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Japan Trip Planner

Top destinations in japan.

Tokyo

Top attractions in Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Other notable attractions

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Explore nearby places

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Japan throughout the year

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Japan Travel Planner

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YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A DREAM

Recommended Experiences

japan travel planner

New Encounters and Experiences: Discovering Japan through Liquors

You can indulge in the authentic vibe of bars filled with encounters and discoveries while socializing with the locals or find the best bottle of liquor for your loved ones.

japan travel planner

Nine Lively Japanese Summer Festivals You Can Participate In

It's also a great opportunity to mingle with the locals. Take part in the dances, parade floats and chants to really immerse yourself in the festive spirit.

japan travel planner

A glamping experience to revel in the beauty of nature and immerse yourself in the extraordinary

Why not stay in an abundant natural setting in a casual yet luxurious style?

See All Places

japan travel planner

Hokkaido is a popular tourist destination that boasts many attractions, from the breathtaking lavender fields of Furano and the world heritage site Shiretoko, to the sumptuous gourmet cuisine of Northern Japan. Here you will find information about the culture and cuisine of Hokkaido, an island whose cultural delights vary from region to region.

japan travel planner

With Japan’s longest Ou Mountain Range as the border, the Tohoku region is divided into the Pacific coast area, the Japan Sea coast area, and the Sanriku area. Endowed with nature’s bounty and beauty, Tohoku is full of sightseeing spots to explore and enjoy for all seasons, with regional delectable cuisine and activities.

japan travel planner

The Kanto region is in the eastern part of the Honshu main island and home to Tokyo, one of the world’s leading metropolises. While a sprawling urban area, there is also an abundance of tradition, history and natural beauty to enjoy. Whether for leisure or dining, the Kanto region always offers something unique and exciting.

japan travel planner

The Chubu area is located where the Japanese archipelago divides into east and west. The area gets a marine culture from the Tsushima Current on the Sea of Japan coast and the Kuroshio Current on the Pacific Ocean coast. It also has a mountain culture created by its many peaks, such as the Japan Alps. There are many diverse ways to enjoy the region.

japan travel planner

The Kansai area is home to famous cities such as Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara. In the area where the capital existed for about 1,500 years, you can experience the history and culture of Japan, including historic buildings such as shrines and temples, Maiko (an apprentice geisha in Kyoto and Western Japan) and traditional Japanese cuisine.

japan travel planner

The Chugoku area is characterized by its prosperity of commercial cities that have long used sea transportation, mainly along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea and many port towns. You can enjoy Japanese culture as well as the world-famous Itsukushima Shrine, which was the stage of Japanese mythology, as well as the seafood of the Sea of ​​Japan and the Seto Inland Sea.

japan travel planner

The Shikoku region is one of the four main islands that make up the Japanese archipelago. Surrounded by the sea and mountains, you can enjoy everything from nature to food. In addition, this area has a variety of attractions, such as modern arts in the Setouchi Triennale and spiritual experiences such as pilgrims.

japan travel planner

The Kyushu Region is the farthest southwesternmost of the four main islands of Japan. The region is also widely known as the kingdom of Hot Springs, and is home to the well-known resorts of Beppu, Kurokawa and Yufuin. You can enjoy quality water and breathtaking scenery.

japan travel planner

Okinawa has a unique culture since ancient times. From food and cultural experiences such as buildings that are different from the other Japanese archipelago, you can also experience the resort feeling of beautiful seas, beaches, mangrove forests and more.

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Plan a memorable trip for family members of all ages

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For Solo Travelers

Enjoy solo travel to the fullest

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How to Enjoy Japan’s Unique Seasonality

Special Features

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Nature, food, and hot springs! Discover the charms of Japan by cycling

  • Hokkaido / Tottori / Okinawa

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Eat it, make it, or even have it on the sightseeing train! A Journey to Enjoying Japanese Sushi

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Shukubo (Temple Stay) experience the essence of Japanese Culture

  • Hiroshima / Gifu / Fukuoka

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A trip to enjoy the popular Yubari melon and the vast nature of Hokkaido in summer!

japan travel planner

Kintsugi Experience at Ryokan

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From the traditional to the rare: A journey to appreciate the depth of Japanese tea

  • Kyoto / Saga / Kagoshima

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Top 5 Things to Do Around Kochi City, Japan

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Get inspired by itineraries of other travelers and plan your trip to Japan

Organize your travel schedule by selecting locations where you want to go or referring to recommendations by other users and make the best of your trip to japan..

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Go temple hopping through Kyoto’s world heritage sites

japan travel planner

A walking plan—the culture and cuisine from Marunouchi to Ginza

japan travel planner

Kyoto walk—Climb “the hill” to Kiyomizu-dera Temple

japan travel planner

Taste and see the tourist hotspots of Osaka

japan travel planner

A day plan—Tokyo’s downtown culture in Asakusa, Ueno and Jimbocho

japan travel planner

New Itineraries

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d3: chuo city (+ginza)

  • Nihonbashi / Ginza,
  • Akasaka / Roppongi / Azabu / Hiroo,
  • Shiba / Takeshiba / Takanawa

japan travel planner

d4: bunkyo, koto, & taito city

  • Ueno / Yanesen,

japan travel planner

1 day: Osaka

  • #Historical Landscapes
  • #Amusement Parks
  • #Transportation
  • #Japan Rail Pass
  • Osaka Castle,
  • Shinsaibashi / Namba,
  • Tennoji / Shinsekai,
  • Bentencho / Osaka Bay Area

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1 day: Chiba, Hokkaido

  • Narita / Hokuso

Popular Itineraries

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Enjoy Osaka to the fullest in a single day!

  • #Italian Cuisine
  • Yodoyabashi / Kitahama / Hommachi,

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  • Tennoji / Shinsekai

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  • Around Kamigamo,
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The Ultimate Japan Trip Planner

How to design a dream trip to japan without stress.

Curious how we arranged our stress-free trip to Japan?

Planning a first trip to the country can feel a little daunting! When we were planning our first trip to Japan we were completely overwhelmed by the complex train system, the massive stretched-out cities, and the seemingly endless number of sights that made it hard to choose, even for a full-month trip.

We also know by experience how complicated things are when you arrive in Japan for the first time. In fact, when we had just landed in Tokyo and jumped on the first train to get to downtown we already had to pay a supplement because we opted for a train that was not covered by our fare.

We often hear how people are a bit reluctant to plan their first trip to Japan, but don’t let all of this stop you from visiting this beautiful country.

japan travel planner

We created this Japan trip planner to stop you from making the beginner mistakes we made and to grant you a perfect stress-free trip.

The document guides you step by step through the preparations and takes the stress out of your trip planning.

It contains all the information you need to plan an amazing vacation in the land of the rising sun for just the price of 2 coffees or a takeaway lunch.

The Ultimate Japan Trip Planner: How to design a dream trip to Japan without stress

japan travel planner

"I’m using your Trip Planning Guide. It’s a great aid and one less thing I have to think about organizing. Love it!"

(Bought the planner in May, 2023)

"The planner has been really helpful for my wife and I as we plan our first trip to Japan and has given us a good insight on how to spread out our accommodation bookings. Cheers and keep up the good work."

(Bought the planner in January, 2023)

"Thank you for sharing the Japan Trip Planner. I purchased it yesterday and am very pleased."

(Bought the planner in October, 2022)

“You both did a beautiful job of the design, not forgetting any details. Love them!”

