Let me tell you about a friend. Let’s call her Mary. Late last year she was getting married to her boyfriend of eight years, John. They’d met in university in Dublin and finally John popped the question. One night over dinner, the subject quickly turned to the honeymoon. It didn’t take long to discover it was a contentious issue.
|The truth comes out over dinner!|
I sympathised. Their honeymoon is the most important trip of their life. It should be big, bold, unique, unforgettable!!
Having lived, worked and gotten married in Japan, I knew what the country could offer, I knew it could be everything they wanted, everything they both dreamed of. So I did what any friend would do in this kind of situation; I helped. I organised, rang and booked. Japan was right for John and Mary.
|Tokyo, first stop on the honeymoon!|
After three days of full-on modern Japan, our intrepid honeymooners hopped on a bus and headed to Matsumoto, located high in the Japanese Alps. This is a completely different scene. An old city, with one of the few remaining authentic Japanese castles, they spent a few hours there before heading off to a nearby onsen town. Onsen are the incredible natural hot springs of Japan, and these hot springs are particularly special. The local monkey population love to come down and bathe in warm, natural spring waters at that time of year. But enough monkey business, on with the trip!
|Monkeys, chilling in the hot springs.|
|Edo period architecture in Takayama.|
But leave there did and from there, our honeymooning couple moved onto Kyoto, the place John was most excited about. Kyoto has 17 World Heritage sites, 1,600 Buddhist temples and about 400 Shinto shrines. History and culture doesn’t get much richer than this!! Here, John and Mary also experienced a traditional tea ceremony, served by a Maiko (a Geisha in training). There is nothing like this in the west, and even in Japan you need to know the right people to experience this. John, becoming enamoured with Japanese culture, had a million and one questions, which the Maiko was only happy to answer.
Then the trip took a more somber turn. Hiroshima. The city that needs no introduction; one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War was dropped on Hiroshima. In spite of this tragic past, Hiroshima has risen like a phoenix, and is a modern city, full of energy and life. John and Mary spend some time in the Peace Park and Museum, a poignant reminder of the tragedy that befell Hiroshima. John confided in me after that the experience made him realise how special Mary was, and how lucky he was to have her. Though not a typical honeymoon location, I think this experience has brought them closer together (is that even possible after marriage?).
|The A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.|
|View from the hotel, Amami Island.|
Would you consider Japan as a honeymoon destination? Did you visit Japan on your homeymoon? How about the destinations we mentioned, have you been there? If you are interested in any of our trips, feel free to comment below, or contact us for a free consultation.