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A Japan honeymoon isn’t just for anyone. There are no beach days or cocktails. Rather, Japan is the perfect honeymoon holiday destination for a pair of intrepid explorers ready to take on the world together.
This suggested Japan honeymoon itinerary starts in the neon jungle of Tokyo with a helicopter night cruise through electric cityscapes and a private tour of the bustling city, remedied by a day trip to the historical coastal town of Kamakura.
Then, you’ll venture out to Fuji-Hakone National Park to revel in the natural scenery and catch a glimpse of the elusive snowy peaks of Mount Fuji.
Next, you’ll move onto the cultural wonders of Kyoto, where you’ll be joined by a local guide for a private tour of the city and have the exclusive opportunity of afternoon tea with a maiko (apprentice geisha) - a very rare experience, even for the Japanese.
Try your hand at swordplay with a class in samurai kenbu (traditional Japanese sword dancing) and feed deer out of your hand in the former ancient capital of Nara.
See how Hiroshima has risen from the ashes, and then take a day trip out to Miyajima Island to see the famous “floating” Torii Gate.
Finally, gorge yourself on Osakan street food in Japan’s culinary capital and reward yourself with a dip in the invigorating hot springs of Kinosaki Onsen.
An epic travel adventure to the Land of the Rising Sun is an incredible way to start your new life as a married couple: making memories, learning about other cultures and trying out new things, together.
You’ll fly into Haneda Airport, Tokyo, to be met by a private driver in the arrivals hall, holding a sign with your new married names. It’s just 30 minutes in a private car to your hotel, as you look out of the window for your first impressions of Tokyo, and your honeymoon in Japan truly begins.
Marvel at the towering skyscrapers and busy crowds of Tokyoites, both of which fight for space in one the largest cities on the globe. Around 25% of all Japanese live in the capital, bringing Tokyo’s total population to over 12 million.
Yet, beyond the crowds and neon lights, Tokyo has a charm that lies in the details: the quirky fashions of Harajuku, a flavoursome bowl of soba noodles and the tranquillity of the Emperor’s Imperial Gardens during sakura (cherry blossom) season.
You’ll be staying at The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon in the Asakusa district (breakfast included). The hotel is a stone’s throw from the “Thunder God” Gate of Kaminarimon, which leads up to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple.
Get your first views of the epic Tokyo skyline from the hotel’s rooftop terrace, then experience your first taste of Japanese cuisine at one of the many local restaurants nearby.
Upon arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be provided with a Manaca Card (or IC Card) for tapping in and out on public transport, as well as a 14-Day Japan Rail Pass (ordinary class) for travel on all JR trains across the country, including some of the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains.
For the first full day of your Japan honeymoon, you’ll meet with a private tour guide from 9 am at your hotel, who will show you around the city - navigating the sights via public transport, as the locals do. The tour lasts until 5 pm when you are free to explore at your own leisure.
*Please note that lunch and entrance fees are not included in the private tour.
Experience old and new Japan, from the traditional temples of Asakusa to the pinging arcades of Akihabara. Allow yourself to get lost in translation.
In the evening, you’ll take a romantic helicopter night cruise for breath-taking views of the illuminated Tokyo cityscapes – a truly unique way to experience one of the world’s most dramatic cities.
Look out for Rainbow Bridge, the Tokyo Skytree and the Eiffel-esque Tokyo Tower, all of which are lit up in spectacular fashion at night.
Today, you’ll use your JR Pass to take a day trip out of the city to the quiet town of Kamakura, the perfect tonic to Tokyo’s hectic pace. From Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, it’s just one hour west to peaceful Kamakura, which was once the ancient capital of Japan.
Nowadays, this charming seaside town is known for the Big Buddha statue, as well as its many temples and shrines. It’s hard to believe that back in the 12th century, Kamakura was possibly the world’s largest city, boasting a million inhabitants.
The next stop on your Japan honeymoon is Fuji-Hakone National Park, so you’ll be leaving Tokyo using your JR Pass. You’ll take a train from Ueno Station to Tokyo Station, then experience a thrilling ride on a Shinkansen bullet train to Odawara Station. The total journey time is around an hour.
Arriving at Odawara Station, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your hotel via a private car. Be aware that your driver may not speak English, but that’s all part of the adventure! This transfer takes 40 minutes to an hour.
You’ll be staying at the traditional Japanese ryokan (guesthouse) of Yamanochaya, tucked away in bamboo and pine trees. Leave your shoes at the door and experience true Japanese hospitality with a welcome cup of green tea from your kimono-wearing hostess.