(Bought the planner in June, 2021)

"It is a terrific resource and a great starting point for us to build our trip. First time in Japan so this is really helpful."

This planner is for you if....

  • You always wanted to travel to Japan on your own but didn’t know where to start...
  • You feel overwhelmed by what there is to do and to see in Japan....
  • You’re wondering what to pack and take with you to Japan...
  • You’re wondering if you will benefit from a Japan Rail Pass, are looking for alternatives, or want tips on how to calculate if you will save with a pass or not!

japan travel planner

About the authors

We are Sylvia & Kris, 2 passionate travelers, and we have been exploring the world independently over the last years. We like the freedom that we have to explore places that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen with an organized tour. We completely fell in love with Japan and spent an amazing time in the country in 2018. We created this Japan trip planner based on our experience of the country so you can enjoy Japan as much as we did.

Japan Travel Planner

Here is how our japan travel planner will help you to plan your dream trip to japan..

  • We’ve mapped all preparations on a timeline so you know what to do and when to do it.
  • Overwhelmed by the many highlights of Japan? This document includes itinerary planners for all three of Japan’s major cities, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.
  • Not sure if you should take a JR pass? Japan’s train system is complex for first-time travelers. The included Japan rail planner explains how to plan your route using Japan’s vast train network. We discuss 3 key sites for planning your route and explain in-depth how to use them.  You will learn everything you need to know about riding the trains in Japan and you will know if you can benefit from a JR pass or not.
  • We have also included some useful checklist for your planning and packing. These lists will ensure you arrive in Japan with everything you need without overpacking.
  • Don’t lose sleep over your budget. The included budget and expense sheets mean that you can keep track of how much you spend during your planning as well as in Japan.

The benefits don’t stop there. This document is also created to take with you to Japan. Write down your carefully crafted Japan planning on the provided pages and use them as a guide during your trip.

In the blink of an eye, you will be able to retrieve all the crucial information about your vacation.

Detailed list of everything included in this Japan Travel Planner

  • Daily Planner – Outline your everyday plans and take them with you on vacation so you don’t miss any of the sights you absolutely want to see
  • Budget Planner – Keep track of your budget while planning
  • Expense tracker – Note your daily expenses while traveling and avoid nasty expensive surprises when back home
  • Travel checklist mapped against a timeline – Follow this checklist and forget about those stressful days in the run-up to your vacation.
  • Itinerary planners for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka – We brought together all key sights of these cities in a handy one-page overview to help you with your planning.
  • Share your travel plans with your loved ones who stay at home – let them know where you are and how to contact you if needed
  • Useful Japanese Phrases – A selection of useful Japanese expressions to interact with Japanese in a courteous and polite way. Useful if you need directions to your hotel or want to join Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife.
  • Packing List for your Japan trip – Use this packing list and you’re sure to arrive in Japan with everything you might need.
  • Outfit Planner – Are you a serial overpacker? Use this sheet to plan your outfits so you know exactly how many dresses and shoes you will need to stuff in that suitcase.
  • Emergency contacts – Write down all emergency contacts on this paper and you will have them within easy reach whenever something might happen. We pre-filled Japan’s emergency numbers for you.
  • Photo Bucket List – Are you an avid photographer? Use this sheet to start keeping track of those iconic photo locations before you even set foot in Japan.
  • Food Bucket List – Foodies will love Japan’s varied and healthy kitchen. Ready to taste all those delicious dishes? Make a note of everything you want to taste and make reservations in your favorite restaurants.

This is an editable PDF. Depending on your preference you can complete everything digitally or print the templates.

Buy your Japan Trip Planner now and get these 4 amazing bonuses for FREE

japan travel planner

Free Bonus #1: Japan Train Planner ($17.97 value)

Prepare for your train journey in japan. Discover everything you need to know about train travel in the land of the rising sun and follow our step-by-step guide to learn if you can benefit from a Japan Rail Pass.

Updated for the JR price increase in 2023.  36 pages with more information than ever.

japan travel planner

Free Bonus #2:  Kyoto 2-day Itinerary  ($2.97 value)

Take our nicely formated 2-day Kyoto itinerary with you on your mobile phone. Read about the places you visit when you visit them without the need for a Wifi device.

japan travel planner

Free Bonus #3:  Tokyo 4-day Itinerary  ($2.97 value)

Are you going to visit Japan’s capital? Take this amazing 4-day itinerary with you on your mobile phone and discover all the city’s highlights.

japan travel planner

Free Bonus #4:  Osaka 2-day Itinerary  ($2.97 value)

Your fourth bonus is this image-rich Osaka itinerary. Together these 4 bonuses will allow you to explore Japan’s major cities without a WiFi Device.

Get your copy now and you will also get all the above bonuses!

How is this guidebook different from others.

This isn’t a guidebook but a trip planner that will help you plan your trip at ease.

How does the purchase work?

We use Stripe to handle the payment transaction. Your transaction is completely secured by Stripe. You can use a credit card to make your payment.

Once the transaction is completed you will be taken to a page where you can donwload the documents.

A few minutes after you’ve made your payment you will receive a confirmation email that also includes the link to download your documens.  You can save this e-mail in case you want to redownload the files in the future.

The email will be coming from [email protected].  Please whitelist this e-mail address or add it to your contacts to ensure that the mail with the download link does not go to your spam folder.

What to do if you don't see the e-mail:

- Double-check if you have entered a working e-mail address. 

- Check your spam, junk, promotional, ... folders. Search for an e-mail from [email protected].

- Contact us if you cannot find the e-mail 

Can I download the book as many times as I want?

Yes, once you’ve purchased this e-book it remains yours forever.

Can I get a refund after purchase?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer any refunds because this is an instant download. However, don’t worry, we’re committed to your satisfaction. Be sure to contact us if you have any problems with the travel planner. Click here to send us an email .

What happens if I have problems downloading the book?

We’re here to help!   Don't hesitate to send us an email  in case you experience problems with your download.

Have a great trip!

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japan travel planner

Destinations

  • Plan Your Trip

Discover the Seasons of Japan

Japan is many destinations in one

Japan’s Magical Winter Season

Japan’s Autumn Ambiance

Should You Visit Japan in Summer?

Hokkaido Autumn Travel Inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Japan Through My Eyes

How Long to Spend in Japan

Seasons of Japan

Four destinations in one

Japan’s Magical Winter

Japan in Autumn: What to Know

Visit Japan in Summer

Hokkaido Autumn Inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms

japan travel planner

Seeking inspiration—or just information—for your next trip to Japan? My name is Robert Schrader, and you’ve come to the right place. I’m a Japan travel expert with nearly a decade of experience under my belt—and I’m thrilled you’re here.

Neon-bathed streets and Michelin-starred eats

Travel back in time to Japan’s ancient capital

A world of Japanese street food starts here

Whether you want information on top Japan destinations, Japan trip ideas or travel advice about topics like Japan SIM cards and the Japan Rail Pass, my Japan travel blog is where you need to be. I’ve criss-crossed Japan dozens of times, and my posts include not only the wisdom I’ve gained from my journeys, but valuable personal anecdotes as well.

Spend Two Thrilling Weeks in Japan

The most popular way to see Japan, this itinerary perfectly balances tourist hot spots like Tokyo and Kyoto with exciting secondary destinations, from the old trading towns of the Japanese Alps, to bubbling hot springs at the base of Mt. Fuji

A Taste of Japan

japan travel planner

Climb Japan’s iconic peak, or just admire its beauty

Enjoy Japan’s seasons in the “Kyoto of the North”

Ramen, volcanoes and hot springs—oh my!

