Whether celebrating Valentine’s Day and White Day the traditional Japanese way or honoring your culture’s take on the romantic holiday, you’ll need to plan a great date for you and that special someone. Unsurprisingly, Tokyo’s robust consumer culture has many options for outings and price points. From shopping for traditional crafts and grabbing a bite on a budget to a fancy dinner and a show at a premium, we’ve covered you with 10 date spots in Tokyo for you and your significant other. And don’t forget to bring some of the best Valentine’s Day sweets.
Not located in Tokyo? No reason to cancel your night. Check out our list of date ideas you can try anywhere in Japan.
1. Tokyo Station
For shopping, food and drink and great views, head to the Tokyo Station area. Start at Marunouchi Oazo, a multi-story Maruzen bookstore featuring Japan’s largest selection of English-language books. Grab a table at the in-house M&C Cafe for a cup of specialty coffee alongside the windows with a cityscape view.
Finish your date with a pasta lunch or dinner featuring an incredible seasonal salad bar at AWkitchen. Browse the luxury brand shops on your way out and take mental notes for future birthday and Christmas presents.
2. Mount Takao
A hike up the picturesque Mount Takao is ideal for people who love the great outdoors. Most climbers select Trail 1 for a relatively easy stroll up the mountain that takes approximately 90 minutes. Near the summit, you can pay your respects to Yakuoin Temple, dedicated to tengu (Shinto-Buddhist mountain deities), and take in the beautiful views of the surrounding Tokyo area.
Afterward, head back towards Takao station and go to the nearby Udon Cafe Suzuya, where you can slurp some delicious udon and sip some nihonshu (sake) for a relaxing time.
3. Tokyo Solamachi
For a day filled with romance and cute sea creatures, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Solamachi have you covered. Head first to the 5th floor for a world full of aquatic wildlife at Sumida Aquarium, where you can view penguins, an array of jellyfish and a massive tank filled with Ogasawara sea animals.
Afterward, enjoy a luxurious meal at the French restaurant Patisserie Parola on the 30th floor, which features a gourmet tasting menu, including an all-strawberry dessert cart. Then, as the sun sets, take in the sights of the surrounding Tokyo area on the observation deck at the top of Tokyo Skytree while sharing a cocktail from the standing bar.
For a date immersed in art and culture, look to one of Tokyo’s most stylish spots: Daikanyama. Start at the famous Daikanyama T-Site, which comprises a Tsutaya bookstore spread across three buildings housing Japanese and Western books and hundreds of old and new magazine titles. You can also grab a New York-style slice of pizza at Pizza Slice or a Cuban sandwich at Cafe Habana.
Visit the historical Kyu Asakura House or cozy up at Anjin Library & Lounge and flip through your finds. Then, after being inspired by the surrounding artwork and architecture, head to ArtBar to flex your creative muscles with paint brushes and all-you-can-drink wine or non-alcoholic drinks.
5. Nakano Broadway
For a fun retro date for Japanese game, idol, manga and anime lovers, set your sights on the Nakano Broadway shopping arcade. You can browse the many specialty stores, like Mandarake, for figurines, manga, idol goods and classic collectibles before heading to the basement’s Daily Chiko ice cream stand.
Order their famous tokudai (extra large) soft serve of eight flavors piled perilously high. Then, take a stroll in the nearby Nakano Central Park, which has a nice green space and restaurants and cafes to relax.
For a date filled with history, Japanese sweets and shopping, head to the storied district of Asakusa. You can first take in the immensity of Sensoji Temple’s Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate). Then, stroll along the lively Nakamise Shopping Street and peruse the many vendors selling traditional items, like chopsticks and wood-block prints.
Afterward, go to Nishiyama, a Japanese sweets shop that’s been in business in Asakusa for over 160 years and try their popular anmitsu dessert, which includes mochi, sweetened red bean paste, fruit and ice cream. Finally, visit the iconic Kappabashi Street and enjoy shopping for kitchen goods, knives, pottery and plastic food samples.
7. Omotesando and Aoyama
For an afternoon of culture, flora and music, bring your date to Omotesando! At the Aoyama Flower Market Green House, sit with a pot of herbal tea surrounded by the lushest greens and colorful blooms. Get inspired and make a bouquet of your own to adorn your home. Then, stroll down the street to the Nezu Museum and appreciate its premodern Japanese and Asian artworks together.
Behind the museum, escape the hustle and bustle of the capital and sit in one of the garden’s four tea houses. Cap off the date with French cuisine and an evening of jazz at the world-famous Blue Note Tokyo.
For a day of relaxation with your loved one, why not hit up Ikebukuro? First, catch up with one another in a secluded Japanese tea cafe that is a quiet gem in the middle of the city. At Chanoma, sample Japanese green and black teas, matcha lattes, and tea beer while sitting on tatami overlooking a garden in an over 70-year-old renovated house.
Then, head to the newly renovated Times Spa Resta for a gorgeous and adult spa experience. Soak in the many different baths, from white ion-infused to a carbon spring and follow up with a Finnish sauna. Finish your date with a gourmet healthy meal in the spa’s The Kitchen deli and cafe.
For a special day outdoors in the heart of the metropolitan, make a day of it in Iidabashi and start with Tokyo Daijingu, one of the most famous shrines dedicated to love and relationships. Pick up an omikuji (paper fortune) to glimpse your romantic future and an omamori (lucky charm) to safeguard your bond.
Continue the date at Canal Cafe, which offers pizza, pasta and cocktails while enjoying a waterfront view. Finally, stroll through Kita-no-maru Park, an oasis populated with deciduous trees and gentle brooks perfect for exploring together amidst the surrounding urban rush.
Don’t miss Jinbocho (often called Jimbocho) for a low-key date fit for bookworms. Tokyo’s used book heaven has a store with treasures for just about any type of reader. From the history buff to the retro idol fan. Almost as famous as the books are the old-timey kissaten (coffee shops) and curry restaurants in the area.
At Sabouru, a unique coffee shop that opened in 1955 with an eclectic tiki style, enjoy a cozy chat over their famous blue cream soda or delicious coffee. And when you want a bite to eat, try R Sri Lanka Tokyo for a stylish Sri Lankan curry eatery with seafood noodle curry and fried garlic shrimp curry, among other unique bowls.