I’ve dreamt of going to Japan my entire life. My parents met and fell in love on this beautiful island and what child doesn’t want to visit the magical land that brought two of your favorite people together? Japan is such a special place though for so many people, I know not just for me, with over 13 million visitors a year – this tiny island country pulls in guests for so many reasons. Because of this, visiting Japan on your honeymoon could be as romantic or as exciting as you’d like – this country has everything to offer!
While we enjoyed the majority of the hot spots, Tokyo, Kyoto and Yokohama – there are still so many other parts of the country to see. Smash Mouth must have been talking about Japan when they said “so much to do, so much to see” – because honestly, there are a million things to do in every little city. On major roads in Kyoto you’ll find the most elegant temples right next to the 7-11s but you can also travel by train for hours to find some incredibly unique sake breweries. Point being, that of almost all the countries I’ve visited, this country is by far the best to mix and match your itinerary. Regardless of where you end up or what you finally do, here are a few tips to take with you everywhere:
- Get reservations early. Many temples will only let you in with a reservation, not to mention only a certain number of people can enter each day. If you have limited time in Kyoto or other cities where you want to focus on the temples be sure to do your research and make reservations weeks or sometimes months in advance. Same with dinners, if you plan to go to any famous restaurants (or Robot Restaurants) make sure you’re organized and ready to go in advance!
- Anticipate your train rides taking longer than you thought. With so many train lines you can get almost anywhere on the island – however, anticipate the fact that the train also stops every few blocks. Your trip that’s only a few miles can take an hour. Not to mention if you’re transferring trains, know that your card might not cover all the lines included. Do you research and make sure you know what you’re spending your money on.
- If there is a very long line for food – get in it. Whatever it’s for, slushies, cheese donuts, sushi, it will be worth the wait! We did this twice and both times was life changing. Literally the best sushi of my life (and wasabi so strong my sinuses are STILL clear) and the weirdest most incredible cheese thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. No joke, if there is a line – there is a good reason.
- Check not just hours of operation but also days. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is wait until everyone in the car is hangry to find a place an hour away to only get there to realize it’s closed for not just the afternoon but the entire day.
Despite the hustle and bustle of Japan, this is a country where you just need to slow things down. The train will take a while, so enjoy the views. The line goes around the block and won’t speed up, so enjoy the time to people watch or chat with your honey. The line at the register isn’t getting any shorter, so just keep shopping. Need help picking which temples to visit or where to get sushi? Send me a note, I’d love to help you plan!