Tokyo is the perfect location for couples to visit, especially in the beautiful month of January. Let me share my experiences taking in this wonderful place with my girlfriend so that you can really get a great idea of amazing things to do here.
Looking for Places to Go in Tokyo in January?
There are a lot of incredible places that you can visit here in Tokyo especially during the month of January. My girlfriend and I are people who love to go out and experience life and this is what we have to share about what the best places to visit in Tokyo are.
8 Things to Do in Tokyo this January
Is there really anything more romantic than the stars? My girlfriend and I were taken aback by the stunning beauty of the starry sky in Tokyo in January. If this is something that interests you, visit the NAOJ Mitaka Star Party. Capacity is 300 people and you must make a reservation in advance. How can you not like a place where their vision is “to be innovators striving to solve the mysteries of the Universe”?
2. Christmas Lights
Christmas is not really a religious holiday here in Tokyo but they do know how to put on an incredible “illuminations” show. Take your loved one and stroll the romantic streets/boardwalks of Tokyo at night. Here you can see some of the most amazing Christmas light set ups that you have ever seen in your life. My girlfriend and I were completely in awe of just how amazing these lights are.
You may hear about pilgrimages all of the time but may not have considered it because maybe you aren’t religious. However, despite your own religious followings this pilgrimage was just incredible. My girlfriend loved the gorgeous views and I enjoyed the tea and snacks after we had finished this exhilarating adventure. Numerous people participate in this tour called the “Shichifukujin Meguri” to pray at seven local temples and shrines collecting mini lucky gods statues along the way.
Let’s face it: it isn’t a date night until you and your girlfriend enjoy an amazing meal together. Nabe is the perfect dish to warm up with, after spending a day out in the cold here in Tokyo. Nabe is rather healthy and is generally eaten straight out of the pot consisting of tofu, veggies, mushrooms and a ponzu dipping sauce. We were spoiled to have ours with crab legs and salmon also. This delicious soup is especially popular this time of year.
5. Art Museum
My girlfriend is a huge fan of art and I enjoy taking in a little culture here and there. Fortunately, Tokyo has some incredible art museums that everyone will love. Our personal favorite? The Mori Museum because of its contents and its stunning views. We loved the science and technology inspired exhibits and to make things more interesting, various exhibitions are shown throughout the calendar year. Be sure to visit the sky deck which offers an amazing panoramic city view for an additional cost. The only drawback for us was the long lineup however, it was well worth the wait.
6. Visit an Onsen
In and around Tokyo, there are some great hot springs that you can warm up in. Living in one of the most volcanically active countries in the world, brings about the abundance of natural hot springs “onsen”. Not only does this water feel, oh so good, but the minerals in them are said to have many restorative powers. People used to heal the body and mind by staying at an onsen but for me personally, it was for mental and physical relaxation. We didn’t necessarily want to head out of the warmth to go out into the cold, but finally had to venture home.
Shopping is something that you need to do this time of year in Tokyo. My girlfriend loved that there were some amazing deals to be had here, including her incredible “fukubukuro” luck bag that featured some really great items. If you have a specific name brand in mind you better get out there nice and early as the most popular bags sell out quickly. This event usually starts from the day after New Years lasting until January 5th. Fukubukuro is a really big event in Tokyo and the best part about these lucky bags are that you might find mystery items that are deeply discounted and worth much more than what you paid for.
8. Tokyo New Year
I’m sure you love celebrating New Years in your hometown, so why not celebrate overseas this time in Tokyo. Japanese celebrations are completely different than Western ones, as New Years in Japan is typically a family affair. If you like a relaxed and quiet atmosphere this is your speed, as there are not many parties, raucous crowds or over-drinking involved. Couples can gather at the beach, park or observatory on this day but my girlfriend and I decided to hike up Mount Takao and start the New Year by watching the beautiful sunrise. Mount Fuji is another option but the hike itself is much more difficult. Watching the first sunrise is believed to bring success, prosperity and good luck!
Why would we recommend you to come in the middle of winter? There are plenty of reasons to persuade you that winter in Japan is one of the best. It’s true the city of Tokyo is universally recognized as being overcrowded. However, if you are particularly sensitive to long lineups and the thought of being crushed while taking the subway scares you, then visiting during this time is optimal. Throughout the colder months you will see lots of the country’s most popular and iconic sights almost empty. Our favorite was joining in on the nightly illuminations, a romantic pastime among dating couples. If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo in January, you won’t be disappointed as there’s destined to be something magnificent happening in your area.