Japan for romantics

12 Feb 2020 in Food Culture

From an Okinawan sunset cruise to a rosé stay in wine country, find inspiration for a romantic trip!

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You don’t need to be in Japan on Valentine’s Day to make a romantic gesture. This winter and spring, Hoshino Resorts is offering a number of unique opportunities for you to treat your other half.

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How about sipping sparkling sake on a private boat as you tour Tokyo’s cherry blossoms? Enjoying an intimate rosé experience in the wine region of Yamanashi?

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Or watching the sun set over a remote Okinawan island onboard a traditional sail boat? There’s something for every kind of romantic.

Sakura sightseeing by rickshaw and private boat

This spring, guests at HOSHINOYA Tokyo will not only enjoy a luxury ryokan experience in the city centre; they’ll also have access to an exclusive cherry blossom tour with a private guide. Running during sakura period (March 25 to April 10 in 2020), this evening activity takes you on a rickshaw and a small private boat for an intimate moment, far from the seasonal crowds.

You and your partner will travel in your own rickshaw from HOSHINOYA Tokyo to Nihonbashi Pier. During the 60-minute ride, you’ll pass famous cherry blossom spots such as Edo Sakura Street.

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On arrival, you’ll board a small private boat, helmed by a guide who will steer you to the best waterside sakura spots of the moment. In the Edo period, cherry trees were planted along the Sumida river by the Tokugawa shogun clan to encourage inhabitants to use boats. Today, HOSHINOYA Tokyo’s Sakura River Cruise is a chance to relive that golden era, enjoying close-up views of cherry blossom that most Tokyoites never see.

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During the hour-long trip, you’ll cruise to locations such as the coast of Tsukudajima or the banks of the Oyokogawa river. You’ll pass a host of famous landmarks, including the Eitaibashi Bridge and Tokyo Skytree.

Eitai Bridge

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And you’ll be served sparkling sake and a special sakura-inspired bento box made by Shinkaika, an old Japanese restaurant located in Kanda Myojinshita. Expect cherry blossom-coloured sea bream with kombu seaweed and sushi rice, followed by matcha tea and sweet delicacies.

To complete the whole experience, why not wear a pure silk kimono for the occasion?

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They’re available for rent at the hotel – and you can even ask for your hair to be done Japanese-style!

Cuddle up with a rosé in wine country

Two hours west of Tokyo by car or train, you’ll find yourself in Japanese wine country. Here, in the foothills of the majestic Yamanashi mountains, lies Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake. This corner of Japan has plentiful sunshine, a generous supply of pure water, and clement weather thanks to the hills acting as a natural barrier.

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No wonder the national Koshu grape has been cultivated here for over 1000 years.

From March 25 to April 22, 2020, Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake is organizing a Romantic Rosé Stay so couples can make the most of the idyllic surroundings and local rosé wines. As part of the experience, you’ll enjoy a 3-course dinner inspired by Italian cuisine and paired with different rosé wines. Expect the dishes to include touches of pink throughout the meal.

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After dinner, head to the garden chapel ZONA, open exclusively for participants of the Romantic Rosé Stay, to see the exquisite cherry blossom. You’ll be served sparkling rosé and sweet treats such as strawberry macarons.

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During your stay, you also have the chance to become a rosé connoisseur at the hotel’s Wine School. Learn about grape varieties, fermentation methods and how to distinguish rosé colours and flavours from light to deep.

Island sunset and exotic cocktails

If watching a stunning sunset from an old-fashioned sailboat is your idea of romance, HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island has the perfect formula for you.

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Set on a tiny Okinawan island inhabited by just 360 villagers, this luxury resort is offering a private trip on a sabani, a wooden boat typical of the Ryukyu Islands.

You and your partner will be alone on the sea with just your guide for company. From the boat, you’ll have the perfect viewpoint to watch the skyline gradually take on an orange hue as you sip cocktails of local passion fruit and awamori, the Okinawan version of sake.

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By the time night falls, you’ll be ready for a multi-course menu at the resort’s restaurant, where the chef combines Okinawan ingredients with creative French-style cuisine.

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Then head outside to gaze at the stars in the clear sky. What better way to end your romantic evening on this tiny sub-tropical island?

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