fuji, where you can take a scenic boat ride and take in all the surrounding beauty of the area. The Fuji Five Lakes area is lined with places to stay, shop, eat, relax, and explore.
Every season around Mount Fuji is pretty in its own right, and on a clear day, you may even see the mountain from afar, so you can truly take in its magnificence.
Hakone: A Quiet Getaway
Hot springs are created through volcanic ruins to become invigorating hot spring baths which are a big part of Japanese culture and can also be a great place to relax with your partner.
The little town of Hakone also has plenty of small inns, also known as ryokans, where you can stay for a weekend away from the more populous parts of Japan. You can also take a ropeway car ride to watch the steam surrounding Mount Ashi, and on an especially clear day, you might also get a peek at Mount Fuji.
Chidorigafuchi Canal in Tokyo
Tokyo isn’t just a big city with tall buildings and a bunch of people. There are some not-so-hidden gems where you can escape the crowds and have a quieter time with the one you love.
A gondola ride in Italy may be the epitome of romance, but the Chidorigafuchi Canal is just as magical.
Here, you can take a boat ride with your beau along the canal, which is beautiful in and of itself. Add to that how it’s nestled between rows upon rows of gorgeous trees, and you’ll forget about all your troubles as you slowly glide along the water with your favorite person.
Hitachi Seaside Park
Hitachi Seaside Park can be found in Ibaraki, which isn’t too far from Tokyo, making it an excellent day trip when you want to get out of the city.
Each season, the park is filled to the brim with beds upon beds of seasonal flowers in all kinds of colors.
There are paths throughout the flowers that let you take a scenic walk with your partner. There are endless spots to take beautiful photos, though you won’t need pictures to remember a day spent here.
Nara: For The Nature-Loving Couple
Nara city is by no means a very big place in Japan, but the city is full of lesser-known romantic spots. Nature lovers will enjoy Nara for all of its parks, the plush plant life, and even the wildlife.
Don’t be surprised if, as you’re taking a walk hand-in-hand with your love in a park, you see some deer strolling past you.
If you want some sightseeing as well, the city has plenty of temples and shrines nestled within all the outdoor beauty. Just like everywhere else in Japan, you’ll want to indulge in as much food as you can handle while you’re in Nara too.
Hokkaido: For The Active, Nature-Loving Couple
Hokkaido is another nice part of Japan to spend a few days in if you’re a couple that likes doing outdoor activities. You get a lot of options here for places to take long walks in nature, and you can even find spots to do some more challenging hikes or climbing.
Hokkaido can be found in the northern part of Japan and gets a lot of snow, which is why it’s such a popular place to go for winter activities once that season arrives. If you happen to be in Hokkaido in the winter, a must-see spot that is the epitome of romance is the Otaru Path.
During the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival, colorful lanterns and snow displays line the walkways at night for a unique and breathtaking experience. The surrounding trees also get illuminated. The festival typically happens in February, with people in Hokkaido also lighting their own lanterns to participate.
When it’s not cold and snowy, you have your pick of outdoor spots to discover. The island is full of mountains, forests, both big and small, and parks.
Grab some food and have a picnic in the park, spend the morning doing some climbs, or sit outside and watch a beautiful Japanese sunset.
Romantic Things To Do In Japan
If you want some things to do in between your planned destinations or just want to take your trip day by day, you can create a romantic day or night for you and your love just about anywhere in Japan.
A Spring Picnic In The Park
Japan’s parks are nothing like the parks you might see in the West, where they are typically bare with some children’s playground equipment and a few trees. Parks are massive spaces with gardens, trees, areas to sit, and trails to walk. Sometimes, there are even special events in some of the larger parks.
A Japanese park is a place to have an inexpensive date that isn’t short on romantic vibes or is even a great place to sit and relax when you’ve been strolling the streets all day.
One popular pastime in the spring is to grab some food and bring it to the park and sit under a cherry blossom or plum blossom tree for a special spring picnic.
Eating Your Way Through Japan
There’s something about sharing a meal with a partner that has always been romantic. Foodies likely have Japan on their bucket list of countries to eat their way through, and with good reason.
Japanese cuisine is varied and versatile, and you can get some of the most delicious food you’ll ever eat just about anywhere.
Small towns, big cities, and everywhere in between will have something new for you to try. A lot of places in Japan will have a mixture of country-wide staple dishes and local delicacies; the hardest thing you’ll encounter is choosing where to eat.
When even the convenience store puts together fresh bento boxes, you’ll have no shortage of choice.
Helicopter Ride Through Tokyo
A highly memorable and ultra-romantic experience to take when in Tokyo is a helicopter ride over the city. The perspective is jaw-dropping, with all the sparkling lights of the city underneath sprinkled in between natural landscapes are incredibly romantic.
If you’re looking to make the trip extra special (perhaps you’re planning a proposal) or you’re celebrating a big milestone in your relationship, this could be a perfect idea.
Ryokans: The Japanese Bed and Breakfast
You can find a ryokan to stay close to pretty much anywhere you’re hoping to stay in Japan. A ryokan is a Japanese inn that is somewhat similar to a Western bed and breakfast. They are smaller and quieter, with simple accommodations and the best hospitality you could hope for. Many ryokans offer dining options as well during your stay.
If you find a ryokan that offers dinner, for example, many will serve a traditional kaiseki dinner. Kaiseki consists of a variety of very small dishes, typically made to showcase locally sourced ingredients and local specialties. While dishes are small, they complement each other beautifully, and you get more than enough to get your fill.
If you can pick a ryokan near a hot spring after you’ve enjoyed a fantastic dinner, you may even find a private hot bath or a nearby hot spring bath to soak in as you watch the sunset. You can stay in a fancy hotel anywhere; nowhere else offers you the tranquil experience of an onsen than Japan.
Japan and Romance
Japanese people tend not to be as physically expressive in public as people are from other countries. As such, you should be cognizant of the culture when considering making public displays of affection. Holding hands and a short kiss isn’t a big deal, but you don’t want to go any further than that when people are around.
In Japan, romance is kept private, though they do celebrate the beauty of love in their own ways. Valentine’s Day, for instance, is a celebrated holiday in Japan, though it’s not enjoyed the same way it is in most parts of the world.
Valentine’s Day is a day when women give gifts to their partners. White Day, which happens one month after, is when men return the favor.
Finding a Romantic Getaway Spot In Japan
Japan can be the perfect place to spend time with that special someone, whether you’re spending time at its perfect zen gardens or walking a path lined with torii gates.
Japan has numerous UNESCO world heritage site locales, and all can be the best places to find romance among its beautiful mountain, mt. fuji to the nearby amusement park. A romantic stroll near Tokyo tower or Tokyo Skytree can make for a romantic date.
If you’re wanting to visit ancient Kyoto’s bamboo forests or spend a weekend at the traditional ryokan with a private bath.
The main attractions of each location we covered afford a spectacular view of life in Japan and the best time to visit depends on your preference for weather since Japan has four distinct seasons.
Tokyo itself has always been a popular honeymoon destination, and seeing the Imperial palace during cherry blossom season can create lifelong memories.
Ueno park is the best way to see the thousands of pink petals during the hanami season, and it creates beautiful scenery for couples to stroll thru and create lifelong memories.