Japan’s mix of ancient and modern, sacred and profane, logic and madness never stops alluring me. As you’ll see reading through my Japan travel blog posts, it is this contrast (and the paradoxical consistency that underlies it) that makes Japan a place it’s impossible to stay away from for very long.

Japan in Every Season

japan travel planner

Another amazing secret about Japan is that it’s four destinations in one. Japan is literally a different place depending on whether you visit during the sakura -filled spring, the rainy summer, the colorful autumn or the snowy winter. The Japan travel blog posts I’ve written about travel at different times of year seem like they’re about different countries!

Year-round adventure in Japan’s great, white north

Japanese Alps

Trek the trails of Japan’s ultimate hiking paradise

Flowery castles, volcanic lakes and snow monsters

Do a Japan Deep Dive

Whether you spend your month in Japan exploring lesser-visited islands like Kyushu and Shikoku, or going off the beaten path in spellbinding San’in or tantalizing Tohoku, 4 weeks in Japan (or longer) allows you to see the country as few others do

Japan Deep Dive

Coming back to Japan for the second—or seventh—time? Not to worry! I’ve explored deep into the nooks and crannies of Japan, and have written Japan travel blog posts adventurous enough to inspire even the most ardent explorers. That slogan about Japan being “Endless Discovery” is definitely more than clever marketing!

Japan’s most underrated, unexplored island

San’in

How far off Japan’s beaten path do you dare stray?

Tropical paradise a short flight from Tokyo

Japan travel planning got you stressed out? Commission a custom Japan itinerary—and let me sweat the details. Get a personalized video consultation, a detailed day-by-day itinerary and more!

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Let Local Experts plan your best experience in Japan

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We're Japan local travel experts to help you plan your Japan travel. With $10/day fee, we will make a fully customized itinerary for your Japan trip to make the most of your experiences here in Japan🇯🇵!

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Step 1: Contact Us or Fill in the form

You can contact us or fill in this form to let us know about your japan trip information first. *Free

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After confirming your travel details (dates, budgets, places to stay and etc..), we will make a quotation based on our price and request the payment. We are currently accepting credit card payment via Stripe.

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Step 3: We make a itinerary only for you

Based on your travel plan inputs, we make a fully customized itinerary in PDF files only for you and share it with you via email. *$10/day(to plan)

Absolutely! You can let us know your preferences or requests on the itinerary in advance via the form or email so we can customize the itinerary for you. We also accept modification of our itinerary up to 1 time each day without charging additional fee!

We will share the itinerary in PDF file via email with you.

You may cancel your transaction with us at any time up until the completion of your quote and payment. Please note that as a general rule, we do not accept cancellations or refunds after the itinerary has been created and delivered.

Japan Blogs

Essential tips for foreign tourists visiting japan.

Visiting Japan is a profoundly enriching experience, with its unique blend of ancient tradition and cutting-edge modernity. However, navigating this distinct culture can be daunting for first-time visitors. Here are...

Discovering Shibuya: A Tourist's Guide to Tokyo...

Shibuya, known globally for its iconic scramble crossing, is a hub of youth culture, fashion, and entertainment in Tokyo. This bustling district offers an eclectic mix of the traditional and...

Exploring Tokyo: A Tourist's Guide to the City'...

Tokyo, a bustling metropolis that blends the ultramodern with traditional flair, offers a diverse range of experiences that can cater to every type of traveler. From the serene beauty of...

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RoutePerfect

Located in the Pacific Ocean, this archipelago is famed for its nature, dynamic metropolises, traditional castles, and great food.

Japan, an intoxicating, charming country of startling contrasts, is home to a culture influenced by both ancient philosophy and modern enterprise. It boasts timeless traditions and pop culture, fascinating history and futuristic cities, cultural treasures and natural beauty. A captivating land of etiquette, innovation, and outstanding cuisine, Japan excels in the details.

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Kyoto, known as Japan's cultural center, is a place where ancient shrines, serene gardens, and historical districts blend with modern Japanese sophistication.

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Tokyo is an exceptional city that captivates your senses with a unique fusion of tradition and innovation, nature and modern wonders.

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Trip Planner - Japan

Create your perfect trip to kyoto, japan.

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Most travelers start their adventure in Tokyo , the capital and financial center of Japan and its largest metropolis. Known as “The Land of the Rising Sun,” Tokyo embodies the country’s fusion of old-world and ultramodern with Buddhist temples, geisha districts, and elaborate traditional tea ceremonies alongside neon-lit streets, lively nightlife, and some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. Tokyo showcases the country’s natural beauty with its famous spring cherry blossoms and breathtaking Japanese gardens – and, on a clear day, a glimpse of Japan’s three “Holy Mountains,” including the iconic snowcapped Mount Fuji . Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most important and popular shrine hosting many festivals and ceremonies, and the famous Senso-ji Buddhist temple are among its must-see destinations.

Kyoto , a short ride away from Tokyo on Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train, is known as “The City of Ten Thousand Shrines” and is often regarded as the cultural heart of Japan. Containing about a quarter of Japan’s national treasures, including over a thousand temples, Kyoto is an imperial city whose highlights include the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), the 15th Century Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji), the Nijo Castle , and the Imperial Palace . Gion , Kyoto’s famous geisha district, is a popular attraction with its charming wooden merchant houses and traditional tea houses. In the spring, the Philosopher’s Path bursts into color and follows a canal lined with cherry blossoms.

Osaka, a large port city and important commercial center, also highlights the unique blend of the modern and ancient in Japan. While considered by many to be the best place in Japan to eat, drink, and party, Osaka dates back to the 7th century and features the historic Shitennoji Temple, Osaka Castle , and Sumiyoshi Shrine. Osaka’s science museum and aquarium are also renowned.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki , historic cities that have emerged from destruction to become modern cosmopolitan cities, are located in the southwestern part of the Japanese islands and are rich in the natural beauty of both the sea and mountains. Hiroshima, known as “The City of Water” because of the six rivers that flow through it, was rebuilt with great effort after World War II. The destroyed monuments of its historical heritage, like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden, were reconstructed, and a large park, named “Peace Memorial Park” was built in the center of the city as was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum . Nagasaki, another important port city, is known for its vivid history and culture, and its attractive location around a narrow inlet make it another top destination for travelers.

Japan is most vibrant in the spring, when its glorious cherry blossoms are in full season, and in the autumn, when it comes alive with the rich, colorful foliage of its ubiquitous maple and ginko trees – yet it also most crowded at these times. Hikers and nature lovers enjoy travel to Japan’s mountains and national parks in the summer months, while some travelers enjoy the snowy winter months in northern Japan with its many festivals and events.

Need guidance? Whether you’re looking for historic experiences or modern adventures, must-see attractions or off-the-beaten-track treasures – or some of each, Routeperfect is your address for planning, organizing, and booking your personalized dream vacation to Japan. Unlike any other company, Routeperfect offers its exclusive popular itineraries written by tourism professionals and experienced travelers to jumpstart your planning, helping you to customize your travel and book your accommodations so that you can experience the country YOUR way.

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Wapiti Travel

The Perfect 14-Day Japan Travel Itinerary for First Timers

By: Author Kris

Posted on Last updated: May 16, 2024

Are you planning a 14-day trip to Japan? You came to the right place. Japan is a fascinating destination that has much to offer. 

