This post contains affiliate links. Shizen Travel may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on this site at no additional cost to you. Find more details here.
This honeymoon in Japan itinerary gives you the best of city, countryside, and island life in Japan. Lose yourself in Tokyo, see ancient shrines in Nikko, and relax on the beach in Ishigaki.
The ideal honeymoon gives the right balance of activities and relaxation. You want to have enough things to do that you can create amazing memories with your new partner, but also have time and space to unwind and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Exploring Tokyo for a few days will be an exciting start to your trip. You can dine at incredible restaurants, relax in cafes, see modern and historical attractions, and wander through the city.
From Tokyo, I suggest visiting the beautiful lakeside town of Nikko. I propose visiting Nikko over the more commonly recommended Kyoto because it is far less crowded, but still offers historical shrines and temples. In Nikko, you can paddle board, hike, and see vestiges of ancient Japan.
Round out your honeymoon by flying down to one of Japan’s southernmost islands, Ishigaki. You can choose between staying within the comforts of a large resort or venturing to a more remote getaway on this tropical island.
In this guide, I’ll share my recommendations for a romantic honeymoon in Japan itinerary.
Honeymoon In Japan Itinerary
- Day 0: Arrival
- Days 1-3: Tokyo
- Days 4-5: Nikko
- Days 6-9: Ishigaki (I recommend renting a car)
- Day 10: Departure
When is the best time of year to honeymoon in Japan?
To best enjoy Tokyo, Nikko, and Ishigaki, honeymoon in Japan between April and October. Tokyo is more comfortable in the fall, winter, or spring temperature-wise, but Nikko receives snowfall in the winter and Ishigaki is too chilly to swim in the colder months.
Early spring is generally the most popular time of year to visit Japan because of the famous cherry blossoms. If you’d like to maximize the best weather for your honeymoon and least amount of crowds, I suggest honeymooning in May.
How much will this honeymoon in Japan itinerary cost?
To comfortably enjoy this honeymoon in Japan itinerary, budget a minimum of ¥400,000 as a couple (excluding flights to and from Japan). To reach this figure, I assumed an average nightly hotel rate of ¥20,000, roughly ¥40,000 roundtrip per person for the flights from Tokyo to Ishigaki, an average daily food expenditure of ¥9,000 between two people, and roughly ¥1,500 daily for miscellaneous public transportation.
You can easily spend significantly more than this while honeymooning in Japan depending on which hotels and restaurants you frequent (many of the hotels and some of the restaurants I suggest are on the indulgent side – it’s your honeymoon after all!). However, I believe that ¥400,000 for 10 days in Japan with two people will allow you to stay in decent hotels and enjoy eating out at casual restaurants.
Day 0: Arrival
Your honeymoon in Japan itinerary starts in Tokyo, the dynamic capital of the country.
Tokyo has two international airports: Haneda International Airport and Narita International Airport. Haneda is much closer to central Tokyo than Narita, so if possible, fly in and out of Haneda over Narita.
|Haneda to Shibuya
|Narita to Shibuya
Days 1-3: Tokyo
Find more details about Tokyo in my detailed guide.
Hotels In Tokyo
Tokyo has some of the best luxury hotels in the world, but at any budget, you can find a beautiful play to stay during your honeymoon.
For a budget-friendly option, consider Sotetsu Grand Fresa Takadanobaba. This simple yet functional hotel is conveniently located just north of Shinjuku. The central location serves as a great base from which you can explore Tokyo.
My favorite mid-range hotel in Tokyo is Onsen Ryokan Yuen Bettei Tokyo Daita. I cannot emphasize enough how good of a value this hotel is. Located in the trendy Shimokitazawa neighborhood, this elegant hotel feels like a luxurious lodging in the countryside. The hotel’s onsen is unusually spacious for Tokyo and will allow you to unwind before and after busy days exploring the city. Many restaurants and bars are within walking distance of this hotel. For the price, I think this is one of the best values in Tokyo.
If you’re ready to indulge for your honeymoon, check out Aman Tokyo. This modern, sleek hotel is a celebrity favorite and one of the most upscale accommodations in the city. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows with horizon views of the Tokyo skyline. Take your pick of either Aman Tokyo’s massive swimming pool or luscious terrace dining area to lounge and enjoy your new spouse’s company.
Activities In Tokyo
Begin your honeymoon in Japan itinerary by experiencing new activities together in Tokyo.
