Even though the Unesco-recognized city contains a variety of temples and shrines to rival Japan’s historic centre Osaka, including Todai-ji, home to a soaring bronze Buddha, Nara only draws a small portion of travellers. Being a small town, it also has a much more intimate atmosphere, which means you’ll spend less time rushing between attractions on public transportation and more time chatting with the kind local deer (who roam freely throughout Nara Park) or taking leisurely strolls through the well-kept Isuien Garden.


If you believe that a honeymoon wouldn’t be complete without time spent at a beach, plan some time to spend in Okinawa, a group of islands off the southern coast of Japan with white sand beaches, turquoise water, and excellent diving. While a distinct culture and cuisine—featuring purple sweet potatoes, bitter gourd, and local beef—offer an intriguing variation to vacations elsewhere in Japan, you may make the most of leisurely, sun-drenched days. Aim for Okinawa’s main island if you’re seeking for opulent five-star resorts. Visit the Yaeyama chain if less developed idylls sound more appealing.


Shikoku feels a little bit like a lost continent even though Honshu, the largest island in Japan, is only a bridge away. One of Japan’s less-traveled regions is a place of verdant hills scattered with obscure temples, raging rivers, and picturesque castles (the island is famous for its 88-temple pilgrimage). Spend a few days hiding out in a forest-surrounded onsen retreat, where you can stay in a chamber lined with tatami mats, before gathering the courage to cross the Kazurabashi, the Iya Valley’s infamous unstable rope bridge.


Hokkaido is a particularly satisfying trip if the two of you find romance in the vast outdoors. Japan’s northernmost regions might not sound like classic honeymoon territory. Winter trips offer evenings spent sipping beers at the capital Sapporo’s eponymous brewery, guaranteed snowfall, skiing, and dramatic ice carvings — the ideal warm-up for an intimate date night. In the summer, take advantage of the abundance of birds by going on mountain climbs or strolls through lavender fields.


This prefecture, which is located south of Tokyo, is a popular destination for newlyweds, not least because Hakone, one of Japan’s most romantic towns with bubbling onsen and ryokan inns, is located here. The area is ideal for a “rurban” (rural-meets-urban) getaway because of its close proximity to the Japanese capital, so meals at some of Tokyo’s best sushi establishments can be preceded (or followed by) afternoons spent exploring the historic seaside town of Kamakura, taking selfies outside Odawara Castle, and watching the sun set off picturesque Enoshima Island. Last but not least for the Instagram feed, you can see Mount Fuji on clear days from pretty much everywhere in the prefecture.


One of the most romantic places in Japan is the old Kyoto, the country’s original capital, which is photo-famous for its geishas slinking along narrow alleys. It is a city of serene zen gardens, moody Shinto temples, bamboo forests, and traditional, low-rise ryokan inns where guests sleep on the matting floor and eat while seated cross-legged. Treat yourself one evening while you’re in the city to multi-course kaiseki, which is the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine and is comparable to haute cuisine in the West.


With its picture-perfect torii gate, the little island of Miyajima draws large visitors just outside the city of Hiroshima. This is the seventh iteration of the original, which was built in 1875. It is vermilion-lacquered with a roof made of cypress bark and appears to float on the sea during high tide, reflecting itself. Traditional inns and waterfront resort hotels are available in the little island town to suit all budgets. Discover the stunning shrines and temples of Miyajima, get up close to the friendly wild deer, and climb Mount Misen for sweeping views of the entire island.


The Fuji Five Lake region, located at the northern foot of the revered mountain, a still-active volcano, offers some of the best views of Mount Fuji. Kawaguchiko is by far the most developed of the five, and the resort town of the same name is popular with hikers, fishermen, canoe enthusiasts of all levels, as well as other nature lovers. The Itchiku Kubota Museum, which is all about the history of silk-dyeing for kimonos, is possibly the most fascinating museum. For a few more relaxed days on your honeymoon, there are hot-spring onsen.


You don’t go to high-tech, 24/7 Tokyo expressly for intimacy, but with its five-star hotels and top-notch cuisine, it will undoubtedly be a honeymoon to remember for newlyweds. Despite the high-rise buildings made of plate glass and concrete, romance will be sparked by the charming parks. The pink sakura trees cast blossoms like confetti showers in the spring. Winter delivers stunning holiday lighting known as “illumination,” while summer brings fascinating street events. And what about that lovely city at night, all lit up? All year long, it is all yours.


The lovely mountain town of Hakone is a popular weekend vacation location for the Japanese. It is only a short train trip from Tokyo on the Odakyu Romancecar. It’s easy to explore this picturesque location, especially after taking the cable car and trying the ropeway up the mountain. Even the sightseeing excursion across the tranquil lake in a replica pirate ship has a romantic element to it. Enjoy the healing effects of the nearby natural hot springs while passing the time at one of the fascinating museums.

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