But when you have just 2 weeks in Japan you will have to make choices.  

That’s why we compiled this 14-day Japan travel itinerary based on the highlights and the things we loved the most during our Japan itinerary.

We want to inspire you with this 2 week Japan itinerary and hope you will love your Japan trip as much as we did.

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Table of Contents

Tip: Be sure to become a member of our brand new Japan Travel Planning and Tips Facebook group . The purpose of this group is to help you plan an amazing vacation to Japan. You can ask questions and exchange tips with fellow travelers.

Japan Essentials

We almost always find the best flights to Tokyo and Osaka on Momondo .  It may be worthwhile to compare these with Skyscanner and a new but promising flight aggregator, WayAway .

Don’t lose time upon arrival at the airport and order your Japan travel SIM  or portable WiFi device in advance so that it’s ready and waiting for you at the airport when you arrive.

Find out which JR Pass will save you the most for your trip to Japan.

Check out our ultimate Japan travel blog where you can find many more interesting Japan articles to prepare for your trip.

Need help with your Japan trip planning? Check out this post on how to plan your trip to Japan.

Japan Travel Planner

If this is your first Japan trip, we totally understand if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with your travel planning. There is so much to see and to do and Japan’s train network is excellent but at the same time very different from what most of us know from our home country. That’s why we created our  Japan travel planner . A document that will help you with all the details of your travel plan.  Follow the  link for the full details .

japan travel planner

Our Japan Itinerary For 14 days

Day 1-2: tokyo.

Most international flights will take you to Tokyo so this is where you’re 2 weeks in Japan adventure starts.

  • 5 days in Japan
  • 7 days in Japan
  • 3 weeks in Japan, the perfect itinerary for first-time visitors.

Getting from the Airport to Tokyo

When somebody is referring to Tokyo International Airport they refer to Haneda airport but in reality, Tokyo has 2 international airports: Haneda and Narita airport.

The general rule is that Narita is the airport for low cost carriers while premium connections are grouped at Haneda. But even if you don’t fly low-cost, you have a good chance of arriving at Narita. Narita handles 3 times as many international flights than Haneda. Domestic flights are mostly leaving from Haneda.

In reality you will notice that there isn’t really any logic in how the flights are divided between the 2 airports. Because there are not enough landing slots in Haneda, ANA sometimes has to look to Narita when it adds extra weekly flights to a certain destination. As a result the flight from Washington arrives in Narita on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and on Haneda on the other days of the week.

Which of the 2 airports is best for you as a passenger? Probably Haneda because it is closer to the city. It takes less time to get from the airport to the city and it is also cheaper.

Below is additional information about both airports.

Haneda International Airport

Haneda International Airport  is located 14 kilometers south of Tokyo Station. It is the oldest of the two airports. 

It used to mainly handle domestic flights after Narita airport opened but with the addition of a new international terminal in 2010, it now handles most business routes while Narita focuses more on leisure routes.

The two main ways to reach central Tokyo from Haneda Airport are the Keikyu Line and the Tokyo Monorail. Both require a transfer to the JR Yamanote Line to reach major stations in central Tokyo.

Depending on the location of your hotel and the length of your flight (and the amount of sleep you could get) you might not be looking forward to train and subway rides in your first hours in Tokyo.

After a long flight, a direct transfer from the airport to your hotel will be a lot more comfortable.

You can find more information about a shared transfer here:

Shared Transfer

Private Transfer

Narita Airport

Narita is the smallest of the 2 airports but it is the gateway to Tokyo for many international tourists. 

It lies 60 km east of central Tokyo. Although it is located further from central Tokyo it is also well-connected to the city. Compared to Haneda, you even have more options. 

There are plenty of public transportation options to reach central Tokyo from the airport. You could take the JR Narita Express, the Keisei Skyliner, buses and taxis.  Those who like to make a grand entrance can even choose for a helicopter transfer.

The JR Narita Express

The JR Narita Express , abbreviated as N’EX, is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.  This makes N’EX your best option if you have a JR Pass. 

To use this train with your Japan Rail Pass you need to exchange your voucher for the actual pass at the airport.

Once exchanged you will also need to reserve seats as N’EX is one of the few trains that only has reserved cars.

Japan Rail Pass is it worth it?

The Keisei Skyliner

The Keisei Skyliner is a good alternative to N’EX if you have no Japan Rail Pass. 

The prices, the comfort and the train schedule of both trains are comparable.

The main difference is that N’EX will take you to Tokyo station, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro & Yokohama.  The Keisei Skyliner heads to Nippori station and Keisei Ueno (close to Ueno station). 

Both trains offer easy transfer to the JR Yamanote Line, the main loop line in Tokyo.

As with Haneda, you can also book private or shared transfers from Narita to central Tokyo.

Find more information about a shared transfer here: Shared Transfer

or you can opt for a private transfer here: Private Transfer

japan travel planner

Getting Around in Tokyo

If you have a japan rail pass.

If you have a Japan Rail Pass you can use this pass on  the JR trains that run on the inner-city network in Tokyo,  a very extensive network that can be compared with a metro network.

If You Don’t have a Japan Rail Pass

If you don’t have a Japan rail pass or you choose to activate your Japan rail pass after your visit to Tokyo, a Tokyo subway pass might be a good alternative. You can buy this pass at tourist information centers, BIC camera shops, and certain hotels.

There’s a  list of selling points on the Tokyo Metro website . Be sure to bring cash as credit or debit cards are usually not accepted.

The pass can also be  bought online  which is even more convenient.

When you buy your pass online you will receive a voucher that you can use to quickly and easily collect your pass at the airport and seconds later you will be on your way to your hotel.  Your pass can be used immediately, so you can use it if you would have to change to the metro en route to your hotel.

Click here to read reviews and buy your Tokyo public transportation pass here: Tokyo Metro Pass

  or read our full article about Tokyo’s public transport.

Things to Do in Tokyo

If you visit Tokyo during the cherry blossom season it may be tempting to spend 2 days visiting the parks. There’re many great parks to see the cherry blossoms. We wrote a separate article about the  best places to see the cherry blossoms .

The parks are great but there’s so much more to see and do in Tokyo…

Out of all the highlights in Tokyo, we visited the busiest intersection in the world at Shibuya as well as the Imperial Palace, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, the Sensoji temple, the Asakusa district, the neighborhood around the Skytree and much more.  Here you will find our detailed Tokyo 2-5 itinerary.

Organized Tours and recommended activities in Tokyo 

Here are 2 top-recommended activities for when you’re in Tokyo.

We’re not a huge fan of organized tours but in this case it’s the best option. The tour will save time and, moreover, the tour guide will enlighten you about the different sights you visit.

We partnered up with GetYourGuide and Klook for these activities. 

We love GetYourGuide because they’re flexible.  Sometimes your plans change last minute and then you want to be able to cancel your tickets and get your money back.  It’s also good to know that GetYourGuide has your back when the local tour operator doesn’t show up or cancels your trip.

Klook is a trustworthy travel company headquartered in Hong Kong that teams up with local operators to offer all kinds of travel experiences.

We selected 2 excellent tours in Tokyo just for you.

Tokyo Skytree skip the Line Tickets

japan travel planner

The   Tokyo Skytree   is, with a height of 634 meters, the highest building in Japan. It’s also the highest free-standing tower in the world.

