One evening in Tokyo, our guide took us into deepest, darkest Shinjuku. We were led up these stairs into a tiny little restaurant full of gas burners, where a lovely old lady served us delicious shabu-shabu - I never would have found it on my own.
If originality is the name of your honeymoon game, then look no further than one of the most ‘other’ (and completely amazing to boot) destinations in the world - Japan.
For those wanting to get well and truly outside the box on their honeymoon, or to throw the box out altogether, Japan is the perfect destination. This is, after all, a place where you can buy burgers and eggs from vending machines, karaoke is done without a hint of irony and trains actually run on time. It's also the complete package when it comes to travel; snow-capped mountains in the north, flawless beaches in the south, and pretty much everything else on the honeymoon tick-list in between.
The main island of Honshu is home to everything you could ever want to see on a luxury honeymoon. Tokyo, as the largest city in the world, is somewhere we'd highly recommend having a guide to show you around, so you can get the best from the experience. With more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, food is a major draw here. History buffs (although maybe not romantic-types) will doubtless be drawn to Hiroshima; a harrowing but necessary trip for many. Wildlife enthusiasts will want to head straight to Jigokudani to watch snow monkeys bathing in hot springs, while adrenaline junkies will love skiing in northerly Hokkaido.
There's also no need to compromise on romance, this is a
honeymoon after all; for fans of hearts and flowers, it doesn't get
much more flowery than Japan's cherry blossom season - the perfect
honeymoon option if you're having a spring wedding.
Accommodation is also key to any honeymoon, and the luxury hotels in Japan are also, well, extremely luxurious, whether you're staying in a futuristic skyscraper or a ryokan - a traditional Japanese inn where you sleep on futon beds in tatame walled bedrooms, wear slippers and yakata dressing gowns and eat multi-course banquets of sublime Japanese cuisine. It's the perfect way to experience the real Japan, but for a taste of the unreal Japan, the soaring skyscraper hotels in Tokyo are also spectacular.
It gets better. One piece of the honeymoon jigsaw missing in Japan is beach action (although the islands of Okinawa are an option) but we're finding Japan and Hawaii becoming an increasingly popular - and super original - honeymoon combo.
HONEYMOON GIFT LIST SERVICE
Take advantage of our Honeymoon Gift List service! The service allows your loved ones to contribute to your Japan honeymoon by giving money towards the overall cost of your honeymoon.