The perfect 10-day Japan itinerary

The perfect 10-day Japan itinerary

Always dreamed of going to Japan, but have absolutely no idea where to start planning your trip? Our travel-expert has already made it all for you: prepared an interesting route, thought out a plan of travel between cities, and even picked up hotels. All you need to do is to book it. Let’s go!

Tokyo → Qiso Valley → Osaka → Kyoto

Days 1-5. Tokyo

Photo: Tokyo

Tokyo is a city of contrasts. It is a great combination of tradition and technology. Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines neighbor blocks of neon signs and anime, and skyscrapers harmoniously surround parks and gardens.

In Tokyo, we have selected two lodging options for you to choose from, in terms of cost and class:

Imperial Palace

Photo: Imperial Palace

Photo: Guillermo Olaizola / Shutterstock.com

Start your introduction to the city with the Imperial Palace. The residence of the imperial family itself is closed to visitors, but you can stroll around the grounds of the Oriental Garden surrounding the palace.

The Imperial Palace is located in the heart of the city, close to the main train station – Tokyo Station.

The garden is open from 9:00 to 17:00, Monday and Friday are days off.

Entrance to the garden is free.

Ginza Quarter and Kabuki-za Theater

Photo: Ginza Ward

After the Imperial Palace, head to the Ginza Quarter, the commercial and cultural center of the city, which is home to many high-end stores and expensive restaurants.

Ginza is located to the south of the palace; be guided by the Ginza station.

In the same quarter is the famous Japanese Kabuki-za Theater. If you want to attend one of the performances, book tickets in advance, as the theater is very popular.

Akihabara Quarter

Photo: Akihabara Ward

After the luxurious Ginza neighborhood, you can head to the city’s main anime district, Akihabara, with its neon signs, themed stores, cafes, and fast food restaurants.

To get here, take a ride to Akihabara station.

Senso-ji Temple

Photo: Senso-ji Temple

Head to the Asakusa district. Here you’ll find the famous Senso-ji Buddhist temple. One of Tokyo’s hanamachi (geisha district) is located on the block. In general, this quarter retains the atmosphere of old Tokyo.

The temple is open from 6:00 to 17:00. The area around the temple is always open. Entrance is free.

Shibuya and Shinjuku Quarters

Photo: Shibuya Ward

Visit the Shibuya quarter – it has the world’s busiest intersection, the Hachiko Monument, and lots of shopping malls, cafes, and bars.

The central station of the quarter is Shibuya.

Shibuya flows seamlessly into Shinjuku, a neighborhood of skyscrapers and shopping malls.

The central station is Shinjuku.

Both of these places are more interesting to visit in the evening.

Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

Photo: Meiji Shrine

Make time to visit Meiji Shrine, the largest Shinto shrine in Tokyo.

The temple is located next to Harajuku station in the Harajuku neighborhood of the same name between Shibuya and Shinjuku, and is open from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.

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Harajuku is another district with many stores and cafes. The main street of the district is the pedestrian Takeshita street.

Shinjuku Gyoen Park.

Photo: Shinjuku Gyoen Park

From Meiji Shrine you can walk to the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen Park, an area divided into English, French and Japanese gardens.

The park is open from 9:00 to 16:30.

Admission ticket costs JPY 500

Tokyo Skytree observation deck

Photo: Tokyo Skytree Viewpoint

Photo: lydiarei / Shutterstock.com

One of the main must-see places in Tokyo is the Tokyo Skytree TV Tower. It is the second tallest structure in the world. The tower has two observation decks at a height of 350 and 450 meters, which offer magnificent views of the city.

Working time: from 8:00 to 22:00 (entrance before 21:00).

Ticket price: from JPY 1,000

Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo (Oshiage Station).

We also suggest visiting Tokyo’s suburbs:

Kamakura

Photo: Kamakura

A remarkable place to visit in a day: the ancient city of Kamakura with its many Buddhist temples, enormous bronze statue of the ‘Big Buddha’ and bamboo forest.

The best way to get here is by train (from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station). The trip takes an hour. There is a Japan Rail Pass.

The Five Lakes Region and Mount Fuji

Photo: Mount Fuji

Another interesting place in the vicinity of Tokyo is the Fuji Five Lakes region.