The tower houses 2 observation platforms that offer a fantastic view of Tokyo.

They are respectively at a height of 350 and 450 meters and are amongst the highest in Japan.

Here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Tokyo. An absolute Tokyo must-visit when you want to see Tokyo from above.

The lines are often very long so we recommend you to book skip the line tickets.

Read reviews and book: Tokyo Skytree Tickets

If you are looking for a free alternative, you should head to the   Metropolitan Government Building.   This building has 2 towers that each offer a viewing platform at a height of 202 meters. The northern tower stays open until 11 p.m. and ‘Tokyo By Night’ is really spectacular.

Make a Day trip to Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji

This is the perfect excursion if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

You will travel by coach to enjoy Mount Fuji lake Ashi, the must-do ropeway to Owakudani Valley, and a visit to Subashiri 5th station.

An amazing tour with lots of activities.

Read reviews and book: Mount Fuji Day Tour

For an overview of more amazing Mount Fuji Tours from Tokyo, check out this post. If you prefer making a private Mt Fuji tour, click here.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

When you only have 2 days in Tokyo we recommend that you stay centrally in Shinjuku. Then you are close to various highlights and thanks to the Shinjuku train station you have quick access to the other parts of the city and the whole of Japan.

  Hilton Tokyo

Hilton Tokyo Shinjuku

The Tokyo Hilton is situated in lively Shinjuku. From the hotel, it’s about a 15-minutes walk to Shinjuku train station. 

You can also make use of the free hotel shuttle which takes hotel guests to the station every 20 minutes. The airport limousine bus has a stop at this hotel.  

There’re multiple restaurants and supermarkets in this area. Last but not least, after a busy day exploring this vibrant city you can relax in the indoor pool or sauna.  

Highly recommended if you are looking for a good hotel in the vicinity of public transport.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

  • Where to stay in Tokyo for the first time to learn how the city is structured. We explain what the busy and quieter neighborhoods are and show you which sights are located where.
  • Tired of plain vanilla hotels?  We are too sometimes.  Check-out these Cool hotels in Tokyo !
  • Have a look at the Best Airbnb’s in Tokyo if you prefer a vacation rental over a hotel.
  • Hotel rooms can be small in Tokyo.  If you’re traveling with a group of friends or as a large family you may want to stay in one of these larger Airbnb properties that can host your whole party.
  • Looking for a ryokan with a private onsen in Tokyo, check out this post.

Matsumoto Castle Japan

Day 3: Matsumoto

Best things to do in matsumoto.

The next step in our 14-day Japan itinerary is Matsumoto.

There’re many Samurai Castles scattered across Japan and you should visit at least one during your 14 days in Japan.

We opted for the castle in Matsumoto as it is one of the few remaining original castles.  Most other castles you will see are reconstructions.

Guides are available at the entrance of the Matsumoto castle.  They provide free tours and will share interesting stories about how life used to be in the castle as well as about the different wars that prevailed over Japan.

If you’re short on time you could consider skipping Matsumoto and visit Osaka castle or Hiroshima castle. (both are reconstructions)

All castles are more or less similar so if you only have 14 days there’s not really a reason to visit more than one.

If you have more time, or are fascinated by the rich history of Japan, it’s worthwhile to visit multiple castles. With each visit you learn a little extra about the rich history of the country and the many aspects of these monumental buildings.

Where to Stay in Matsumoto

  hotel kagetsu.

Wearing our Yukata in Hotel Kagetsu in Matsumoto

This hotel more than exceeded our expectations.  Hotel Kagetsu is situated 20 minutes on foot from the train station and really close to Matsumoto Castle and the small but picturesque old town. 

The hotel offers free bicycles to explore the area. 

The hotel also has a good restaurant and you have more dining options within walking distance. 

You get a comfortable and spacious room, certainly by Japanese standards, and your Yukata and slippers will be waiting in your room if you want to use the onsen. 

A great option in this charming city.

Check prices and availability on Booking.com: Booking.com

Snow Monkey - Jigokudani - Yudanaka - Japan

Day 4-5: Yudanaka

Best things to do in yudanaka.

Yudanaka will surely be one of the highlights of your 14 days Japan itinerary. 

You can visit the snow monkeys and, just like the monkeys, you can also take some time yourself to relax in one of the many local onsens. 

Yudanaka is in the countryside. 

Here you see a different side of Japan, different from the crowds in the mega-cities.

Seeing the monkeys takes about half a day. At least that’s how long we, true animal lovers, spent in the park. The park is not that big, but it was very cute to see the monkey’s doing their thing.

The best time to visit the snow monkeys is, of course, the winter. During other periods it’s best to head to the park very early when it’s not yet too warm. The colder it is, the more likely you will see the monkeys warming themselves in the natural onsen.

The best place to relax in the Onsen yourself is Shibu Onsen. You should head to Shibu onsen in the evening.

After you’ve seen the monkeys it’s time to head to the onsen. The best place to do so is Shibu Onsen. This is a village a few minutes walk from Yudanaka.

In the picturesque car-free high street you will find 9 public onsens that are supplied by the hot springs. You can wander from one bathhouse to another in your Yukata and on your traditional wooden sandals.

The baths are open from 6 AM to 10 PM. You can go exploring the onsen in the afternoon but the experience becomes truly magical after sunset.

The baths are always locked so make sure to ask for the key in your Ryokan.  Only Ryokans in Shibu Onsen will be able to provide you with a key.  If you’re staying somewhere else you can visit the public bath called O-yu which accepts day guests between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Where to stay in Yudanaka

Shimaya ryokan .

Yudanaka Onsen Shimaya - Japan

Shimaya Ryokan is not a hotel that we typically would recommend. To start with it’s not a hotel but a Ryokan which is more like a B&B. 

The rooms are very simple, typical for a Ryokan, and look a bit dated. But the hospitable owners of this Ryokan made up for all of this. 

The owner picked us up at the train station, offered us a ride to the monkey park and back, and gave us tons of tips about all the places we would visit next during our trip.

Sleeping in a traditional ryokan is something you should do at least once when you’re in Japan, so why not do it here with these friendly hospitable owners.

Kanazawa Old Town - Japan

Day 6: Kanazawa

Kanazawa charmed us enormously during our first trip to Japan.  If you ask us, this is one of the hidden gems of the country that gets too little attention. This city is less touristy and that makes a visit so pleasant.

Things to do in Kanazawa

A visit to Kanazawa is not complete without a visit to the Kenrokuen Garden .   The garden is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Japan and it is also one of the best places to see cherry blossoms.

The weather was a bit disappointing during our visit so we couldn’t fully appreciate the park. We certainly thought it was beautiful but not better than what we already saw in Tokyo. Still, we could not get enough of the cherry blossoms.

Right next to the Kenrokuen garden is the reconstructed Kanazawa castle.  Visits are free and can easily be combined with a visit to the Kenrokuen Garden.

Another highlight of a visit to Kanazawa is a stroll through the old Geisha district Higashi Chaya , often just called: “Old Town”.

The old town of Takayama is more often mentioned in tourist guides and blogs but we found the old city of Kanazawa to be much more charming. Besides, it was also a lot less crowded.

Not enough time to visit both cities? Read here about the biggest differences between the two cities and decide which city you prefer.

In Higashi Chaya, you could take a quiet stroll, look around, and enjoy the beautiful old houses. Unfortunately, this was not possible due to the crowds in Takayama.

