The Tokyo Honeymoon Guide for an Unforgettable Escape

There's a sensory overload of new things to see, do and taste together.
Chureito Pagoda and Fuji mount, Yamanashi
Photo: Shutterstock
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
Travel Writer & Expert
  • James Wong is a freelance travel writer and expert.
  • He's reported for publications including VOGUE, GQ, Time Out and Thrillist.
  • James has lived in London, Tokyo and New York; and has traveled to almost every corner of the world.
Updated Apr 09, 2024
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A Tokyo honeymoon ignites the senses, making home feel blissfully far away. Layered neck-deep with skyscrapers, temples, supermalls, izakayas, onsen, karaoke bars and every imaginable thing in between, it really is one of the best honeymoon destinations to offer a fully immersive experience. For first-timers, expect an instant culture shock (in a good way). While repeat visitors are left desiring more.

Honeymooning in Japan, or the "Land of the Rising Sun," is the ultimate honeymoon escape for couples who want amazing food, culture and splendid sunrises. You may be tempted to explore the length and breadth of the country via JR (Japan Rail) Pass, or you may choose to keep things solely in the capital, which is an 11-hour nonstop flight from the West Coast.

Tokyo will more than suffice even the most adventurous honeymoon itineraries. Regardless of the route, come with an openness to savor something new every day, place trust in the kindness of strangers, and be aware that you could be leaving a little piece of your heart behind.

Tokyo Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Empty street in Asakusa district, Tokyo, Japan
    Photo: Marco Bottigelli | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Tokyo

    The busiest season is traditionally spring when Tokyo's famous cherry blossom trees bloom; transforming the city into a pink paradise of hanami (flower viewing) celebrations and decor. It's also the most expensive time to visit. Fall and winter are more accessible options—come in October or November for the best weather and romantic golden hues from the urban park's foliage. Avoid June to August—the city is excruciatingly humid, making exploration on foot unbearable.

    Best weather: March to May, October and November.
    Festival highlights: The Sumida River Fireworks Festival in July; Sanja Matsuri at Asakusa Shrine in May; Cherry blossom festivals in late March to early April; The Tokyo Marathon in February or early March; Tokyo International Film Festival in October or November.

    Tokyo Honeymoon Planning Tips

    When planning your honeymoon in Tokyo, consider incorporating a mix of traditional and modern experiences to fully appreciate the city's diversity. Booking accommodations well in advance is recommended, especially if your visit coincides with popular festivals or cherry blossom season.

    It's a well-known fact that Tokyo has one of the world's lowest crime rates, meaning you can visit its myriad of attractions with little to no fear of theft or personal safety. The public transit system is fast, clean, and efficient. Any issues are met with support from locals who seem, universally, to want to help when asked. In fact, you may be overwhelmed with the lengths some will go to assist strangers. And yes, your faith in humanity will be restored.

    Though a major international tourist destination for decades, English is not widely spoken. Some may find this challenging, but with free Wi-Fi all over the city including most train stations, it's nothing Google Maps and Translate won't be able to handle. Flights can also be hefty and long, especially from the east coast of the US. Couples will want to prepare accordingly and look out for deals on flights.

    Entry requirements: You must have a valid US passport and an onward or return ticket for visa free stays.
    Location: Tokyo is located on the eastern coast of Honshu, the largest island in the Japanese archipelago.
    Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY).
    Flight time to Destination: From Los Angeles, direct flights to Tokyo are usually 11-12 hours.
    Getting around: Tokyo has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including subways, bullet trains and buses, making it easy to navigate the city. Taxis are also available, but they can be quite expensive. Purchasing a prepaid Suica or Pasmo card can simplify travel on public transit.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. You can browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Tokyo honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Best Tokyo Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    Going on a Tokyo honeymoon means experiencing top-notch accommodations, including luxurious hotels with honeymoon suites that feature panoramic views and traditional Japanese ryokans (Japanese inns). Many hotels offer newlyweds honeymoon packages with special amenities, so make sure to tell your hosts you are on your honeymoon.

