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Mitchell Honeymoon trip Japan + Vietnam

A trip to show you the different facets of Japan with a focus on learning about different regional foods.

Day 1: Tokyo (12/17)

We typically like to allow our guests to familiarize themselves with how grand Tokyo is on their first day. We also don't like to bombard people with too many activities on their first day. We try to keep it relatively simple. The activities that we have planned for this day are a visit to Tokyo SkyTree, so that you can see how massive, and endless Tokyo truly is. After that, we wanted to arrange a traditional night-time dinner on a yakatabune. A yakatabune is a riverboat, but the interior is similar to what you would see inside of an older Japanese house. The flooring is tatami, and the tables are also low to the ground. This is something that is often enjoyed in the by Japanese people during special events. Activities: 

  • Tokyo Sky Tree visit
  • Dinner on a yakatabune (Tokyo Bay area)

Day 2: Tokyo

This day is sure to be memorable. In the morning we will start you guys off with a visit to a sumo stable. I personally enjoy visiting the stables more than I enjoy going to an actual tournament, because you get to see their morning matches up close, and it really gives you a great idea of how strong they are, and also a glimpse into their lifestyle. Sumo has such a rich history outside of being a spectator sport. It has been used historically in divination ceremonies, and the "sport" of sumo is only a recent part of its history. After that, we would like to arrange a trip to the manmade island in the center of Tokyo Bay, to visit a TeamLab digital art exhibition. There are two on the island. One is more visual, and the other is also visual, but also tactile as well. There is no rush on deciding, and I have been to both, so I can give you an idea of the differences next time we speak. I want there to be some kind of food experience for every day that you guys are here, and so for this day, I've narrowed it down to two places. They are both steakhouses, and they are both excellent. The first is an all you can eat steakhouse that has different cuts from all over Japan. We spoke briefly about this place. They also prepare the food on a teppan grill in front of you. The other place is one I briefly mentioned when we spoke, but it is a steakhouse that specializes in beef from Saga. They have a private room that was designed by the TeamLab group, and so it incorporates a lot of the technology that you would have seen earlier that day. The food is also amazing, and I believe it is somewhere around 10 or so courses. It is truly one-of-a-kind, as I don't think there is another restaurant like it in the world.   Activities: 

  • Sumo stable visit
  • TeamLab Borderless
  • Wagyu steak dinner

Day 3: Tokyo

This day will have a slightly more relaxed pace. We wanted to start your day off with a couple's spa treatment. The first place I thought of was Aman, as they are equipped with an excellent spa/massage therapy section in their hotel. However there are many other places that will work as well. After that, I would like to arrange a street food tour in either the Shinjuku area or the Asakusa area based on your interests (Shinjuku would be more savory foods, and it also has a Korean neighborhood, where you could try out some Korean street food while here, and Asakusa is more traditional Japanese sweets-themed). Lastly, you guys showed interest in Japanese spirits, and so I would like to take you to the best place to learn about sake that I know of. They have different types of spirits from all over the country located there, and you can learn about the different processes that each goes through, and what foods they pair best with (and you get to drink all of them as well). Activities: 

  • Street Food tour
  • Spa day at Aman or similar location
  • Sake learning center
  • Dinner reservations at place of your choice

Day 4: Tokyo

Today you will learn about the various types of fish that Japan typically uses in its most famous dish, sushi. Your guide will take you to the largest fish market in Tokyo where you can see the massive amount of fish, and marine products brought in, in a single day, buy some fish, and then use that fish to make your own sushi! For most of our itineraries we typically have a half-day (or more) open at each locale, so that our guests can do shopping, or any other activities that they wanted to do on their own. We think it would be nice to have a day where people have time to pursue some of their own interests in each of the major locations that they visit. So for that reason we have left the rest of this day open, however please let us know if you would like to add something here, and also we can still make dinner arrangements on this day. Activities:

  • Fish market tour + sushi making lesson
  • Free day

Day 5: Shibu Onsen

Shibu Onsen is one of the best natural hot spring towns in Japan. It's also famous for its snow monkeys that bathe in the natural hot springs in the area! It's also not well known, but Shibu Onsen is also one of the rare spots outside of major cities where geisha still operate (for entertainment purposes only). Since you showed interest in meeting a geisha when we spoke on the phone, I think that this is the perfect location to kind of get a mixture of different experiences. The place that we have in mind is a traditional ryokan, but it has very luxurious amenities, like the en-suite natural onsen bath! They also prepare delicious kaiseki meals for their guests for dinner. The area is also famous for its 9 different local hot springs that are kind of like miniature bath houses, and bathing in all 9 is supposed to bestow luck onto its visitors. Activities: 

  • Jigokudani snow monkey hot springs
  • Kaiseki dinner with geisha
  • Onsen hot springs
*Note: For this area, it is best to have a driver, or rent a car for travel.