Mount Fuji is a sacred place for the Japanese and one of the main attractions of the country. This active but weakly active stratovolcano is the highest point in Japan.

The Five Lakes region is located on the northern slope of the mountain. It offers a magnificent view of Fuji, and the place itself looks very picturesque.

You can get here by train (from Tokyo Station to Otsuki Station and then Kawaguchiko Station) or by bus (from Shibuya Station to Kawaguchiko Station). The trip takes 2-2.5 hours.

Day 5. Kiso Valley. Transfer to Osaka.

Photo: Kiso Valley

Early in the morning on the fifth day go to Tokyo Station. We suggest going to the authentic village of Magome.

To get there, you need to take the train to Nakatsugawa with a connection in Nagoya City. Tickets can be found here. Once in Nakatsugawa, take a bus to Magome village.

It takes about 3 hours to get from Tokyo to Magome. We suggest leaving Tokyo by train leaving at 06:30.

Magome

Photo: Magome

Magome is one of the towns in the Kiso Valley that has preserved the atmosphere of old Japan and ancient traditions. The main street here is the pedestrian alley Magome-juku. Along it are Japanese houses, which are located shops with traditional goods and souvenirs, as well as restaurants and cafes with national dishes. The street stretches for only 600 meters, and after passing it, you will come to the observation deck Magome, which offers picturesque views of the mountains and forests.

If you quickly explore the village, head to the village of Tsumago, another gem of the Kiso Valley.

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From Magome to Tsumago is an 8-kilometer hiking trail that winds through forest, lawns, and village streets. It takes 2 to 3 hours to get there at a quiet pace. You can return either by track or by bus, the last of which departs at 4:42 p.m.

In the evening, head back to Nakatsugawa Station, a transfer to Osaka awaits you. Take the train, which leaves at 6:10 pm and goes through Nagoya City. You can see the flights here. Your journey will take about 2.5 hours.

Days 5-9. Osaka and Kyoto

Photo: Kyoto

We suggest spending the remaining days in Japan in Osaka and Kyoto, staying in Osaka.

We have two options for your lodging:

Osaka Castle.

Photo: Osaka Castle

One of the most striking and picturesque sights in the city is the Osaka Castle and the surrounding park.

The five-story castle building is decorated with white stone and gilded elements. Inside, there are displays and artifacts devoted to the castle’s history, and from the veranda on the top floor you can enjoy magnificent views of the park and the city. A ticket costs 600 JPY.

The castle is surrounded by a wonderful large park with alleys and canals. Here you can walk among the Japanese flora, notable monuments and temples.

To get to the park, get off at the Osaka Business Park or Morinomiya subway stations.

Dotonbori Street

Photo: Dotonbori Street

For the colorful and boisterous rhythm of the Land of the Rising Sun, head to Dotonbori Street. Evening is the best time to take a stroll. Here you’ll find bustling establishments and restaurants with brightly colored signs and glittering neon advertisements.

The street runs parallel to the Tombori River, along which you can take a pleasant walk along the promenade (Tombori River walk). Here you can also taste the traditional dishes of the region.

Shinsecai District

Photo: Shinsekai District

For a taste of the spirit of the city, head to the Shinsekai district. It’s led by the Tsutenkaku Tower which you can climb to the observation deck if you wish.

Around the tower are narrow streets with numerous Asian eateries, stores, and authentic houses decorated with brightly colored signs and lamps.

The area is located between Ebisuchō and Dobutsuen-Mae stations.

Nara Park

Photo: Nara Park

Nara Park is located outside of Osaka. There is a large area with museums, temples, and deer. Graceful deer roam the lawns and trees and you can almost walk up to them. There is also a botanical garden with flower beds.

To get to the park, take the train to the town of Nara. There is a bus service from the station (JR Nara Station East) to the park entrance (Todaiji Daibutsuden). Total travel time will take about 1 hour.

Kyoto

To get to Kyoto, take the train at Shin-Osaka Station. The travel time is 14 minutes.

Nijo Castle

Photo: Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is an ancient wooden residence surrounded by gardens. Here you can feel the spirit of Japan: alleys surrounded by native flora, a rock garden, ponds, and traditional architecture.

