1. Enoshima Island
With just an hour of train ride away from the heart of Tokyo, this island is easily accessible by just hopping onto the Romance Train Line (yes, literally!). Here, you get to experience the Shonan Monorail, known as one of the most exciting public transport in Japan, where the monorail is a hanging cable car and moves up and down valleys, through tunnels and in between buildings – both your hearts will be pumping with excitement! Once you’ve reached Enoshima Island, bring your loved one to Ryuren no Kane (The Bell of the Dragon’s Love) that stands on Lover’s Hill of Enoshima. According to legends, couples that ring the dragon’s bell together and attach their names and lock it on the fence of the hill will be blessed with eternal love! Undoubtedly, this is the perfect spot for wedding proposals!
2. Mount Zao / Zao Onsen
If you have not heard of this place, Mount Zao is one of the most famous snowboarding / skiing areas during winter, apart from Hokkaido. In February, it is the peak for Juhyo (ice monster trees) season. Most couples go for a romantic skiing trip and stroll through the Juhyo forest before sundown. At night, dip into your resort’s private onsen with your loved one and take in the breathtaking snow-coated surroundings. Bring your partner for a visit to the famous fox village near Mount Zao and experience walking with a troop of foxes in an enclosed area. A truly unique experience for animal lovers!
A 50-minute train ride away from the heart of Tokyo, Hakone is probably one of the most strategically located hideaway place to enjoy a “legit” Japanese stay. Try booking at one of the ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) with a private onsen and enjoy the full board experience – trust us, the experience is indescribable! You will feel rejuvenated the whole day by just staying in the ryokan with your loved one, and you will be pampered with plenty of private moments together. If you plan for a bit of outdoors, visit the red torii gate on shore of lake Ashi, which offers a really good photography opportunity. If you are lucky and the weather is on your side, you can even see Mount Fuji from there. Kill two birds in one stone, shall we?
4. Ishigaki Beach
Ishigaki – the most developed island of the Yaeyama Island chain – is a palm tree beach which is rarely found in Japan. With just a short flight away from the mainland of Japan, Ishigaki is a well-hidden gem for honeymooners. Surrounded by powdery white sandy beach, this place offers a break from the usual hustle and bustle neon Japan, where you can experience the sun, sea and beach life with your significant other. Here, you get to experience world class snorkelling and diving experience with vast colourful marine lives in crystal clear blue sea. The most attractive part is that the temperature of this place rarely drops below 20°C, making Ishigaki the perfect destination all year round. There are plenty of resorts to choose from, be it western style or Japanese inns. The price range is made to suit all kinds of budgets as well!
5. Miyajima Island
A 20-minute cruise ride away from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island is a tranquil spot for a quiet weekend getaway. The sunset here is one of the best in Japan, where you get to see the great torii (a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine) as if floating on the water during high tide and then majestically on the ground once sun has set. During this low tide period, you can walk up to the great torii to marvel at it closely – we were told that touching it brings good luck! This little island turns really quiet after sunset. After dark, couples stroll on the beach with their kimonos on – enjoying their quiet moments together. You cannot imagine how laid back this island is until you get there. There is so much more to see and experience in Japan as a couple than just the main cities. Which destination will you be spending Valentine’s Day at?