Day 6: Shiga Kogen ski area

Today is all about skiing and having fun on the slopes. There is a ski park near the onsen where you can spend the day having fun on the slopes. We can arrange for a ski instructor to accompany you if you haven't been before, but this ski park has a multitude of different items for you to enjoy the slopes, even if you are not interested in skiing or snowboarding. They have snow 'scooters', sleds, snow bikes, and an assortment of other ways to enjoy the snow. After which, returning to the onsen for a nice hot soak is the best way to relax after this day. Activities:

  • Skiing lesson or a lighthearted fun day at the snow park
*Note: the slopes that we have in mind are for beginners, however if you guys are experienced skiers we can easily alter this to accommodate your skill level.  

Day 7: Nagano

Today we wanted you guys to take in one of the most amazing sites in the area; Togakushi Shrine. Today will be best experienced with a knowledgeable guide to help you take in the significance of this majestic shrine. The grounds of the shrine look like something from a Miyazaki film. It is surrounded by massive sugi trees, which is a site that is particularly spectacular in the winter when all of the snow is covering the roots of the trees. To continue with the traditional theme of the day, we would also like to give you guys a tour of one of Nagano's sake breweries where you can learn a bit about the process of how sake is made, and also do a tasing of the region's best offerings. We would like to end the activities for the day with a lesson on Japanese calligraphy. Activities:

  • Togakushi Shrine visit
  • Visit a sake brewery
  • Japanese calligraphy lesson

Day 8: Osaka

Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe are very close to each other. The region that they are in is called Kansai. So instead of moving you guys around between all three locations, we like to situate our guests in on city, and have them make short day trips between the locations. We enjoy giving our guests the chance to see the scale of each city that they are visiting, and with Osaka, we wanted to give you the chance to see it from a helicopter to fully take it in. Osaka's nickname is "Japan's kitchen" and today will be a good chance to see why. The Ramen Expo will have the best ramen chefs from all over Japan competing to see who is No. 1! So this will be one of the best opportunities to taste the best that each region has to offer. Today's activity list is relatively short, as the shinkansen bullet train journey from Shibu Onsen to Osaka will be relatively long. However Osaka will be visited again on Day 10. Activities: 

  • Ramen Expo 3rd weekend
  • Helicopter ride to see Osaka city

Day 9: Kyoto

Today we wanted to plan some more 'romantic' activities for you guys to celebrate your union. All of today's activities are slower paced, but relaxing, and dreamy. There is a beautiful valley river just outside of Kyoto, where there are teams of people who will take you down it on a 3-man boat. This is actually the river that many people used to travel between Osaka and Kyoto in bygone eras. One of the best ways of reaching the area is the beautiful open-air train train travels along the river to get you there. It's a very nice way to start the day, and is super refreshing. You see a lot of monkeys and deer along the river too, and there is a really cool boat that pulls up next to you guys (also a traditional boat) with a grill that sells octopus or squid, and beer. The ride is relaxing and cozy. Tenryuji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has what is considered one of the most beautiful zen gardens in the entire nation. It's located in Arashiyama, which is the last stop on your boat journey. An area that is known for its temples and shrines, and the picturesque bamboo thickets in the area (I'm sure you've seen pictures of it without noticing... I'm going to include a picture of it below in the small photo gallery).   Activities: 

  • Open-air valley steam-engine train
  • Hozugawa Kudari
  • Arashiyama tour
  • Tenryuji Temple Zen Garden
  • Nighttime Illumination (possibly moved to Day 11, depending on time allowance) or Arashiyama Hanatoro
  • Dinner reservation in Kyoto
*Note: As I mentioned previously, we supply all of our guests with a list of restaurant recommendations for each city that they are visiting. However for this day, we wanted to reserve a spot at one of Kyoto's most famous banzai restaurants, that is set out in nature, to continue with the cozy, and romantic feel of this day. The restaurant is a platform that has been suspended on top of a river, and the food changes for every season. We thought it would be the perfect way to end this day.

