This romantic itinerary has been developed keeping in mind that a Japanese honeymoon doesn't have to break the bank. We've kept the accommodation and route fairly simple so that you can spend more on the fun things: eating out, sightseeing and enjoying the best that urban and rural, modern and traditional Japan has to offer.
Day 01: Arrive in Tokyo
Welcome to Japan! Upon arrival you'll catch the train from Narita Airport to your hotel in Tokyo's Ueno district, which is packed with great restaurants and interesting museums. Ueno is located close to the traditional Asakusa district so you can easily explore Senso-ji Temple and its surrounding markets on your first evening.
Days 02-03: Tokyo
After a night to adjust to life in Japan you will have two full days to explore Tokyo at your leisure. There is a huge amount to see, from Akihabara's "electric town"; to the karaoke bars of Ikebukuro and the neon-spangled skyscrapers of Shinjuku. If you want to escape the busy city streets, head for the calm of Ueno Park or the gardens around Meiji Shrine.
Days 04-05: Hakone
Today you'll take a highway bus from Tokyo to Hakone National Park. We've included Hakone Free Passes so you can explore the national park by ropeway, funicular train, mountain switchback railway and even a pirate boat across Lake Ashi - all with iconic Mount Fuji in the background (weather permitting!) Tonight you'll stay at a traditional 'Ryokan' a Japanese-style guesthouse with an outdoor hot spring bath that you can reserve for just the two of you.
After a restful night at your ryokan you'll have another day in Hakone to visit one of the national park's fantastic museums. The outdoor sculpture park is superb, offering a huge Picasso collection and magnificent sculptures set against the lush valleys and mountains of the national park.
Day 05: Nagasaki - Unzen Onsen
On day five you'll take the bus along some lovely winding mountain roads from Nagasaki to Unzen Onsen, a national park area known for its Mars-like landscapes, billowing clouds of sulphurous gases and bubbling hot springs - also known as "hells". This afternoon you'll take a walk around the area and ascend the Fugendake peak, which last erupted in 1991, before retiring to your traditional ryokan inn for the evening, where you'll have a delicious included dinner made up of many small dishes, including plenty of seasonal produce and local specialities.
As Unzen is a renowned hot spring area, no trip would be complete without a nice, long soak in your ryokan's onsen bath before bed tonight.
Day 06: Tsumago
You'll hop on the world-famous Shinkansen (bullet train) today to travel from Hakone National Park to Nagoya before catching a limited express train to the Kiso Valley.
Rather than taking the bus to your traditional inn at Tsumago, we highly recommend the scenic walk along the Nakasendo Highway from the nearby town of Magome. The Nakasendo Highway was once one of the five routes used by samurai to travel between Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period, and today it offers a wonderful glimpse of rural Japan. Dinner will be included at your family-run Tsumago minshuku tonight.
Days 07-09: Kyoto
Today you will take a limited express train to Nagoya and the bullet train on to Kyoto, Japan's cultural heartland. You'll be staying in the downtown area of the city near all the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. For a romantic evening walk, head straight for the pedestrian street of Pontocho where you'll find endless traditional restaurants and perhaps even a geisha scurrying between teahouses.
There's so much to see in Kyoto that it can be hard to know where to start! Our advice is to choose some classic sights like Nijo Castle, the strolling garden around Heian Shrine and the thousand Buddha statues at Sanjusangendo, then allow time to seek out some of the lesser-known sights. The twin shrines of Shimogamo and Kamigamo, for example, are usually quiet and only visited by the Japanese, but both are very picturesque.
On your second full day in Kyoto we've included a traditional tea ceremony experience to be held in an authentic teahouse just a stone's throw from the Gion geisha district. An English-speaking Kyotoite, dressed in a kimono, will show you the basics of the time-honoured ceremony from preparing the tea to the ritualised movements that guests must perform to appreciate the tea in a contemplative meditation. The rest of the day will be free for you to continue exploring the many charms of Kyoto.
Day 10: Mount Koya
Today you'll travel deep into the Kii Mountains to reach sacred Mount Koya, the birthplace of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.
Tonight you'll be staying in a shukubo, or Buddhist temple lodgings, where rooms are traditional Japanese-style with futon mattresses placed on the tatami mat floors and communal bathing facilities. An elaborate dinner of shojin ryori, vegetarian Buddhist cuisine, will be included at your accommodation this evening.
Days 11-13: Osaka
After a morning exploring the temple architecture and vast cemetery atop Mount Koya you'll catch the train back down to Osaka, where the urban jungle will certainly provide a striking contrast to your peaceful stay in the mountains! On arrival in Osaka, you'll check into your hotel.
Although it doesn't have a huge number of tourist sites in the conventional sense, Osaka is renowned throughout Japan for its fun-loving atmosphere, down-to-earth inhabitants and top-notch cuisine. Osaka is the perfect place to spend your last full day in Japan, and we recommend heading out to the port, home of Osaka's world-class aquarium, or visiting Osaka Castle. In the evening there's no better place for a big final night out than the Dotonbori district, packed with fantastic restaurants, trendy bars, larger-than-life models and bright neon signage!
On your final morning you'll hop on the train to Osaka Kansai Airport for your flight home.