    Spa in Luxury Hotel Aman Tokyo
    Courtesy of Aman Tokyo

    Aman Tokyo

    Chic, minimalist, and tech-forward, Aman Tokyo has all the ingredients for a moment of Zen amidst the chaos outside. Situated in the Otemachi Tower, the hotel is outfitted with ryokan-style rooms, and the spa is one of the largest in the city.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

    For observatory views, look no further than Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. The hotel begins on the 45th floor of the Midtown Tower and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property for ample gazing of Tokyo's skyline, right up to Mount Fuji on clear days.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Park Hyatt Tokyo

    This Shinjuku icon is best known as the Lost in Translation hotel—it's where the Bill Murray classic was shot. Rooms at the Park Hyatt Tokyo are late-nineties luxe, and the social spaces remain the westside's hottest ticket, including the 52nd-floor jazz bar.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for even more unique honeymoon accommodations in Tokyo, consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Tokyo Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    For couples, Tokyo offers romantic boat rides along the Sumida River, intimate tea ceremonies, strolls through the historic gardens of the Imperial Palace and dinner at Michelin-starred restaurants. When it comes to finding things to do together, there really is no shortage here; just take your pick.

    Mount Fuji and Tokyo skyline
    Photo: Jackyenjoyphotography | Getty

    Have a Date in a Themed Cafe, Restaurant or Bar

    Tokyoites take themes to the extreme, and what you'll uncover here is unlike anything you'll find back home. The staples are cat cafés and maid cafés, of which you'll find the bulk in Akihabara, the city's electronic and anime mecca. For something extra unique, Harajuku's HARRY Hedgehog Café is a prickly cuteness overload.

    Bathe in a Traditional Onsen

    Getting naked and sitting in a bath with strangers may not appeal in the West, but over East it's a whole other experience. Japanese onsen are communal baths filled with natural volcanic spring water, known for healing mineral content. In Tokyo, they are everywhere—from side street onsen and sento (where regular hot water is infused with minerals afterward) to hot spring resorts. Before entering, read up on onsen etiquette, such as showering, covering tattoos, and leaving swimwear in the lockers.

    Take a Picnic in Shinjuku Gyoen

    No matter what time of year you visit (and especially during cherry blossom season), this city center park is always lush and impeccably manicured. Dating back to the Edo Period (1603-1867), Shinjuku Gyoen is dotted with cherry trees, maple trees, seasonal blooms, tea houses and ponds, all with a towering skyscraper backdrop. Do as the locals do and bring your own picnic from a nearby convenience (konbini) store. Family Mart, 7-Eleven and Lawson all sell fresh onigiri, cakes, and hot meals, and they're a lot better than you think.

    See How Tuna Is Auctioned

    If you're a pair of early birds with an appetite for seafood, make sure to go to Toyosu Market during your Tokyo honeymoon. The largest wholesale fish market in the world replaced the historic Tsukiji fish market in 2018, and auctions take place daily at around 5 a.m., local time. The new location has a viewing platform and if you can read Japanese, there's an application process to witness the spectacle at ground level. Arrive too late? Don't worry. There are markets, restaurants, tours, events and lots of other things to see.

    Take in the Magnificent Mount Fuji

    While we don't recommend hiking Mount Fuji (unless your ideal honeymoon features altitude sickness and your avid adventurers), we do recommend taking in its wonders from a distance. Japan's tallest mountain is so big it can be viewed from all corners of the city. On clear days, you can catch it from observation decks such as the Tokyo Skytree, or the summit of Mount Takao, a popular local hiking area. Our top spot for photos is Lake Kawaguchiko, which catches reflections of Fuji from the lake. Remember to bring a tripod.

    Pro tip: Add Tokyo honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so your friends and family can give you an amazing activity to try while you're in Japan.

    What to Pack for a Tokyo Honeymoon

    The pink cherry blossoms that bloom in spring and the Tokyo Skytree tower
    Photo: Alvin Huang | Getty

    Tokyo experiences all four seasons, so what outerwear you include on your packing checklist will depend on the month you decide to go on your Tokyo honeymoon.

    You'll spend a lot of time on foot, whether walking to temples, shopping, or simply getting lost (it'll definitely happen), so pack comfortable shoes in your honeymoon luggage. Dress up for nicer restaurants and hotels. Most establishments only accept cash, so select cards with low or no international ATM withdrawal fees.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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