Day 10: Kyoto + Osaka

There is a shrine in Kyoto (a very small one actually), where you can conduct a small love ritual to everlasting love. Couples in the city go there all the time to profess their love for one another, and so I thought that this would be a great addition to your honeymoon itinerary! Fushimi Inari is the most famous shrine in all of Japan. It has thousands and thousands of brilliant red-orange torii gates across the mountain, and the shrine itself has become a national symbol of Japan. Activities:

  • Love Shrine
  • Fushimi Inari
  • Dotonbori night cruise
  • Street food tour
  • Karaoke (private booth)

Day 11: Himeji + Kobe

Today I wanted to mix something quirky with something classical. Himeji Castle is by far the most stunning castle in all of Japan (imo). It's also rare in that it is the original structure, and has stood the test of time against earthquakes, fires, and wars. We wanted to start the day with a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and give you guys a view of ancient Japan. After that, we want to take you to Kobe for its amazing food, but also because up until now in the itinerary, there hasn't been much to give you guys a historical perspective, we wanted to plan a trip to a museum (or two), guided. The first is an amazing museum that displays how Japan's craftsmen have been able to create amazing structures throughout its history, and is a great place to visit if you are in any way interested in Japan's beautiful architecture. The next one is a museum all about Japan's fashion throughout history, and some of the innovations it has given the world. Lastly, I would like for you guys to see what all the wagyu hype is about at one of the best places to experience it, Kobe. We would like to make dinner arrangements for you in Kobe for the evening. Activities: 

  • Himeji Castle
  • Takenaka Museum or Kobe Fashion Museum (both if time permits)
  • Kobe beef dinner reservation

Day 12: Kansai region

Today is a free day. We've purposely put this here, so that things will still be open for shopping before the typical New Years closings, and also so you won't have to carry around a bunch of extra things for your remaining time in Japan after you do shop. This day could also just be used as a rest day, or a day to visit something you've heard about that wasn't on the itinerary.

Day 13: Kyoto

We've saved one of the most grand sights for last, Kyoto's Imperial Palace. Although Tokyo is the nation's capital, the palace there serves as the Imperial family's formal residence, and so touring the grounds is possible, but touring the inside of the palace is not. Here in Kyoto, however, touring both the grounds and the inside of the buildings is possible. Also, the palace is is ancient, and thus it is a much more rare sight. After that, we wanted to plan a formal tea ceremony for you both, before having you take your last food tour in Japan at Nishiki market. Nishiki market is the perfect reflection of Kyoto as unlike most other food markets around the country, the hundreds of food stands have many traditional foods, and ingredients that you can try out. Activities: 

  • Imperial Palace
  • Tea ceremony
  • Nishiki food market tour
  • Dinner reservation (Pontocho Alleyway)

Day 14: Japan to Vietnam (12/30)

Today is the day that you guys will fly from Vietnam from Japan! Still waiting on the proposal from your Vietnam travel planner, but we should have details to add to this portion of the itinerary soon.


These are our initial thoughts for your trip. Please let us know what you think! Just a few notes:

  • We would arrange the majority of your long-distance travel to be done via bullet train.
  • As mentioned over the phone, we would supply you guys with a list of restaurant recommendations in advance, so that we could make reservations prior to your arrival. We can go over the selections with you on the phone, to give you a better idea, and if you have any particular dishes that you would like to try (sukiyaki, tenpura, etc.), let us know and we can be sure to add a specific place somewhere in the itinerary for trying it).
  • We would like to use a courier service to take your bags to your hotel for major moves (like the move from Shibu Onsen to the Kansai region) so that you can travel light.
Very much looking forward to hearing what you think! Speak to you soon.


Katelyn Mitchell

Start date:

January 17th, 2022

Number of days:

13 (Japan) + 9 (Vietnam)




Tokyo / Shibu Onsen / Nagano / Kyoto / Himeiji / Osaka / Kobe






With this itinerary we tried to make the best of what winter has to offer, while also making it a cozy and romantic trip for you to celebrate your honeymoon.

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