Looking for that special place to take your special someone? Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, gourmet dining, and stunning natural beauty, Awaji Island is a favorite for the New Year season. Here, we bring together some of the most romantic New Year’s date spots on Awaji Island’s stylish west coast.
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Love & Zen Amidst the Nature of Zenbo Seinei
The natural splendor surrounding Zenbo Seinei is the perfect setting for love to blossom. Try a variety of Zen activities to calm the mind, nourished by the centuries-old wisdom of Zen cuisine. For the year-end and New Year holidays, there is no place better to reset your inner self and focus on what really matters in life. Reminisce about the year past and contemplate the possibilities ahead in the secluded, peaceful location cradled in the embrace of this majestic mountain terrain.
Choose from a variety of plans to suit every preference. The Zen Wellness and Sunrise Plan (Morning Program) starts the day with a refreshing early morning ZEN Wellness session followed by a delicious breakfast. A similar program is also offered in the afternoon.
Try Japan’s iconic tradition in the Zen Tea Ceremony Plan or get the full treatment with the New Year Retreat Zen Stay, a precious chance to spend New Year’s eve and day in this one-of-a-kind environment. Click here to learn more about Zenbo Seinei during the new year.
|2594-5 Aza-Banaka, Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
Closed: Varies depending on a month. Please inquire.
Spiritual Awakening at Izanagi Shrine
Izanagi Shrine stands as one of Japan’s most revered and oldest sacred sites. Central to the legend of Awaji Island as the birthplace of Japan, this ancient shrine holds a special place in people’s hearts as a popular destination for the ubiquitous New Year’s custom of Hatsumode.
During the New Year season, the shrine comes alive with the presence of roughly 50 stalls within its grounds. As night falls, a festive atmosphere takes over the usually tranquil area, as the aromas of all kinds of foods fill the air with the sounds of laughter and well wishes from family, friends and lovers. People from far and wide stand in line to reach the inner shrine to offer prayers, followed by omikuji fortunes. This timeless cultural scene set in an ancient power spot is a moving setting for a New Years date.
In recent years, Izanagi Shrine has also gained popularity among those seeking blessings for marriage or romance, so why not test the theory and see if a visit brings luck to your love as well?
Face the World Side-by-side at Aonoya
The menu at SEIKAIHA Aonoya plays the greatest hits of Japanese cuisine with fresh Awaji Island seafood, sushi, tempura and more against a stunning ocean view sure to take your breath away. Closed on December 31st, it reopens from January 1 to 3, so seize the chance to begin the year with some of the world’s finest seafood.
Come for the food, but stay for the sunset, celebrated as one of the finest in Japan. As night falls, the grand windows become a canvas for an astounding projection-mapping show with animated fireworks and imagery against the nighttime ocean beyond. Click here to learn more about Aonoya.
|SEIKAIHA - Aonoya
|70 Nojima-okawa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1723
|11:00~15:00 (Last In 14:00, L.O. 14:00)
17:00~21:00 (Last In 19:30, L.O. 20:00)
“Vive l’amour!” at Auberge French Forest
Auberge French Forest is a top-tier restaurant on Awaji Island, celebrated for its authentic French cuisine featuring the finest local ingredients. The adorable fairy-tale-like setting is the perfect getaway for a unique, romantic New Year’s date. Each of the three buildings, managed by different chefs, offers a unique culinary concept. Open on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the restaurants welcome you to try their special winter-only menus, highlighting Awaji Island’s seasonal seafood, including the popular 3-year-old pufferfish. Enjoy other seasonal specialties along with meticulously prepared portions of the famed “Awaji beef”.
|Auberge “French Forest”
|2593-8 Kusumoto Aza Banaka, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
|La Rose 0799-70-6062
Prince Etoile 0799-70-6061
Grand Baobab 0799-70-6063
|Lunch – 11:30~15:30 (Last Entry: 13:00)
Dinner – 17:30~21:30 (Last Entry: 19:00)
|A Full-Course Lunch ￥7,000～/ A Full-Course Dinner ￥10,000～
So, what do you think? Can you imagine a better combination of nature, culture, and top-class dining than Awaji Island? This year, sweep your love away from the crowds of the big cities and show them the true, caring love of wellness, inner peace, and timeless charm only found here on this hidden gem in the Seto Sea.