Tokyo has a plethora of possible activities, but some ideas include:
- Walk through Shibuya and Harajuku
- Visit Meiji Jingu Shrine and Sensō-ji Shrine
- Stroll through trendy neighborhoods like Omotesando, Shimokitazawa, or Ebisu
- Go off-the-beaten-path and explore a lesser known neighborhood or temple
- Sip coffee or tea from one of Tokyo’s best cafes
If you’ve been to Tokyo before or would like to escape the crowds of the city, I recommend taking a day trip to explore a nearby area. If you’d like to experience a Japanese beach town, try Kamakura or Enoshima Island. Kawagoe and Hakone are great options to see historical Japanese architecture, temples, and shrines. Each of these places is less than 1.5 hours away from central Tokyo by train.
Restaurants In Tokyo
Tokyo has so many excellent restaurants that the problem isn’t find one, but deciding which of the many great options to choose. I have a list of the most romantic restaurants in Tokyo, but here are a few highlights from and in addition to that guide:
📍1 Chome-5-9 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002
Looking at this photo on the left makes my mouth water every time. Sushi Nakano is my favorite high-end sushi restaurant in Tokyo. The sushi chefs are incredibly friendly and the quality of the fish is unparalleled. Book ahead at least 4 weeks in advance to secure seats at this intimate restaurant.
📍〒107-0061 Tokyo, Minato City, Kitaaoyama, 3 Chome−6−1 OAK OMOTESANDO 2F
Sahsya Kanetanaka serves elegant Japanese meal sets in an airy, sunlit space. Their lunch sets are particularly great values and are the perfect pick-me-up during a day exploring Shibuya and Harajuku.
📍3 Chome-28-12 Ebisu, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0013
Visit this casual French cafe for a cozy meal or rich cone of ice cream. The cafe is located just across the corner from Yebisu Garden Place, a stylish shopping plaza.
📍1 Chome-24-23 Jiyugaoka, Meguro City, Tokyo 152-0035
If you appreciate matcha, you will love this aesthetic matcha cafe in the up-and-coming Jiyugaoka neighborhood. Order either an ice or hot matcha alongside a traditional Japanese sweet. You can’t make reservations in advance, so budget 20-30 minutes extra to potentially wait in line.
📍〒150-0021 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−5−8 ＤＩＳビル
This New York-style cocktail bar (along with it’s sister bars Bar Triad and Bar Tram) is an intimate, romantic spot for a nightcap. Try one of their unique absinthe-forward cocktails to end a fun day discovering Tokyo (see my full guide to the best bars in Tokyo for more spots).
Days 4-5: Nikko
Find more details about Nikko in my detailed guide.
How To Get To Nikko
The train to Nikko is the cheapest, easiest, and most popular way to get there from Tokyo. The entire train journey takes roughly 2.5-3 hours.
The JR and Tobu Lines both serve the Nikko area and you can choose from a variety of different train combinations to reach Nikko. Pick the combination that is most convenient for your travel plans and fits your budget. Unless you travel to several other cities outside of this recommended honeymoon itinerary, it is not economically worth it to purchase the Japan Rail Pass.
If you stay in the downtown Nikko area and don’t plan to go hiking or explore much, you may be able to survive without a car. If you stay near Lake Chūzenji or hope to go hiking, your life will be much easier with a car. I recommend that you take the train to Nikko then rent a car (Nissan Rent a Car or TOYOTA RENT A CAR are next to Nikko Station).
Hotels In Nikko
Nikko has two main areas that I recommend you consider for your stay: the downtown city or near Lake Chūzenji.
The downtown area offers better walkability to temples, shrines, and shops. The lake provides easier access to nature and outdoor activities, like hiking and paddle boarding.
In Nikko’s downtown area, I suggest staying at either Fufu Nikko or 日光西町倶楽部あらとうと. Both hotels are elegant options surrounded by forest, yet close to many restaurants and attractions. Enjoy relaxing in the stunning hotel onsens during your stay.
Near Lake Chūzenji, I recommend booking The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko. This beautiful hotel opens directly onto the lake and is one of my favorite luxury hotels in the world. Particularly for a honeymoon, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko is the perfect combination of secluded in nature yet with all the comforts and luxuries you want in a romantic trip.
Activities In Nikko
In Nikko, the best activities include paddle boarding, exploring temples and shrines, and hiking.