Both breakfast and dinner are included in your stay, and your meals are served in your room in the traditional Japanese style. Dinner is a kaiseki banquet of multiple courses, with dishes such as mackerel sashimi and matsutake mushrooms served with intricate precision.
Your room features an intimate open-air hot spring bath (rotenburo), where you can soak in the natural waters of the volcanic hot springs.
You’ll be provided with a 3-Day Hakone Freepass, which enables you to move around Hakone easily. The pass can be used on trains, buses, a funicular railway, one of the longest cable cars in the country and a boat cruise around Lake Ashi (plus, discounts on attractions such as museums).
Hakone National Park is a stunning expanse of woodland and natural scenery just south of the elusive snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji. The volcanic waters in the area provide hot spring baths, which are great for unwinding after a long day of exploring.
After a revitalising dose of rural Japanese scenery, you’ll head back into the city – this time, to the ancient capital (and culture capital) of Kyoto. You’ll be transferred in a private car back to Odawara Station, before taking a Shinkansen bullet train along the coast to Kyoto, which takes two hours.
Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, countless temples and shrines, as well as Japan’s last remaining geisha community, Kyoto is truly the heart of traditional Japan. Although the city has had a modern makeover, look out for small details such as teahouses tucked away between buildings.
You’ll stay at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto (breakfast included), a luxury hotel located in the Higashiyama Shichijo district of the city. Your luxurious room combines modern amenities with elements of traditional Japanese design, such as white oak wood and kimono fabric.
The property is home to a range of high-quality eateries, serving Italian, Japanese and French cuisine, as well as a choice of creative cocktails, Japanese whiskey and sake. In the morning, choose from a Japanese set breakfast at Tozan or a buffet-style breakfast at The Grill.
Don’t miss the hotel’s luxury spa facilities, which feature traditional Japanese treatments. Pamper options include shiatsu massage, water therapy, reiki and a cypress wood shavings bath experience unique to this spa.
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be joined by a private tour guide who will show you the sights and sounds of the city, as well as the hidden spots only locals know.
You’ll travel together via bus or taxi to see highlights such as the red tunnels of Fushimi Inari’s shrines and the eerie green light of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. As part of your private guided tour, you’ll also experience afternoon tea in Gion with a maiko (apprentice geisha).
The mysterious geisha (known locally as geiko) and their apprentices, maiko, are beautiful and artistic enigmas often misunderstood by the Western world. However, you will have the opportunity to visit the Gion Maruume teahouse for an exclusive look into the closed world of geisha.
Sip on green tea and nibble Japanese cake while being entertained by a maiko. You’ll be able to take photos and ask questions with the help of a translator. Invitation to a traditional ochaya teahouse is very rare, so this experience is a particularly special highlight of our Japan honeymoon itinerary.
*Please note that a teahouse visit is subject to availability and that date or time changes are unlikely to be accommodated.
Use your JR Pass to take a day trip to Nara, just 40 minutes away from Kyoto. Nara was the end of the Silk Road and is still known for its extensive collection of Buddhist and Shinto religious sites, which date back thousands of years (as well as the friendly deer that roam the woodlands).
Nara was a former ancient capital, and the architecture of the monasteries and temples reflects the city’s legacy of power and influence. Be sure to visit the daibutsu (Big Buddha), housed in the world’s largest wooden building, which has an interesting history of its own.
In the afternoon, you’ll take part in Samurai Kenbu, a traditional Japanese style of dance that incorporates a katsana sword and a fan. Historically, kenbu was performed by samurai to focus concentration and strength before fighting.
You’ll visit a Kenbu studio to first watch a demonstration and later participate in a one-hour lesson, where you can dress up as samurai and discover more about these legendary warriors. You’ll learn a choreographed set of steps, as well as sword techniques and ancient samurai etiquette.
The next stop on your Japan honeymoon tour is Hiroshima, most well-known globally for its tragic past, but today stands as a vibrant city – a testament to the resilience of the Japanese. You’ll head to Hiroshima via Shinkansen bullet train, which turns 400 kilometres into a pleasant two-hour journey.
Of course, there are reminders of the atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima in the A-bomb dome, where the skeletal shell of the bomb has been preserved, and the eternal flame at The Peace Park and Museum - both sites are poignant reminders of the devastation and well worth a visit.
However, Hiroshima has truly risen from the ashes and is now a bustling, cosmopolitan city with many interesting experiences to offer.
