TOPCultureTrendsTokyo’s Best Spots for Valentine’s Day: Inside and Out

Tokyo’s Best Spots for Valentine’s Day: Inside and Out

Don’t let a joyous day with your crush, partner or friend be dampened by the relentless gloom of restaurant restrictions and social distancing

By Alexandra Ziminski

Love is in the air but so is Covid-19. The renewed state of emergency means that annual dinner date plans have to be forgone. You may be planning a staycation or exhibition visit, but if you are still scratching your head and wondering what to do on Valentine’s Day, take inspiration from this list. We’ve come up with a few ideas that can ignite, or keep ignited, a flame while avoiding the crowds.

Dine like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere at The Four Seasons

Eating out doesn’t have to induce nerves, at least not the bad kind. With time-limited seating and reservations, a trip to your local restaurant can be a pleasant affair. Consider popping by the 39th floor of the Tokyo Four Seasons at Otemachi for their Pretty Woman Afternoon Tea. Indulge in a two-tier tea stand adorned with perfectly crafted sweets and sandwiches and other thematic foods inspired by the 1990 classic of the same name.

A true British afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without scones, jam and clotted cream, plus a free-flowing selection of exquisite teas. If you’re lucky, you can catch the sun set behind the picturesque silhouette of Mount Fuji.

Where to go:

  • Check out the event listing for more details on how to book your Pretty Woman Afternoon Tea.
  • We’ve also compiled a list of this season’s best afternoon teas. Find the lunch date that suits you.

 

Escape to the Rainbow

Odaiba is known for its romance, spacious streets and thrilling amusements. A perfect spot for seclusion and avoiding the bustle of central Tokyo. Stroll along the beach while looking out at the illuminated rainbow bridge. Finish your date with a private carriage on the giant Ferris wheel, Daikanransha, and be charmed by the music within.

Where to go:

 

Ignite the fire

Odaiba isn’t the only place still alight. Despite the nearing end of winter, many illuminations are still a-go. The first rush seen at Christmas has dissipated but the electricity has not. Hold hands, stroll along with a hot beverage and watch your date’s eyes fill up with twinkling lights.

Where to go:

 

Smell the Camellias

Take your love for a stroll and enjoy the newly bloomed flowers; plum blossoms are opening up early this year and camellias are in full force. Many gardens are full of sweet smells that are bound to incense the mood. Compare your date to the beauty of a fallen petal, and they’ll be yours.

Where to go:

  • Hotel Chinzanso has combined both art and flower-viewing this year. See the event listing for more information on this singular experience.
  • Discover the path less trodden with Tokyo’s best kept secret gardens.

 

Keep the Heart Pumping

Kill two birds with one stone by combining love and New Year’s resolutions. Like myself, you may have vowed to do more exercise in 2021 but the weather (and other circumstances) have kept you inside. Grab someone with a shared goal and head to your local park. Entwine your limbs with couples yoga, get out your racket or simply kick a ball around; adrenaline works wonders on the heart.

Where to go:

  • Challenge your lover to a table tennis match at Tokyo Tower.
  • Hold on to your partner and try not to fall as you glide around Midtown Ice-rink.

 

Cuddle up on the Couch

No one could blame you if you simply wanted to stay at home, order your desired takeout (see no.7) and go online. I could think of less romantic things than snuggling beneath a fuwa fuwa blanket on a chilly February night and watching a Studio Ghibli tour.

What to watch:

  • The National Ballet of Japan has taken their graceful ballet performance of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” online.
  • Try watching lesser-known LGBTQ+ movies on Netflix.
  • Or catch up on Japanese rom-coms.

Hotel Chinzanso Takeout Covid Food Coronavirus Tokyo Weekender

Premium Takeout

Turn your dining room, or kitchen, into a high-class restaurant without the hassle of public transport. The shortening of business hours may put a chink in future dinner plans but many restaurants have figured out a way to bring the candlelight to you.

What to eat:

  • Arigato Japan is providing a dine-in experience, complete with a food and drink expert.
  • Grand Hyatt Tokyo is now offering a 4-course romantic dinner straight to your door, with many more options on their takeout page.
  • Hotel Chinzanso, along with many others, are offering brilliant takeout menus. Take a look at our list for more ideas.