Either through your hotel or directly, book a paddle board rental with Sup! Sup! Nikko. This activity is best suited for the warmer months, likely between May and September. Relax as a couple with a lazy day on the lake enjoying the beautiful mountainous landscape.
Just north of Nikko’s downtown area lies a magnificent complex of ancient temples and shrines. The ornately carved buildings date back hundreds of years and are stunning examples of traditional Japanese architecture. You’ll find many temples and shrines to explore, but I suggest entering “Nikko Toshogu” into Google Maps as a starting point to orient yourself.
Nikko has a number of hiking trails suited for all levels and distances. From easiest to most strenuous, I recommend: Kegon Falls (more of a walk than a hike), Yudaki Falls to Ryuzuno Falls (with an optional loop out to the Odashirogahara marshlands), Oze National Park, and Mount Nantai.
Restaurants In Nikko
Nikko has an abundance of casual and upscale dining options. Below are a few of my favorites.
📍2480 Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1661
This casual sushi spot near Lake Chūzenji is an excellent choice for a laid back lunch or dinner. I suggest making a reservation ahead of time on weekends.
Coffee House Yukon
📍2482 Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1661
Inside of an old house overlooking the lake, Coffee House Yukon serves delicious, elevated Japanese curries.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko
📍2482 Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1661
Whether you stay at The Ritz-Carlton or not, I highly recommend checking out their bar or one of the hotel’s many restaurants. If you’re hoping to create a special evening with your loved one, this is the perfect setting for it.
Days 6-9: Ishigaki
Find more details about Ishigaki in my detailed guide.
How To Get To Ishigaki
The best way to reach Ishigaki is to fly into Painushima Ishigaki Airport. There are regular flights to the airport from Tokyo, Okinawa (Naha), and other domestic airports in Japan.
I strongly recommend renting a car while on the island. The island’s public transportation isn’t well-developed and the best parts of the island are the beaches and hiking spots, which require driving to access.
Hotels In Ishigaki
Begin the tropical portion of your honeymoon in Japan itinerary by unpacking at a stunning hotel in Ishigaki.
As one option, stay in a private villa at Ocean View Ishigaki. The property, as the name suggests, directly overlooks the ocean and is a five-minute walk from a beach. The villas are on the northern side of the island, which is a bit more wild and undeveloped than the southern side. For anywhere you stay on the island, I recommend renting a car if you plan to leave the property you stay at.
If you prefer a resort-style property, ANA Ishigaki Resort is a great option near the island’s downtown area. This large hotel offers a large swimming pool and direct beach access. Ana Ishigaki Resort provides a relaxed and easy honeymoon setting.
The Beach Terrace Hotel Ao Ishigaki is a blend between the styles of my other two suggestions. This hotel has many of the comforts of a large property, but retains the intimacy of boutique lodging. The hotel has a beautiful garden and private beach that you can enjoy for the last few nights of your honeymoon in Japan.
Activities In Ishigaki
Ishigaki offers plenty of activities in nature that you can partake in during your honeymoon. You can lounge on the beach, hike, snorkel, scuba dive, or take a day trip to neighboring Taketomi Island.
I suggest bringing your own snorkeling gear on your trip so that you can snorkel directly from one of the island’s many beaches. Yonehara Beach and Nosokoniaru Beach are two of my favorite spots.
For hiking, popular routes include Mount Omoto, Oiwa, and my personal favorite, Yarabudake.
Many scuba diving shops dot the island, but I dove with Viking Scuba Kabira. In the summer and early fall, you may see the island’s famed manta rays swimming through the waters. Year round, the surrounding ocean is home to different types of fish and sea turtles.
Other fun activities on the island including visiting Yoneko-yaki Pottery Sculpture Garden, Ishigaki Yaima Village (home to many squirrel monkeys), taking a yoga class at a local studio, and a day trip to Taketomi Island.
Restaurants In Ishigaki
For me, Ishigaki’s most memorable meals are from the casual cafes and restaurants that you stumble upon as you explore the island.
I was so into my own visit to Ishigaki that I completely forgot to take photos of my meals, but here are a few spots that I enjoyed:
📍200-1 Okawa, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0022
📍293 Fukai, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0451
📍1215-228 Kabira, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0453
📍148-311 Fukai, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0451
Day 10: Departure
Spend a final few hours in Tokyo before heading home from your romantic trip!
I hope you enjoy this honeymoon in Japan itinerary and are inspired for a trip that incorporates the best of city, countryside, and island life in Japan.