Hello, my name is Amanda, and I am the new Coordinator of International Relations for Nagareyama City Hall’s Nagareyama Honcho/Tone Unga Tourism Promotion Section, as of July 2023. I am originally from San Diego, California, which is known for its beaches and tacos. I hope to become a bridge that connects the cool sights and spots of Nagareyama to the rest of the world!
Whenever Valentine’s Day rolls around, high schoolers in both the United States and Japan get a little creative with how they confess their feelings to the person they like. Back when I was in high school in the U.S., the confession that I frequently saw was the boy waiting for the girl he liked in the hallway, holding a giant Costco teddy bear, and a poster that read, “Will You Be My Valentine?” In Japan however, it is traditionally the girl who hands chocolate to the boy she likes and confesses her feelings.
Regardless of which country you come from however, after everyone graduates and goes out into the real world, these adorable confessions unfortunately become a rare sight. However, everyone deserves to be surprised with giant teddy bears and posters from time to time. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reignite your inner romantic from back in your high school glory days. Why not go on a romantic date in Nagareyama Honcho, and fall in love again?
When you think of Valentine’s Day, one of the first things you think of is desserts. The Nagareyama Honcho has several cafés that are perfect for a Valentine’s Day date. Baked Desserts fossette+ is known for their delicious biscuits with jam, that can make you feel like a British noble from a Jane Austen novel, as you enjoy them with a cup of tea. Another café called tronc, has a forest-like interior, that makes you feel like you are sitting in a cottage in the woods, as you enjoy their specialty seasonal cakes. There is nothing more romantic than going to cafés that seem like they came straight out of a picture book. Check out all the special Valentine’s Day menus at the various cafés around the Honcho!
Nagareyama Honcho, with its rich history and cute local shops, is also the perfect place to go on a lovely stroll around the area. You can explore the area with your date, and discover cool places in its various corners and allies. One cool stop is the Nagareyama Kaleidoscope Gallery and Museum. With beautiful kaleidoscopes from around the world on display, visitors have the rare opportunity to take a peek into mesmerizing artworks that are full of beautiful colors and shapes. Another local spot to check out is Akari-kan@Zakka konocono. This adorable shop sells cute crafts and freshly baked bread, and the seemingly countless number of beautiful washi-paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, makes for a truly magical experience.
There is also a hidden power spot at Enmado Shrine, perfect for couples. If you pay your respects at the graves of Kaneko Ichinojo and his lover Michitose, it is said that you may end up with your partner. With several unique places like these to explore around Nagareyama Honcho, you are guaranteed to fall head-over-heels with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.