Cheer on the Hiroshima Carp at the Baseball Stadium (baseball is one of Japan’s most popular sports), stroll around the serene Shukkei-en Garden or contemplate the beautiful pieces on display at the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, as well as the beautiful city views from the building.
During your trip to Hiroshima, be sure to try okonomiyaki, the local dish. You decide which ingredients you’d like to include, then cook the pancake on a hot plate at your table. Another great culinary must is a plate of oysters harvested in the waters nearby.
You’ll stay at the five-star Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima (breakfast included), a luxury hotel situated conveniently next to Hiroshima Station. With all guest rooms located on the 9th to 21st floors of the building, you are guaranteed a fantastic view of the city.
As one of the best hotels in Hiroshima, you’ll be able to enjoy facilities such as the hotel pool, jacuzzi and sauna, as well as the high-quality sushi and teppanyaki beef served at the restaurant. End the day with a sundowner at the hotel bar, which features a Japanese-style wooden counter.
Take a ferry from Hiroshima over to Miyajima Island to see the famous “floating” torii gate at Itsukushima. This is one of the most iconic sights in the whole of Japan and has claimed World Heritage status.
Other things to see and do on the island include a cable car trip up to the tip of Mount Misen for spectacular ocean views (and, most likely, a monkey encounter!) and shopping at the boutiques around the port.
Take a Shinkansen bullet train east from Hiroshima, then an express train north until you reach the hot spring destination of Kinosaki Onsen. Note that the transfer from Hiroshima to Kinosaki Onsen will be the longest on your Japan honeymoon at five hours, but the journey is more than worth it.
Experience quintessential Japan with a relaxing dip in the hot spring bathhouses of Kinosaki Onsen, a pretty town comprising traditional inns, narrow streets and steaming communal baths. In the evening, dress in your yukata (kimono) and geta (wooden sandals) for a walk around the village.
The scenic mountain location and the invigorating waters of the hot springs have inspired Japanese artists for hundreds of years, while the onsen bathing experience is also linked to Shintoism and spirituality. Soak in the healing waters, and we promise you’ll leave Kinosaki Onsen completely refreshed.
Furthermore, you’ll be staying at a luxury Japanese ryokan, Nishimuraya Honkan, which has a history of over 150 years. With views out over the beautiful gardens of pine trees and koi carp ponds, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a Japanese work of art.
Your room includes all the traditional Japanese features, including tatami mat floors, sliding paper screens and ikebana flower pieces. Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay, with the latter being a kaiseki banquet served in your room by your hosts.
There are also intimate indoor and outdoor baths hidden in the seclusion of a bamboo grove for your use, plus you also have access to the Ryokan’s sister property and its private spa, where massage and aromatherapy treatments are available.
After some relaxation, it’s time to take the three-hour express train to the final stop on your Japan honeymoon tour: Japan’s second city, Osaka.
There’s plenty to see and do in Osaka, from the world-class aquarium to the reconstructed Osaka Castle, a multitude of museums and a ride on the thrilling giant wheel perched on top of the Hep 5 department store! Osaka truly comes to life at night, with thousands of restaurants and bars to choose from.
You’ll be taking part in a “street food safari” around Osaka’s famous Dotonbori canal district, where neon signs (including the Glico Running Man), crammed restaurants and street vendors compete for the attention of local foodies.
Join our English-speaking guide on this Osakan food tour as they take you away from the tourist spots and into the streets of local izakaya (pub-restaurant). Here, you’ll get the chance to try local delicacies such as takoyaki octopus dumplings and kushikatsu fried skewers.
After the three-hour tour is finished, you may wish to stay and enjoy some of Osaka’s vibrant nightlife for yourself.
You’ll be staying at the Marriott Miyako Osaka (breakfast included), which occupies the 38th to the 57th floors of the Abeno Harukas building. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer incredible views of Osaka, while the 57th-floor restaurant features 360-degree panoramas of the city.
On the last full day of your honeymoon in Japan, you’ll be free to explore Osaka at your leisure, buy souvenirs, take a last-minute day trip, or simply relax and go out for one last authentically Japanese meal in the country’s culinary capital.
As your Japan honeymoon adventure sadly comes to an end, a private car will meet you at your hotel for an hour-long transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport.
Hopefully, by the end of your action-packed Japan honeymoon tour, you’ll be leaving with countless memories and stories (and photos) of your first big travel adventure together as a married couple, which will set the tone for all the adventures to come.
After all, if you can handle octopus dumplings, communal onsen bathing, and singing toilets, you can really handle anything marriage throws at you!