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The area is open from 8:45 to 16:00. The entrance to the park is located near the Nijōjō-mae station.

Ticket price: 1,000 JPY (price includes a visit to the Nijō castle and palace).

Gion

Photo: Gion

The Gion area has beautifully preserved old Japanese architecture: head to Gion Corner. From here there are many narrow streets with an authentic cityscape.

Here, on Gion Corner, there is also a theater that hosts “geisha” performances. The ticket price is 2500 JPY. The performances start every day at 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Not far from here are the Gion Shin and Gion Tatsumi bridges, on which you can stand and feel the atmosphere of antiquity and tradition.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Photo: Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari is a Shinto temple with a large area containing many shrines. It is especially interesting to walk along the paths above which there are traditional arches. It is best to come here in the morning or evening, when there are significantly fewer visitors and it is possible to wander through the sacred areas in silence.

It takes about 10 minutes to walk from Fushimi-Inari station to the temple entrance.

Sagano Bamboo Forest and Okochi Sanso Garden

Photo: Bamboo forest

Kyoto is home to one of Japan’s iconic natural attractions, the Sagano Forest. Here you can stroll along paths surrounded by green bamboo stems. In the evening, the paths are illuminated.

To get here, go to Arashiyama station. From there, you have to walk 300 meters to the park entrance.

After walking through the park, you can go to the Okochi Sanso Garden. It is located on an elevated site and offers stunning views of the mountains. The garden is less popular with tourists than the Sagano Forest, so you will have the opportunity to walk here in a secluded atmosphere.

The garden is open from 9:00 to 17:00. A ticket costs 1000 JPY.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Photo: Kinkaku-ji Temple

Finally, head to Kinkaku-ji Temple, standing on the shore of a picturesque mirror lake. The temple is known for its gilded façade and its magnificent panorama.

Opening hours: from 9:00 to 17:00 daily. Tickets cost 400 JPY.

Getting there: You can walk to the temple in 20 minutes from Kitanohakubaicho Station. Alternatively, take bus number 101 (leaving from the station).

Day 9. Flight to Tokyo.

Photo: Tokyo

In order to return to Tokyo by your return to Moscow, we suggest flying directly to the airport of departure. Find a convenient flight on OneTwoTrip.

Japan itinerary: From Tokyo to Hiroshima

In the last two years in Japan we’ve been to quite a few interesting places Here’s an itinerary of Japan – a list of the most interesting places and cities that every visitor to the Land of the Rising Sun should see.

Japan itinerary

So, the most popular and must see route in Japan: Tokyo – Nikko – Hakone – Kyoto – Nara – Osaka – Hiroshima – Miyajima.

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Itinerary of Japan on the map:

Japan itinerary

It is to these cities most tourists go: there are many attractions, all the necessary infrastructure, a lot of information and travel guides, all these places are convenient to get to.

If you follow this itinerary of Japan, you will be able to visit the most popular places in Japan (at least enough for the first time) and see the most interesting things.

TOKYO

Japan itinerary week

What to see in Asakusa

What to see in Japan

Ashimo Robot at Miraikan Museum

01 You can spend a whole week in Japan’s capital, or you can only stay for a couple of days. It depends on whether you like modern metropolises or are drawn to the quiet streets of authentic Japanese villages near Fuji.

In Tokyo, you’ll see Japan’s main temples – Meiji and Sensoji, the Imperial Palace and the wonders of the electronic paradise Akihabara. A giant robot and the Miraikan Museum of the Future await you on the bulk island of Odaiba.

Learn more about places to see in Tokyo here: Japan, Tokyo. Guide

Tokyo is a convenient base for a city-break around the area. From Tokyo, a day trip to Kamakura, Enoshima, Kawagoe, mountains like Takao or Nokogiriyama, or even to Fuji.

Where to go from Tokyo – these ideas alone are enough for a week or two Around Tokyo: where to go for a day

NIKKO

Jizo in Nikko

Going for a walk in Nikko

The Stone Lanterns in Nikko

Going to Nikko on your own by train

02 The city of Nikko is three hours from Tokyo. Nikko, a city of many temples will tell fans of Japanese history all about the Shoguns and the culture of Japan. There are waterfalls and onsen, and many temples. If you choose at least a few of them, it will be difficult to get around all of them in one day. That’s why we suggest an overnight trip to Nikko. Many of the temples in Nikko are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It will take you 1-2 days to visit Nikko.

