With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Tokyo date spots for you to check out with that special someone.
Considered one of the most romantic spots in the city, couples have long flocked here to take a spin in the charming swan boats that dot Inokashira’s central pond. But how does one make a date memorable? Might we recommend: a van down by the river? No, really. Garage 50 (less a garage and more just a vintage VW van) is a weird, wonderful joint that serves up delicious personal pizzas for just six hundred yen. The makeshift pizza oven is located right in the vehicle itself. It’s also only a few blocks away from Inokashira, which makes it the perfect pitstop for grabbing takeout before heading to the park for a picturesque picnic.
1-23-5 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino City
4 min. walk from Kichijoji Station
Three words: coffee, pastries, puppies. There are few things we expats crave more than the love of our pets while we’re away. DOG HEART, located next to Yoyogi Park, offers a grand solution to this perennial longing: rentable puppies! Yes, for a small fee, you can rent a pooch and take them for a stroll through Yoyogi. They even provide all the necessary equipment like a leash, water, snacks, and a doggy bag, so all you have to do is focus on making memories. Of course, for all its cuteness, this date is not complete without a meal. Once you pick up your pup, head to 365 Days. The coffee and pastries at this cafe are delicious, elegant, and endlessly Instagram-able.
DOG HEART from アクアマリン
1-45-2 Tomigaya, Shibuya City
3 min. walk from Yoyogi Koen Station
1-2-8 Tomigaya, Shibuya City
1 min. walk from Yoyogi Koen
With fantastic hole-in-the-wall restaurants and streetlights topped with glowing pints of beer, Ebisu is a district that begs for a boozy dinner date. GEM by moto, located in the northernmost outskirts of the neighborhood, is a whimsical dive that combines curious, world-class sake with imaginative tapas. While menu offerings can range from the mild mushroom risotto to the outrageous blue cheese and ham croquette, it is always a good idea to leave everything up to your server, who will expertly pair your sake of choice with its perfect snack partner. Following dinner, no evening in Ebisu is complete without a stop at Wine Stand Waltz, a microscopic stand bar hidden behind a mess of vine and foliage. Cap the night sipping natural wines and hand-selecting old vinyl records to play in-store.
Gem by moto
1-30-9 Ebisu, Shibuya City
10 min. walk from Ebisu Station
Wine Stand Waltz
4-24-3 Ebisu, Shibuya City
9 min. walk from Ebisu Station
If the rigors of the modern world have made dating feel stale, try stepping back in time. In the heart of Shibuya, the busiest ward in the world’s largest city, there is silence. Nonbei Yokocho is a cramped, creaking alleyway that has seen a lot and survived it all. Unsurprisingly, this Showa-era darling has become a famous photo spot for tourists and locals alike. The photos are nice, especially for a date night, but it’s on peaceful evenings that Nonbei becomes a time machine. Walking the alley and poking your head into the various bars that line the street, it’s suddenly the 1950s. It’s a magical experience. For a true escape, head for Bar Piano, an indecipherable lounge painted red with the dim glow of colored bulbs. Have drinks upstairs, meet fellow bar tenants, and leave yourself truly wondering where and when you are.
1-25-10 Shibuya, Shibuya City
3 min. walk from Shibuya Station
One train stop away from Tokyo Disneyland, you’ll find Kasai-Rinkai Koen, home to Tokyo Sea Life Park and Japan’s tallest ferris wheel. Tokyo Sea Life Park is a cheap, fascinating, and relatively quiet aquarium, making it an optimal date excursion. Sharks, rays, schooling tuna, a kelp forest, and even a penguin exhibit can all be found underneath the dome of this exemplary marine museum. In addition to the sea life, Kasai-Rinkai boasts the Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel which, on clear days, holds one of the best views of Mt. Fuji in all of Tokyo. After a day of exploring, hop a bus to Kasai and grab doner kebabs at New Aladdin, a low-profile hookah lounge with a big drink menu and even bigger personality.
Tokyo Sea Life Park
6-2-3 Rinkaicho, Edogawa City
6 min. walk from Kasai-Rinkai-Koen Station
3-30-13, Nakakasai, Edogawa City 5 min. walk from Kasai Station new-aladdin.business.site