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14 days in japan, winter 2019 (LGBT)

Hey guys, we are getting married in November 2019 and will be taking our honeymoon probably in early/mid-December (when the semester ends, as I'm in grad school). Japan has been at the top of our list for awhile and we decided the honeymoon is a perfect opportunity to make it happen. Details:

Us: Late-20s to early-30s guys from Texas

When: December 2019

How long: Roughly 14 days (including travel days)

Where: I know I want to do Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka; I'm also looking at Kobe and Nara, and open to recommendations!

Budget: Not sure yet, we'll have 5-6k (USD) covered off the bat so we plan to save up to 3-5,000 more to cover the rest. Looking for recommendations on this – is ~$10,000 more than enough for 2 people at 14 days in Japan, or are we under-shooting that budget?

Lodging: Probably a mix of midrange hotels (standard 3-stars), nicer AirBnBs, and maybe one or two nights at a more luxury hotel/ryokan or something.


  • Food! We love Japanese food. The ramen, the sushi, the kobe beef… food will be a top priority on this trip. We want to hit all the best places for locals, everything from cheap hole-in-the-walls to maybe a nice michelin-star restaurant.

  • Historical architecture: We love the old palaces/castles/shrines/etc and want to visit as many as we can. Museums would also be good.

  • Cultural experiences: Any kinds of special festivals/events, music/performances, cooking classes, hot springs, etc.

  • A biking experience: My fiance loves biking and we would really like to find a good opportunity to explore a city/area by biking, even if just for a day. Would it be practical to rent for the duration of our stay in a city, like biking around Tokyo or Kyoto or something?

What we are NOT interested in:

  • Club-scene nightlife: We have no interest in any of the dancing/drinking/party nightlife (not sure how much that exists in Japan)

  • Rustic/far-off-the-beaten-path experiences: This is our first trip to Japan and likely the only trip we can make there for a long, long time; I want to see the big touristy areas this trip. We're totally happy to take trips out to some smaller, lesser-known towns for cool sights, I just don't want anything like a backpacking camping trip etc.

We are totally open to all recommendations on lodging, restaurants/snacks, sights, experiences, cities, budget, etc… anything helps. Specific questions:

  • I know Japan frowns on PDA, especially in same-sex couples; any specific tips/warnings/recommendations on enjoying our new marriage without making others uncomfortable or drawing any discrimination our way?

  • Any specific suggestions on phones, wifi, and travel around Japan? I've done some research on buying wifi access ahead of time, but could always use more info. Also looking into rail-pass options.

  • Any cool lodging options? Coming from the US, I'm mostly familiar with hotels, AirBnB, and a little experience with hostels, but I know Japan has a variety of really unique options and I'm open to all those recommendations.

Thanks in advance <3

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