To complete the experience you can do this hike with a guide.  A walk through the geisha district in the evening, where you learn more about the mysteries and intrigues of this old neighborhood, concluded with a traditional dinner, is an unforgettable experience.

You should also go and take a look at Nagamachi , the old Samurai district. There’re some really spectacular villas in this district, but Higashi Chaya impressed us more.

Finally, we recommend that you head to Omicho market to still your hunger. The market is open for both lunch and dinner. There are over 180 stalls selling everything from seafood to fresh fruit and vegetables and there are some restaurants where you can sit down and enjoy a full meal.

Here you can find a complete Kanazawa itinerary.

Kanazawa is also a great day trip from Tokyo. For a list of more day trips from Tokyo, click here.

Where to stay in Kanazawa

Holiday inn ana kanazawa sky.

Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky

The Holiday Inn ANA Kanazawa Sky is centrally located within walking distance of the station and just across the Omicho fish market. 

The Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Garden are just a few minutes walk away. 

You have spectacular views of Kanazawa from the lobby and the restaurant.  We couldn’t have imagined a better hotel in Kanazawa.

Golden Temple KinkakuJi, Kyoto, Japan

Day 7-9: Kyoto

Things to do in kyoto.

Kyoto was once the capital of Kyoto and today one can still see how prosperous this city once was and is up till today. There are thousands of temples and many well-preserved historical buildings. And Kyoto is of course also the place to see Geishas. That brings us to Gion.

Gion is an upscale neighborhood of Kyoto and is the oldest Geisha district of Japan.

A must-do experience in Gion is an evening walk in this charming district. You can do this on your own but we recommend doing it with a local guide. 

During our walk, we learned a lot about this traditional custom and we still have fond memories of our hike. 

It was interesting to learn about the difference in cultures and the icing on the cake was that we did spot some Geishas.

Here you can read the story of our evening walk in the Gion district .

Of course, Kyoto is not just about the Geishas. There are many other sights:

The Inari Shrines where you will find thousands of Torii gates are very touristy but definitely worth a visit. It’s enough to move further away from the entrance, higher up the mountain, to escape the crowds.

The philosopher’s path is known as a place to see the cherry blossoms.  But a walk along the path also pays off outside this season. You come across plenty of temples along the path. Unlike Tokyo where all temples are free, there is an entrance fee for all temples in Kyoto. Most of them are however not that different from temples that you will find elsewhere in Japan.

One temple that is certainly worth visiting in Kyoto is Kinkakuji or the Golden temple.  This is probably the most beautiful temple we saw in Japan. (Kinkakuji is not situated along the philosopher’s path.)

If you have the time you can also make a side trip to Arashiyama , a district on the outskirts of Kyoto that is well-known for its bamboo forests. Expect a big crowd! Fortunately, it immediately becomes a lot quieter as soon as you make your way away from the center.

We discovered some charming quiet spots in Arashiyama. You can go to the park around the Jojakkoji temple from where you have a stunning view. From there, you can walk further north to Saga-Toriimoto Street.

This is a picturesque street lined with preserved, traditional houses. Best of all, we had the street to ourselves while we were wandering through it.

When you reach the end of the street, you will reach the Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple, and adjacent you will find a bamboo forest that is just as beautiful as the one close to the center where all the tourists are.

When we just got off the train and ended up in the crowd, we were afraid it would be an unpleasant day because of the bustle.

But in the end, we did have a really enjoyable day as we discovered some pleasant quiet spots in and around Arashiyama. 

The bus tours seem to limit their visit to the Togetsukyo bridge and the nearby Tenryuji temple and bamboo groves.  Other places were not nearly as crowded.

Take a look here for more must-see places in Kyoto  or read our detailed 2-day itinerary here. Here are some fun things to do in Kyoto at night.

Philosopher's Path Kyoto, Japan

Where to Stay in Kyoto

Kyoto is the most touristic city in Japan. You will undoubtedly notice this in the hotel prices.

We were confronted with prices upwards of € 800/night during the cherry blossom season.

Because of these high prices, we started looking at alternatives and we decided to book a stay at the Marriott Lake Biwa. 

This is a nice hotel that is located 20 minutes outside Kyoto by train, but it meant a serious difference to our wallets.

Below we show two options. 1 good hotel in Kyoto and the Marriott as an alternative.

Marriott Lake Biwa

Marriott Lake Biwa Kyoto

This Marriott hotel is located alongside the coast of beautiful Lake Biwa, an ideal setting if you want to escape busy Kyoto at night. 

The hotel offers a free shuttle service to the train station where you can catch the train to Kyoto station.  

The only drawback of this hotel is that you have to take into account the schedule of the shuttle which only runs once every hour.

But considering what you get in return and the price difference in the peak season, this hotel can be a good deal.

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto

The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

If you have only 3 days in Kyoto it might be better to stay in the center of Kyoto.   

In that case, the Royal Park Hotel Kyoto is an excellent choice.

It is within walking distance of the Gion district, two metro stations, and various temples.

The rooms are neat and the bathroom is fully equipped. You can enjoy a nice breakfast at the bakery next to the hotel.

Check prices and availability on Booking.com : Booking.com

  • Here’s an overview of Kyoto’s various districts including some excellent hotels
  • We’ve also handpicked some highly-rated Airbnb’s in Kyoto
  • Kyoto might be the best place to stay in a Ryokan so we also have a great selection of Kyoto Ryokans and Ryokans in Kyoto with a  private onsen.

Hiroshima Piece Memorial, Japan

Day 10-11: Hiroshima and Miyajima

Best things to do in hiroshima and miyajima.

When you are here, don’t miss the peace park in Hiroshima .

There is a special atmosphere in the peace park. You will find an interesting museum about the atomic bomb and touching stories about how the survivors had to rebuild their city and their lives.

It is also worth making a small detour to have a look at the castle.

If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can make free use of the hop-on-hop-off bus operated by JR. When you arrive at the station, just drop in with the tourist office. They have route maps of the buses and can  explain which bus to take and which stop to get off to get to your hotel.

You can get from Hiroshima to Miyajima in about half an hour both by tram or by  JR train. The train is covered by the Japan Rail Pass , the tram is not. Once you arrive at the train station in Miyajima, it is nothing more but a short 5-minute walk to the harbor where you then take the ferry to Miyajima island.

2 ferries go to the island, one of which is operated by JR and also covered by the JR pass.

On Miyajima island or rather just in front you will find the photogenic Torii gate which seems to float on the water during high tide.

The times of high and low tide are signposted at the entrance of the ferry terminal. The Torii gate is the tourist attraction of the island, but also the colorful Daisyoin Temple is worth a visit.

We took the time to wander around this temple and it seemed like we found a hidden gem on this island.

Here you can find our detailed Hiroshima itinerary. 

Where to Stay in Hiroshima

Ana crowne plaza hiroshima.

ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima

The Ana Crowne Plaza is within walking distance of the peace park and near shops and restaurants. The rooms are not too big but clean and fully equipped. The staff also speak good English.

The Glico running man at the Dotonbori canal in Osaka

Day 12-13: Osaka

As soon as you arrive in Osaka you will notice that you are back in a metropolis.   We loved the atmosphere in this city, it’s alive 24/7 and is night and day compared to neighboring Kyoto.

Best Things to do in Osaka

The Namba district is alive day and night but is probably at its best at night. The least you can say about this district is that it is simply spectacular. You can find our complete article on the best things to do in Osaka at night here.

