Japan is UniqueJapan is possibly one of the most unique countries in the world. What do you think of when you think of Japan? Is it temples? Is it manga or anime? Giant robots? Technology? Maids? Cosplayers? What other country has such a diverse range of activities and things to see, especially in such a small area. On Sunday you could be in unltre-modern Akihabara, the electronics capital of Japan, surrounded by all kinds of gadget shops, waitresses dressed as maids as well as manga shops as far as the eye can see. Then on Monday morning you hop on a shinkansen and in a few hours you're surrounded by the ancient temples and serenity of ancient Kyoto. Where else can you find this variety? As we mentioned in Mary's story, you can get everything you could want in a honeymoon in one country.
|Modern Tokyo at it's brightest.|
Modern but traditionalI mentioned this in my first point, but Japan can really be a paradox, or a beautiful juxtaposition. If you to explore traditional Japanese culture, it can be done. Destinations like Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa and Takayama are perfect examples of old Japan. You walk around these towns, and you can imagine samurai and geisha walking, shopping, strutting amongst the courtiers and merchants. However, if you want to spend time in some of the most modern cities in the world, you can enjoy the hustle, bustle and livliness of cities like Tokyo or Osaka. As opposed to samuari, geisha and courtiers, it feels like you've stepped into a sci-fi movie like Blade Runner. How about recently reborn cities such as Hiroshima or Kobe, both recovered completely from recent disasters, with wide streets, youthful energy and an international feel.
|Tokyo station, an old building surrounded by modern Tokyo.|
Sun, surf and snowboardWe've already mentioned how Japan is both traditional and modern, but did you know that Japan is a great place to snowboard or ski as well as a great place for sun and surf? As we mentioned in our post on Amami Oshima, Japan has some amazing, underrated tropical locations. White sand beaches, beach side hotels, diving, canoeing on mangrove lakes and crystal clear, coral inhabited waters are everything and more you could want from a beach honeymoon. As for snow sports, Japan has some history here too! Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics and hope to host it again in 2026. Nagano also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998. Japan has a lot of mountains and averages about 14m of snowfall every season, making it ideal for skiing and snowboarding. There are plenty of great skiing resorts in Japan. Hakuba is one of the best resorts in Japan, located in the Northern Japanese Alps, while Niseko, and many of the facilities in Niseko, have won numerous awards from the World Ski Awards in 2014.
|View of tropical Amami Oshima from a beach side hotel.|
Every season has something to offerThere are no off seasons in Japan, there is always something different to see and do. Spring is cherry blossom season, with little pink flowers exploding from sakura trees all over the country. At this time of year, Japanese people love to go out and picnic under the blooming trees in an activity called hanami. Summer is fireworks and festivals. Fireworks mightn't sound so impressive, but the fireworks displays in Japan are explosive, to say the least, often involving as few as 1,000 up to a massive 25,000 fireworks used in a single display. Autumn is the season for enjoying nature, with the leaves on the trees changing from the vibrant green of the warmer months, to the warm reds and yellows of Autumn. In Japan this is known as koyo. It's the perfect month for getting outside and enjoying some of the amazing natural beauty of Japan, especially if you're into hiking. Finally, in winter there is snowboarding and skiing in the northern parts of the country as well as delicious winter foods like nabe hot pot and yakiimo roasted sweet potato.
|Amazing summer fireworks display.|
The foodThere's not much to say about Japanese food that hasn't bee said before. Japan is home to 32 three star Michelin restaurants, 106 two star restaurants and 378 one star Michelin restaurants. These restaurants are not just restricted to Tokyo, but are spread throughout the country, including Osaka, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto and Nara. In addition to the outstanding quality of the food, the variety is mind boggling. Every city or area has it's own specialty foods, like kaiseki in Kyoto, takoyaki in Osaka, oysters in Miyajima or Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. However long you spend in Japan, you won't go hungry and you won't be disappointed.
|Kaiseki in Kyoto.|
The peoplePerhaps the best reason to go to Japan for your honeymoon is the people. No matter who you meet along the way, they are friendly, polite and curious. Staff, no matter where you go, are polite and attentive, well beyond the typical service standards of most western countries. If you ask for directions, or seem lost, you won't be left in disarray long as inevitably someone will help you, with a smile and a bow. Maybe, like one of our recent clients, you'll learn something amazing from the Japanese people, a lesson that you'll hold onto for the rest of your life.
|The people are what make Japan truly great.|