5 Romantic Spots in Tokyo for Valentine’s Day
By Eric Burton
Although V-Day isn’t as much of a lovey-dovey holiday as Christmas in Japan, your girlfriend or boyfriend might still be expecting something today. Whatever your plan is, here are 5 romantic spots to either start, or top off your night out.
Meiji Jingu Gaien
If we are using the Yamanote line as a guide, this large garden is located right in the middle of Tokyo. Meiji Jingu Gaien is not often visited like its more famous counterparts: Yoyogi Park in the west, Shinjuku Park directly north, and the Imperial Palace in the far east.
The garden is known for it’s long entrance path lined with gingko trees. With its paths often dividing off into new directions, this is the perfect place to get lost in. And after all that walking, you and your date can dine at one of the many restaurants available.
Access: Their website shows multiple entrances so pick the station most convenient for you.
Tokyo Dome City
Tokyo Dome City is all about fun. Located near Suidobashi station on the Chuo line, this urban amusement park is home to the Yomiuri Giants baseball club, and various stadium-status musical acts from around the world. Even if you’re not here to catch a game or concert, there are still plenty of other things to do.
There’s rides, arcades, and dozens of restaurants of varying cuisines. Looking for a star-filled night in the big city? The TenQ Planetarium has got you covered. Tokyo Dome will bring out the kid in both you and your date.
Access: Suidobashi station on either the JR Chuo line or Mita subway line lets you off directly at the entrance. Korakuen station leads to the back entrance. More info on their website.
A trendy neighborhood tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya, Daikanyama is one of my favorite date spots. A little more on the expensive side compared to the other places on this list, yet each dining experience I’ve had here has been well worth it. There’s Italian restaurants like Ristorante Aso, and the Spanish lounge in the sky known as the Hacienda del Cielo.
If you and your date are a little on the nerdy side, check out the Tsutaya about five minutes walking from Daikanyama station. I know you’re probably thinking, why go to a bookstore? Well this one’s rather unique. Check out the top floor and you’ll see what I mean. Almost interesting place to lounge back, to say the least.
Access: From Shibuya station take the Tokyu Toyoko line. It’s only one stop away.
Just a hop, skip, and jump from Daikanyama is Nakameguro. This area is filled with small shops and restaurants. If you do decide to sit down for something to eat, walk off all those carbs by Meguro River. This quiet stretch of cherry blossom trees is dotted with little boutiques and even more places to dine.
Access: From Shibuya station take the Tokyu Toyoko line. Two stops away.
Tokyo Tower or Sky Tree
It’s always breathtaking to see your world from a different perspective; especially when that perspective is hundreds of meters in the sky. Although these are of course very touristy places in Tokyo, there’s just so many different things to do in these areas, especially around Sky Tree. I felt they both deserve to be on this list.
Tokyo Tower is the smaller of the two, but it has been argued that the view is better because it is the closest to the center of Tokyo. There’s many shops and restaurants at the base of the tower, and a jazz lounge at the top. A few minutes away is Shiba Koen; sight of the famous Zojo-ji Temple.
Although Sky Tree is not in central Tokyo, it makes up for it with its sheer size. It’s so large that it even has its own station. Even if you and your date decide not to go to the top, there’s still an endless amount of things to do nearby. Not to mention Asakusa being one stop away. Lots of room to be creative in planning your special day.
Access: Sky Tree: From Ueno Station take the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and transfer to the TOBU SKYTREE Line at Asakusa Station, 14 minutes.
Tokyo Tower: From Tokyo Station take either the JR Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku line south to Hamamatsucho. From here you can see the tower in clear view, a 15-minute walk away. Or if you want to get closer, transfer to the Oedo line (you have to exit Hamatsucho station and enter Daimon station on the street level) and get off at Akabanebashi, main exit.
These are my top spots for all the romantics out there in Tokyo. But in reality, this list could probably go on forever. Each neighborhood in Tokyo holds a unique charm worth experiencing. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope that you all receive more honmei choco than giri choco this Saturday.