HACONE

Japan Hakone

Japan itinerary on your own

A room in a traditional ryokan in Hakone

Japan itinerary by yourself

03 Any guidebook to Tokyo and the surrounding area will first tell the curious traveler about Hakone. Of course, you’ve heard of the place, too. Despite the publicity of the Hakone resort, it’s worth a trip here. Lake Ashi, the hellish Owakudani Valley, views of the sacred Mount Fuji, and all kinds of ryokans and onsens for all tastes await you.

Travel to Hakone from Tokyo: Japan: Hakone. Visiting the dragon

Instead of Hakone (or at the same time), you can check out Lake Kawaguchiko, which offers extraordinary views of Fuji. It is especially beautiful there in the fall. If you go to Hakone or Kawaguchiko, you should stay overnight in a ryokan. You can spend 2-3 days in the Hakone/Kawaguchiko area.

KIOTO

Week in Japan

Trip to Japan

Going to Japan by yourself

Trip to Japan itinerary

04 Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan, located in the Kansai region. Kyoto is the dream of everyone who, for one reason or another, finds themselves in Japan. Kyoto – is the culture and history of Japan, the famous temples and geisha, unique wooden buildings, Kansai cuisine and special dialect.

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Many tourists like Kyoto more than Tokyo: it is the quintessence of all things “Japanese”. You can spend a whole week in Kyoto and you’ll find plenty to do! The Gion Quarter and the Temple of a Thousand Torii, Fushimi Inari, are a must-see.

Kyoto travel guide: Japan: What to see in Kyoto

A trip to Arashiyama on the outskirts of Kyoto is a must – there you can see a bamboo forest and a mountain with monkeys, as well as many temples and shrines.

How many days should we spend in Kyoto: minimum 3-4 days

Reindeer in Nara

How to get to Nara from Kyoto

Travelling to Nara from Kyoto

Yakisoba in Japan

05 Nara – the real reindeer kingdom! A trip to Nara is a logical continuation of the itinerary in Japan from Kyoto. In addition to the many interesting temples and the giant Buddha, you will see cute reindeer wandering right through the streets of the city here. You can buy special reindeer cookies and feed the animals.

You can go to Nara from Kyoto in one day, without overnight stay.

OSAKA

Two Weeks in Japan

How to plan an itinerary in Japan

Japan itinerary planning

Japan itinerary in fullest form

06 Osaka is the capital of Kansai and a multifaceted city. Everything here is buzzing and moving, and amazes with colors and sounds. It takes half an hour by train to get from Kyoto to Osaka. In order to save money, you can not book a hotel in Osaka, and be based in Kyoto.

Osaka has a lot to see and you can easily spend 2-3 days here.

HIROSHIMA

Japan itinerary

Japan itinerary for Hiroshima

Trip to Japan

How to plan a trip to Japan

07 A city with a scary history and also the capital of delicious okonomiyaki. It sounds like a very strange combination, but in any case, Hiroshima has something to surprise you. A visit to the Peace Museum will not leave anyone indifferent.

From Hiroshima you can also go to rabbit island Okunoshima, where thousands of furry creatures live. Do not forget to buy carrots and cabbage in advance!

You can spend 2-3 days in and around Hiroshima.

MIYAJIMA

Ferries to Itsukushima

Ferry to Itsukushima Island

Reindeer on Miyajima Island

Torii of Itsukushima Shrine

08 Miyajima is an island about an hour from Hiroshima. You can get here by ferry. Tourists are attracted by the extraordinary scarlet torii of Itsukushima shrine, as if floating on water. And deer again There are hundreds of these funny animals roaming all over the island.

This route through Japan can be done in a week (practically at a gallop), or better yet, in two. If you have time, you can go further south to Kyushu Island: Fukuoka and Nagasaki, where the mysterious Hashima Island is located.

We hope you will find the Japan itinerary useful. It includes the most attractive places for tourists in Japan, which you will definitely want to visit on your first trip.

Already seen everything on this itinerary? There are more interesting articles under the tag Japan.

If you have any questions about making a trip plan to Japan, feel free to contact us

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