The mostly flat, utilitarian cityscape of Tokyo doesn’t lend itself to an abundance of romantic spots, but they do exist!
So what is a romantic spot? It’s a place of beauty where the scenery and the atmosphere fill your heart with an optimistic light and which brings you fully into the moment. It’s nice to have someone to share the experience with, but you can just as well enjoy these places alone.
Odaiba at dusk
Few places are better for appreciating Tokyo’s transition from a city of stark daytime concrete to a glittering nighttime wonderland than Odaiba. A table on the terrace at any of the restaurants at The Decks or Aqua City is the perfect place to watch the sky transition from blue, to orange, to a deep purple. The lantern strewn yakatabune boats that glide into the waters below Odaiba also add something unique to the scene.
The Imperial Palace on the weekend
The moats and gardens of the Imperial Palace are a great place for a stroll at anytime. Majestic cranes and slowly moving swans are a common site in the waters surrounding the palace. The weekend adds a little extra to the romance though, with the beautiful setting, the hubbub, and the slowly strolling couples and families forming a warmly embracing atmosphere.
Inokashira Park or Chidorigafuchi Moat during cherry blossom season
The fleeting but beautiful blossoms automatically make any place 1,000% more romantic (let’s face it, the Meguro River without Sakura is just an open drain). One of the things that sets these two particular places apart is the addition of boats. The gentle splashing of oars, giggling passengers, and the blossoms forming a pink carpet on the water make for a memorable experience.
If the romance is getting too intense, opt for a giant swan boat instead, which definitely has more comedy value than romance power.
Happo-en preferably in autumn
This traditional garden is one of Tokyo’s most popular wedding photo spots, for good reason—the garden is stunning. Maintained for visitors to weddings and other events in the hotel banquet halls, Happo-en isn’t typically open to the public. However, if you stop for a (slightly pricey) cup of tea at the cafe you can easily slip into the garden for a stroll.
Shinobazu Pond after dark
Despite the rowboats and pedallo swans, Shinobazu Pond during the daytime is only mildly romantic. Head to the promenade near the southern shore after dark in Winter or Spring though, and the reflections of the buildings on the still surface of the pond are mesmerizing.
The backstreets of Asakusa after dark
The absence of loud motorized traffic, the gentle sound of people chattering to each other, the occasional rickshaw, and the warm glow of lanterns make the backstreets of Asakusa a particularly romantic spot. From Nakamise-dōri, turn left at Yorozuya bag shop onto Denbōin-dōri (also called Denpōin-dōri by some). This street probably has the most Kyoto-like feels of anywhere in Tokyo, and Kyoto is undeniably romantic.