Osaka is also known as the kitchen of Japan. For an overview of the best Osaka food tours, click here.

Or why not attend a cooking class and learn how to prepare this delicious food yourself.

Osaka Castle is a restored castle but that doesn’t mean it’s not impressive.  It’s a popular tourist attraction and a good spot to enjoy the Sakura.

If you’re visiting Osaka during the Sakura season you can walk along the river from the castle to the Kema Sakuranomiya Park, another beautiful park with lots of cherry trees.

Shinsekai is another district that is worth a visit.

You can also make a day trip to Nara . In times long gone this city was the capital of Japan. It still houses a large number of historical temples, impressive landmarks, and national monuments from that day.

In the Todaiji Temple, you will find the largest wooden building in the world, the Daibutsuden (“big Buddha hall”).

As its name says inside the building you will find a gigantic Buddha. Don’t limit yourself to this temple only. Venture up the mountain to “Nigatsu-do” for a breathtaking view.

Children will also love a visit to Nara because of the deer that roam freely in the park and no doubt will come begging for cookies.

Here you can find all our Osaka posts:

  • Free Things to Do in Osaka
  • Best Things To Do in Osaka
  • 1-Day Osaka Itinerary
  • 2-Day Osaka Itinerary
  • Hidden Gems in Osaka
  • Best Osaka Food Tours
  • Best Things To Do In Osaka At Night

Osaka castle

Where to Stay in Osaka

Holiday Inn Osaka Namba

Holiday Inn Osaka Namba

This Holiday Inn is close to Namba station and just a few minutes on foot from the famous Glico bridge, probably the most famous sight in Dotonbori. 

This neighborhood is alive day and night and as a result, the rooms can be somewhat noisy at night. 

The rooms offer all comfort but are rather small.  The biggest asset of this hotel is its superb location.

Holiday Inn

  • Read our detailed “ Best Place to Stay in Osaka ” article to discover the best locations
  • See a selection of recommended Airbnb’s is Osaka
  • Or go for a traditional stay in a Ryokan in Osaka . If you prefer a ryokan in Osaka with a private onsen, click here.
  • For a cheap stay in Osaka, check out our list of cheap capsule hotels in Osaka.

Akihabara, also called Electric City, in Tokyo

Day 14: Tokyo

We end our Japan itinerary back in Tokyo.

If you would end your trip on a Sunday you could head to Akihabara . The main street that runs through the Akihabara district is closed for cars on Sundays.

This makes a visit to Akihabara much more fun. Foresee enough time. Browsing through the shops like Mandarake is what makes a visit to Akihabara worthwhile but you will quickly spend several hours snooping around these stores, looking at all the curiosities.

If you’re looking for something completely different then we recommend a relaxing day in Tokyo DisneySea . Next to Tokyo DisneySea is Tokyo Disneyland but we recommend the first because Disneyland is a sort of replica of all the other Disneyland Parks in the world. And above all, DisneySea won an award for its design.

The park can be busy at times but it is possible to visit the majority of the attractions in one day by using the Fastpass system. 

We visited the park during the “Golden week” and we could do all the major attractions. 

If we can do that during the Golden Week, so can you at any other time of the year. 🙂

We loved the design of the park and there were some great attractions.  It was also fun to see how some Japanese completely dress up in the Disney magic.

Click here to get more information about the Disney tickets:

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Japan Travel Tips

Here we share our best Japan travel tips that will help you plan your Japan itinerary and have an unforgettable tip.

Best Time to Visit Japan

It is difficult to specify one particular season as the best to visit all of Japan.

The best season will depend on the region you’re going, the activities you want to experience, and the things you want to see.

But in general spring and autumn come to mind for a trip through Japan .

There is little rainfall, overall pleasant temperatures, and clear skies.

The stunning cherry blossoms are a real tourist attraction in spring and the vivid hues of the autumn leaves ensure a colorful experience in autumn.

Here is some more information about the different seasons and some specific regions.

Our ultimate Japan travel guide where you can find all our Japan articles.

Spring is an excellent season to visit Japan as early in spring the cherry blossoms (Sakura) will start appearing in Southern Japan.

They start blossoming in the South and gradually make their way Northwards.

It is a natural event so the exact blossoming period is different each year but the Japanese tourist board keeps predictions on its website .

Spring is also the most touristy season.

The Sakura not only draws tourists from all over the world but also Japanese go crazy over this yearly event.

Late April and early May also mark the “Golden Week”, a week with 4 Japanese holidays in which many Japanese take a local trip.

We found it was still OK in terms of crowds but we definitely advise to book your accommodation well upfront because the prices go through the roof.

Over summer the temperatures can rise up to 35 degrees Celsius but it may feel even hotter due to the humidity.

Big cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka become uncomfortably hot.

June and July is also the rainy season.

The rainy season ends by the end of July but the days continue to be hot and humid and generally unpleasant if you’re not used to this kind of weather.

“To Travel is to Live”

During August and September, you also have the biggest risk of seeing (part of) your travel plans ruined by a typhoon.

Hokkaido is the only region in Japan that escapes the stifling heat. Here you have mild temperatures all summer long.

During summer Japanese organize a number of popular festivals (called ‘Matsuri’). Each festival is different but they’re all very brisk and impressive.

Japan Matsuri festival

Autumn is another lovely option to discover Japan. Colorful autumn leaves, known as Koyo in Japanese, draw just as many visitors in autumn as the cherry blossoms do during spring.

The best time to view the colorful foliage is subject to weather conditions and, as Japan is surprisingly vast, it also differs greatly between the various regions. 

The Japanese tourist board has an overview of the best times to visit the popular Koyo spots .

It starts to get cooler by the end of September.

October offers pleasant temperatures slightly above 20 degrees Celsius.

November tends to be somewhat cooler but thanks to the clear blue and sunny skies it is still a lovely month to travel.

Winter in Japan is a time for snow sports in Hokkaido but it is low season in most other regions in Japan. 

Temperatures range from cool to cold, there may be some snowfall in and around Tokyo in January and February but the snow usually melts as soon as it falls.

Chureito Pagoda

Japan Top Sites

Mt. Fuji, one of the most beautiful natural places in Japan and Japan’s highest mountain, can be best viewed on a clear day from Hakone.  

The cooler months offer the best chance of seeing the volcanic mountain. 

The biggest chance to see the mountain in all its glory is from November to February. March, April, and October also offer reasonably good chances of a complete view but during the other months, your chances are slim.

The season to climb Mt. Fuji is July to mid-September when the mountain is generally snow-free.

The easiest way to see Mount Fuji is with a day tour. Here is a complete overview of the Mount Fuji day trips from Tokyo. 

Looking for a place to stay in Hakone? Check out the following posts:

  • Best Airbnbs and vacation rentals in Hakone.
  • Best ryokan with private onsen in Hakone.

Yudanaka Snow Monkey

Yudanaka Snow Monkeys

The Yudanaka Snow Monkeys are so cute if you can see them bathe in their hot springs.

They take these baths to warm up which means you have to plan your visit during the colder months.

Winter is without any doubt the best season but early spring is still OK as long as you make sure you go early in the day.

We went late March, first thing in the morning, and could still catch a few monkeys in the hot springs.

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Okinawa has a subtropical and humid climate.

Summers are hot and wet with temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius, in the winter months, the day temperature on these islands still reaches a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius.

