As one of the most populous and urban settings in the world, it may be hard to imagine Tokyo as a romantic getaway. That being said, there are plenty of opportunities for privacy and couple oriented experiences. We identified a few locations that may provide the atmosphere you are and your significant other are seeking.
Let us know of your own recommendations in the comments below.
Additionally, have a look at the companion Tokyo Night Life piece for a more lively night on the town - Tokyo Nightlife: Akabane and Shibuya
Japanese Ceramic Art Experience
Creating ceramics in the Japanese style can be a fun activity to get things going and provide a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. For those new to ceramics there are many studios in Tokyo where you can create your own vase, cup, dish or sake bottle under guidance. Prices range from 3,000 ~ 6,000 for most classes and the experience is around one to two hours.
Saidegama in the trendy Omotesando area is a great choice. The room is spacious and quite traditional with tatami seating and friendly staff. Additionally, the owner Taku Nakano who can often be seen in the back room, is a famous Ceramist in the scene and his arts are on display throughout the studio. Be advised that while you can purchase ceramics as a souvenir the work you create will typically take up to a month to complete so may require shipping if you want to own your accomplishment.
Japan’s highly distinctive culture is on display at Happo-en where traditional gardens, architecture, culinary techniques, art, music and more surround visitors and take over the senses. The spacious grounds of Happo-en are most famously known for the large gardens and pond an abundance of walking paths designed for the perfect stroll. Often, visitors will stumble upon a traditional Japanese wedding group as the area is one of the most famous for receptions and weddings in Japan.
At night time the gardens provide a unique and secluded experience perfect for couples looking for a quiet retreat. Along the walk you will be treated with displays of bonsai trees, traditional teahouses and pagoda structures reminiscent of classical Japan. The main building of Happo-en provides restaurants and bar seating with views over the garden and pond below.
Kagurazaka is a neighborhood with rich history as it was once the largest entertainment district due to its location just outside the outer moat of Edo castle. Geisha, teahouses, and theatres lit up the area and a few remain in the narrow side streets and alleys.
The area is built on a slope with a single main street from top to bottom. Walking the main street, you will find an abundance of cafes, sweets shops, and shopping locations, but it is when you get off and into the cobblestone side streets that the area truly shows itself. There are numerous upscale Japanese restaurants, shrines and bars hidden away on every branch and exploring each nook and cranny provides the feeling of walking in the footsteps of an Edo era geisha.
It is recommended to start from Iidabashi station on foot and make your up the hill to Kagurazaka station. Be sure to check out as many side streets as you can along the way. At nighttime, many of the streets are lit with white lights and lanterns providing an entirely different and romantic experience.
Though there are many places you can stop for food, a traditional recommendation would be Kagurazaka Kado (Japanese only) for an elegant course meal in a secluded setting.
This article is sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.