Japan’s mix of modern charms and traditional treasures is magnetic, and you can elevate your couple’s escape by experiencing one or more of these 10 most romantic things to do in the country for couples.
Dreams of walks beneath flowering cherry blossoms, afternoons wallowing in warm spa waters, tours of shrines that share ancient Japanese insight, evenings sipping cocktails at a traditional izakaya, and spectacles of Mount Fuji’s snow-capped peak come to life on a couple’s retreat or honeymoon in Japan.
Let’s take a look at the most romantic things to do so you can take your trip to a level of unparalleled radiance and intimacy.
Discover Japan’s rich culture and storied heritage as you explore the many magnificent shrines speckling neighborhoods in cities large and small.
Japanese cypress forms the foundation of some Shinto shrines that honor elemental spirits. You can explore the ancient forests surrounding many of these shrines to see where the spirits roam. Gold ornaments and elaborate adornments fashion the architecture of other shrines that trace the imperial eras in Japan’s history.
During your stay, you can smell the sweet fragrance of burning incense as you stroll from shrine to shrine and immerse yourselves in the country’s culture, one of the best experiences to have in Japan.
Best Shrines to Visit: Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto • Meiji Shrine, Tokyo • Nikkō Tōshō-gū, Nikkō • Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima • Kumano-Nachi Taisha, Nachisan
The western outskirts of Kyoto are home to the hypnotizing cherry blossoms of Arashiyama. In April, the untouched forest covering Arashiyama changes color as the trees bloom, the perfect destination for Japan cherry blossom tours.
The colors of the forest shift with the season and you can capture stunning scenic photography from the 400-year-old wooden walkway of Togetsu-kyo Bridge. Your strolls through Arashiayama may take you through bamboo groves to attractive Zen temples, floral gardens, and glinting rivers that feed Arashiyama’s thriving wilderness.
You can end your evening under the cherry blossoms for dinner and watch wooden boats drifting back home.
Highlights of Arashiyama: Togetsu-kyo Bridge • Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple • Sagano Scenic Railway • Hozugawa River Boat Ride • Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street
Japanese onsen, or hot-spring baths, are scattered throughout the country’s major islands and many of the best places to visit in Japan.
Locals and tourists enjoy revitalizing their minds and bodies after a long work day or adventuring in a private hot-spring bath. Typically in an outdoor setting with views of the wilderness and the sounds of animals singing from forests, a Japanese onsen is a bathing experience like no other.
You can bring along a selection of sensational spa products to enjoy a self-catered therapy in a private onsen hidden among the greenery or overlooking the sea.
Where to Find a Private Onsen Bath: Tokyo • Hakone • Itō • Nagano • Kyoto
From whisky distilleries to sake breweries, Japan has a long history of making exceptional alcoholic beverages.
You and your partner can tour the oldest and best whisky distilleries and sake breweries to learn about the local craftsmanship. Sampling an assortment of world-class whisky and sake, you will discover what separates a good drink from a great one.
All the while, you will learn about the art of making Japanese whisky and sake as master distillers and toji, master sake brewers, share their humble traditions and subtle secrets.
Best Japanese Distilleries and Breweries: Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, Shimamoto • Chichibu Distillery, Chichibu • Yoichi Distillery, Yoichi • Otokoyama Sake Brewery, Asahikawa • Suehiro Sake Brewery, Aizuwakamatsu
The Gion district of Kyoto, one of the most romantic places to visit in Japan, is a heritage site home to venerable Japanese art and architecture, and famous geisha entertainment.
As you gallivant through Kyoto’s Gion district, you may spot women dressed in colorful kimonos dining at extravagant restaurants, perusing chic boutiques, and crossing Tatsumi Bridge.
You can continue to Gion Corner to watch the geishas’ present gripping Kyo-mai dance performances, enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with them, and view their elaborate dresses and stylized headpieces.
