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A Valentine's Trip: 5 romantic spots to visit with the 3-day JR TOKYO Wide Pass

A Valentine's Trip: 5 romantic spots to visit with the 3-day JR TOKYO Wide Pass

Love is in the air in Tokyo and with Valentine’s Day (14 February) soon approaching, you might wonder if there’s any popular or romantic places to visit with your special someone. If you’re going to Tokyo during the season of love, apart from the custom of gifting chocolate to your partner, why not take them out to view some of Japan’s earliest blooms of sakura, or on a shopping spree in a premium outlet mall? But be sure to make room for some extra company—the JR TOKYO Wide Pass is what you’ll need to conquer these five dating spots without worrying about breaking the bank.


1. Kawazu River (Day 1)

A picnic under the sakura trees would definitely be a solid date idea. (Image credit: photoAC)


Can you really call yourself a couple in Japan if you’ve never taken a stroll together along a cherry blossom-lined street, petals swaying in the wind as you take joy in the simple things? The first spot on this list is perfect for that very experience, as you’ll not only get to enjoy a leisurely view of hundreds of blooming pink cherry blossom trees along a river that courses through an entire town, but you’ll get to do so in the month of February, long before the first wave of flowers arrive in Tokyo!


Kawazu-zakura are said to bloom unpredictably along the banks of Kawazu River. (Image credit: photoAC)


The place in question is the scenic town of Kawazu (河津町 Kawazu-chō), located on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島 Izu-hantō) in Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県 Shizuoka-ken). Accessible from Tokyo in less than 3 hours via train, the special characteristics of this town’s variety of sakura, Kawazu-zakura, means it blooms earlier and longer than its contemporaries. Coupled with the blooming season is a month-long festival held throughout the town, guaranteeing a lively cherry blossom-coloured Valentine’s date! Be sure to start your day early to get the best out of Kawazu’s exciting festivities during this period!

Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (河津桜まつり)
Festival dates in 2023: 1–28 February
Address: 79-4 Hama, Kawazu, Kamo-gun, Shizuoka 413-0513
Nearest station: Kawazu Station (河津駅)
Access: The banks of Kawazu River are a 5-minute walk from Kawazu Station. You may find the first few festival stalls along the way.
Tel: +81 558-34-1560





Make your way back to Tokyo to stop by at the city’s latest and most raved about attraction. Shibuya has always been known for its iconic scramble crossing, dubbed the “Shibuya Crossing” (渋谷スクランブル) in front of Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit and in 2019, a new 230m-tall skyscraper overlooking this scramble was introduced: SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE (渋谷スクランブルスクエア Shibuya Sukuranburu Sukuea). 


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Fancy a drink at the top of the world? (Image credit: SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE)


And what’s a skyscraper without an awesome observation deck? Located on the rooftop of Shibuya Scramble Square, SHIBUYA SKY will provide you with an unobstructed view of Tokyo’s skyline, including the famous Shibuya Crossing. During the clearest of days, SHIBUYA SKY is also a great vantage point for Mount Fuji (富士山 Fuji-san). The best time to visit SHIBUYA SKY is arguably during sunset and nighttime when the whole metropolis is lit up.


On the stairway to heaven. (Image credit: SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE)


This skyscraper is connected directly to Shibuya Station via underground and has both office and commercial facilities, so don’t forget to visit some of the pop-up shops that offer Valentine special sweets and chocolates in Shibuya Scramble Square! 


Address: SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE, 2-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-6145
Nearest station: Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)
Access: From Shibuya Station, take the B6 Exit
Opening hours: 10 am–10:30 pm (Hours may differ according to the weather)
Admission fee (Advance tickets): ¥1,800 (Adults), ¥1,400 (Middle and High school students), ¥900 (Elementary school students), ¥500(Ages 3–5)
Admission fee (Same-day door tickets): ¥2,000 (Adults), ¥1,600 (Middle and High school students), ¥1,000 (Elementary school students), ¥600(Ages 3–5)
Tel: +81 3-4221-0229


3. Karuizawa (Day 2)

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Kumoba Pond in winter is a view that's hard to beat. (Image credit: Town of Karuizawa)


Next on our list is a place many would associate with seasons of summer or autumn, but come December to March, Karuizawa (軽井沢町 Karuizawa-machi) is transformed into a winter wonderland. About an hour away from Tokyo by shinkansen, this resort town in eastern Nagano (長野県 Nagano-ken) is home to some of nature’s most romantic offerings—Kumoba Pond (雲場池 Kumoba-ike), a picturesque pond dubbed as “Swan Lake” that looks ethereal in winter; and Shiraito Falls (白糸の滝 Shiraito no Taki), where the falls are lit up amongst the snowy grounds and starry night sky at the Shiraito Midwinter Light Up event (on selected days between December to February). 


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Taking a stroll outside Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza. (Image credit: JR Times / Sue Lynn)


Take a break from all the sightseeing and tackle the streets of Kyu Karuizawa which are dotted with trendy cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and museums. If you choose to stay indoors, the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza (軽井沢・プリンスショッピングプラザ) is a haven for your branded shopping needs with over 200 brands of shops. With the entrance located right in front of Karuizawa Station, you can easily shop to your heart’s content before making your way back to Tokyo! Whether or not you choose to end the day with an overnight stay in one of the many stylish ryokan or hotels, Karuizawa is a must-visit day trip destination for all couples. Still not convinced? A couple of Japanese variety shows have featured Karuizawa as a town full of romantic escapades, so now you know why!


Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza (軽井沢・プリンスショッピングプラザ)
Address: Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano 389-0102
Nearest station: Karuizawa Station (軽井沢駅)
Access: 2-minute walk from Karuizawa Station
Opening hours: 10am–7pm (Refer here for more information)
Tel: +81 267-42-5211


4. Enoshima (Day 3)

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The aquarium features beautiful displays of native fish species, jellyfish, otters, capybaras, and dolphins. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)


Start your third and final day of the JR TOKYO Wide Pass with a trip to Enoshima, an offshore island close to Kamakura along the coast of Shonan in Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県 Kanagawa-ken) that also ranks high in the list of dating spots around Tokyo. Enoshima is famous for its beach facing Mount Fuji, as well as the Enoshima Aquarium and Enoshima Sea Candle. 


Amusement parks like theme parks, zoos, and aquariums are common dating spots amongst young people in Japan, and aquariums, in particular, provide not just entertainment value but also educational tidbits about marine life. Enoshima Aquarium is no exception—this aquarium gives visitors an inside look into the diverse life underwater in Sagami Bay (相模湾 Sagami Wan), as well as fun dolphin shows. Though not as large in scale as compared to Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium or Osaka Kaiyukan, Enoshima Aquarium is the better choice for sneaking in a quieter date with your partner nearby Tokyo.


Enoshima Aquarium (新江ノ島水族館)
Address: 2-19-1 Katase Kaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa, 251-0035
Nearest station: Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅) / Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Access: 3-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station / Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 9am–5pm (March–November), 10am–5pm (December–February)
Admission fee: ¥2,500
Tel: +81 466-29-9960

Note: The JR TOKYO Wide Pass does not fully cover the trip to Katase-Enoshima Station or Enoshima Station. Please note that there will be an additional fee of ¥160 or ¥220 respectively between Fujisawa Station (covered by JR TOKYO Wide Pass) and the aforementioned stations.


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Keep the flames of love burning at the Enoshima Sea Candle. (Image credit: Fujisawa City Tourist Association)


Less than a 30-minute stroll across the aquarium is the Enoshima Sea Candle (江ノ島シーキャンドル Enoshima Shīkyandoru), a lighthouse observatory tower that stands 120m above sea level. On a clear day, from the top you can enjoy panoramic 360º views of the surrounding area and as far as Yokohama (横浜) and the Izu Peninsula. Like a candle, the tower is charmingly lit up as dusk falls, and you’ll be greeted with a million dollar view of the sun dramatically setting behind Mount Fuji. It doesn’t get any more romantic than this.


Enoshima Sea Candle (江の島シーキャンドル)
Address: 2-3-28 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa, 251-0036
Nearest station: Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅)
Access: 20-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride from Katase-Enoshima Station
Opening hours: 9am–8pm
Admission fee: ¥500
Tel: +81 466-23-2444

Note: The JR TOKYO Wide Pass does not fully cover the trip to Katase-Enoshima Station or Enoshima Station. Please note that there will be an additional fee of ¥160 or ¥220 respectively between Fujisawa Station (covered by JR TOKYO Wide Pass) and the aforementioned stations.


5. Tokyo Tower (Day 3)

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(Image credit: Melv_L - MACASR / CC BY-SA 2.0)


Thinking of taking your love to greater heights? We’ve saved the best for last! Tokyo Tower (東京タワー) is one of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks. Standing at 333m tall, this second-tallest building in Japan remains high on the list of romantic spots to visit in Tokyo. Having enjoyed a lovely dinner, you and your loved one can now enjoy the spectacular night view of the city on top of this beautifully-illuminated tower. 


At the tower, you can purchase 2 types of tickets: Main Deck ticket and Top Deck ticket. The Main Deck is located at the 150m mark approximately halfway up the tower. A smaller observatory is located at 250m—this is a special observatory and the highlight of Tokyo Tower.


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Visit Tokyo Tower during Golden Week (usually end April to early May) and you will be greeted by 333 carp streamers at its entrance! (Image credit: JR Times / mymotherinjapan)


If your plan is to visit during the day, you’ll be greeted by an amazing view of the surrounding area. The tower is surrounded by temples and parks, and is also neighboured by Roppongi (六本木), Shiodome (汐留), and Shinagawa (品川). On a clear day, you can even see Fuji-san just beyond the rows of buildings in Tokyo. Having enjoyed the view, head on over to the area on the first floor to check out the multiple little shops and restaurants. 


Tokyo Tower (東京タワー)
Address: 4-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011
Nearest station: Akabanebashi Station (赤羽橋駅)
Access: 5-minute walk from Akabanebashi Station via the Akabanebashi Exit. From Hamamatsucho Station (covered by JR TOKYO Wide Pass), it’s a 15-minute walk to the tower grounds.
Opening hours (Main Deck): 9am–11pm (Last admission 10:30pm)
Opening hours (Top Deck Tour): 9am–10:45pm (Last admission 10pm–10:15pm)
Admission fee (Main Deck): ¥1,200 (Adults), ¥1,000 (16–18 years old), ¥700 (7–15 years old), ¥500 (4–6 years old), Free (Ages 3 and below)
Tel: +81 3-3433-5111

*For more information about pricing, click here.


Fall in love with the JR TOKYO Wide Pass

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At ¥10,180, the 3-day JR TOKYO Wide Pass is your best companion around the Kanto Region. (Image credit: JR East)


Travel to your heart’s content over the Valentine’s Day weekend with the 3-day JR TOKYO Wide Pass! At ¥10,180, it extensively covers not only the cost of a roundtrip shinkansen ride between Tokyo Station and Karuizawa Station (~¥11,640) on Day 1, but also your multiple rides in to and fro Tokyo, Izu, and Fujisawa on Day 2 and Day 3. If you’re looking to extend your 3-day V-date to a 5-day one, consider upgrading to the JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) to explore beyond Tokyo. While these railway passes are available all-year round, it wouldn't come as a surprise if you fell head over heels for them instead during the season of love. Happy Valentine’s!


Header image credit: JR East & photoAC


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