Things to Do in Gion: Gion Corner • Shirakawa • Hanami Lane • Shijo Dori • Yasaka Shrine
Crossing the Japanese countryside, you will spot the towering, snowy summit of Mount Fuji southwest of Tokyo.
The famous geological landmark is instantly recognizable and can be seen from miles away, but you and your partner can follow the ancient pilgrimage site to discover the colossal volcano up close. There are several ways to see Mount Fuji and you can choose an activity that suits you both best.
You may visit Sengen Shrine at the base of the mountain with monks, explore the Aokigahara Forest covering the foothills of Mount Fuji, or visit Lake Kawaguchi for unrivaled panoramas of the mountain with our Japan vacation ideas to Mount Fuji.
Best Ways to View Mount Fuji: Shinkansen • Tour to Sengen Shrine • Explore Aokigahara Forest • Visit Lake Kawaguchi • Mountain hiking
Snow covers the peaks of the Japanese Alps and forms the foundation for brilliant ski resorts that cascade the slippery white slopes of the northern mountains.
At first glance, you may think you are looking at Switzerland, as the sensational summits interspersed with colorful pine forests backdrop emerald valleys. You can adventure further into the alps in search of the best snowy experiences in Japan at elite ski resorts on the Hida, Kiso, and Akaishi ranges.
You and your partner can bask in the breathtaking views from your spa bath, race down the slopes on skis or snowboards, and sip Japanese whisky as the orange sunset dances off the ice.
Best Skiing Destinations in Japan: Hakuba • Niseko • Nozawa Onsen • Sapporo • Furano
Japanese tea ceremonies are steeped in history and an essential part of a romantic getaway curated by a Japan trip planner.
The art of tea preparation and drinking in Japan is held in such high regard that the Zen-inspired tradition is led by a Japanese tea master, known as a Sen Rikyū. The ceremony itself lasts several hours, as a multi-course kaiseki meal is followed by two teas to complete the experience.
You and your partner will get lost in the aromas and flavors of the distinct Japanese tea as your guide shares insight into the production process and traditional means of drinking it, all within a stunning Zen building surrounded by flowers and a landscaped lawn.
Best Places for a Tea Ceremony: Happo-en, Tokyo • Maikoya, Kyoto • airKitchen, Tokyo • Chazen Tea Ceremony, Tokyo • Shizu Kokoro, Tokyo
The en-musubi, or Japanese love charm, is one of several Omamori charms that are said to bring luck and good fortune to those who possess them. What better way to immerse yourself in the local spirit of love than through the Japanese love charm during your couple’s escape to the island.
The charms themselves can be found at various ancient shrines and temples dotting cities across the country, encouraging loving partners to empower their love through the procurement of these spiritually significant amulets.
Where to Find Them: Tokyo Daijingu, Tokyo • Hakone Jinja, Hakone • Nishiki Tenmangu, Kyoto • Kasuga Taisha, Nara • Nishino Jinja, Hokkaido
Japan’s culinary culture has a long history that has influenced dining around the world. Some of the best chefs across the globe turn to Japanese food, traditional techniques, distinct flavor combinations, and iconic dishes as inspiration for fusion renditions in their restaurants.
From gourmet dining at elite eateries in the cosmopolitan cities to finding hidden, local gems off the beaten path on the outskirts of Kyoto, you and your partner will let the marvelous Japanese flavors dance off your taste buds as you tuck into the best dishes on private culinary tours of Japan. From authentic Japanese sushi to traditional Ramen noodles, you will try it all.
Best Dishes to Try: Sushi • Ramen • Teppanyaki • Yakitori • Fugu
Japan is a treasure trove of romantic experiences for you and your partner to embrace during tailored sample itineraries from our Japan honeymoon packages and Japan tours for couples. From honeymoon escapes to couples’ retreats, let the flowering cherry blossoms, sensational Japanese sake, and stunning natural scenes enchant you on your vacation.
For more travel inspiration and information for your Japan couples tour or honeymoon escape, explore our Japan travel guide.