Often called the Hawaii of Japan this place is popular for snorkeling.

The water temperatures range from about 18 degrees Celsius in winter to 29 degrees during summer.

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Cheap Flights to Japan

If you want to score  cheap flights  to Japan we recommend using  Momondo and  Skyscanner .  

Both are flight aggregators that compare several hundreds of booking sites and give you an overview of the best flights and the cheapest sites to book them. 

Momondo and Skyscanner are both very good at finding good deals, of the two, Momondo is probably the one with the most intuitive user interface.

Read our full review about 10 booking sites here. 

Going Independent or Joining an Organized Tour

We found it easy and straightforward to create our own travel itinerary.

It was also fairly easy to travel through Japan independently. Despite the fact that the Japanese don’t always speak English very well, they are enormously helpful.

But if you want the company of a group, don’t have the time to create your own itinerary, or just don’t want to go independent, you could also join an organized tour.

  Tourradar  is a trustworthy company where you can book an organized tour to Japan to make it easy on yourself. 

Here you can find all organized tours to Japan: Organized Tours Japan

Here’s an overview of Japan package tours . We also made a selection of  5-day tours of Japan and 7 days Japan tours. 

If you prefer a self-guided Japan tour, click here.

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Do I need Travel Insurance for Japan

Travel Insurance is something that can be overlooked when you prepare for your vacation.  Certainly when you’re traveling to a safe and civilized country. 

We didn’t get travel insurance for our first holidays. 

A few years later we both took out new credit cards that came with travel insurance and relied on those.  We know better now…

Overall, chances are slim that you will encounter any problems while traveling through a civilized country such as Japan. But when things go wrong in civilized countries, the medical costs can be high. 

We learned it the hard way when we once had to visit a hospital in the United States. 

The medical care was excellent but we had high out-of-pocket expenses as it turned out the insurance that came without credit cards didn’t cover these costs.  It turned out we were underinsured.

Drawing up a travel insurance policy may seem expensive at first but it can potentially save you a significant sum, significantly more than the small insurance fee. 

Good travel insurance covers things like medical expenses, trip cancellation, overseas medical costs, evacuation, baggage damage or loss, and theft.

Get a free quote:

or read our  in-depth post with everything you need to know about Japan travel insurance. 

What’s the Best Way to Pay in Japan

We took a little bit of cash with us but most things we paid with our credit card.

Expenses abroad can be seriously inflated by fees from your bank or credit card.  That’s why I’m a huge fan of my N26 account. 

The account is available to most EU residents. 

The  checking account  is free as well as the associated Mastercard and there’s no exchange rate provision when you use to card for payments abroad. 

There’s a 1,7% exchange rate provision when you withdraw money abroad but even that is free with  the premium Black Mastercard.  

The app is another great feature of the card, you can follow your expenses in real-time and instantly block your card if you see any signs of fraud.

multi-size SIM

Local SIM card or a Pocket WiFi Device

A local SIM card or   pocket WiFI device comes in handy. We have often used Google Maps to find our way around major cities.

When looking for a Japanese SIM card, there are so many options that you cannot see the forest for the trees, therefore we created this useful article so you can choose the best Japanese SIM card for you . If you prefer a pocket WiFi device, you can read our detailed post about the best WiFI pocket device here .

luggage

Luggage Forwarding Service

When you’re traveling by train it’s also a good idea to forward your baggage.  You can read these tips and much more in our separate article about traveling to Japan for the first time .

From May 2020 you need a reserved seat if you travel with large suitcases on the Tokaido-Sanyo-Kyushu Shinkansen.

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Traveling Around Japan

We traveled around Japan by train and could save a few bucks by buying a Japan Rail Pass in advance.

Get more information on the Japan Railpass here: Japan Railpass

Or  read this article in which we describe how you can find out whether you would also benefit from a Japan Rail Pass .

General Japan Travel Tips

Wondering what to wear in Japan? Take a look at our complete Japan packing list. 

If you are looking to buy some souvenirs? These are the best Japanese souvenirs. 

If you have less than 2 weeks to spend in Japan, take a look at this 5 day Japan itinerary  or at this ultimate Japan bucket list  to get inspiration for your trip.

We hope we have inspired you with this 14-day Japan travel itinerary.  Japan has a lot to offer and unfortunately, there’re a number of things we had to omit in this Japan 14 days itinerary but this trip takes you along the highlights and the things we loved most.

Are you ready to discover the best of Japan in 14 days?

If you like this article, pin it

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Saturday 10th of August 2019

This is highly detailed post about Japan. I hardly found such a detailed post on Google.

Monday 12th of August 2019

Thanks, we do our best to provide in-depth information.

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Planning a Trip To Japan? Here’s The Best Airline to Fly

Summer has arrived, and traveling season is in full swing. Are you planning on adding Japan to the bucket list?

Japan is a brilliant and fascinating country, home to over 20 world heritage sites. Through tourism alone, Japan has attracted over 2.5 million international tourists since February of 2024. In recent times, out of 141 countries, they have rank high in cultural resources and business travel.

When traveling to a foreign country, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is choosing the airline for your journey. With numerous options, it’s essential to pick an airline that offers comfort, reliability, and unforgettable service.

So what is the best airline to fly to Japan? Let’s weigh our options.

The Best Airlines To Fly To Japan

Japan airlines (jal).

Japan Airlines, commonly known as JAL, is one of the top choices for flying to Japan. As the national carrier, JAL offers excellent service and a genuine taste of Japanese hospitality from the moment you step on board. Passengers often praise JAL for its comfortable seats, delicious in-flight meals, and attentive staff. JAL operates direct flights from various major cities around the world, making it a convenient option. The airline also has a reputation for punctuality, ensuring you arrive in Japan on time to start your adventure.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Another fantastic option is All Nippon Airways, or ANA. As Japan’s largest airline, ANA provides exceptional service and a smooth flying experience. The airline is known for its modern fleet, spacious seating, and excellent in-flight entertainment options. ANA also takes pride in its top-notch customer service, ensuring passengers have a pleasant journey. ANA offers direct flights to Japan from several international destinations, making it easy to find a convenient route. Additionally, travelers look forward to ANA’s frequent flyer program, ANA Mileage Club. This program offers great benefits for loyal travelers.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is one of the best airline to fly to Japan. If you’re looking for an airline with a reputation for luxury and outstanding service, Singapore Airlines is an excellent choice. Although it involves a layover in Singapore and many travelers find the experience worthwhile. Singapore Airlines is consistently ranked among the best airlines globally, known for its comfortable seats, delicious food, and exceptional in-flight service. The airline’s commitment to passenger comfort and satisfaction makes it a favorite among those flying to Japan. Plus, the layover in Singapore gives you an opportunity to explore another vibrant city en route to your final destination.

The best airlines can enhance your travel experience significantly. With them, you are bound to have a remarkable travel experience. Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are choice options for their direct routes, excellent service, and comfortable cabin. Singapore Airlines is another great option if you don’t mind a layover and prefer to fly in luxury. Fly safe, as the land of the Rising Sun awaits.

Planning a Trip To Japan? Here’s The Best Airline to Fly

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JAL A350-1000 Dallas Fort Worth – Tokyo (Haneda) Service Begins

Experience unmatched comfort and innovation across the Pacific aboard Japan Airlines’ new (JAL) A350-1000 international aircraft, now operating on alternate days between Dallas Fort Worth and Tokyo (Haneda).* The A350-1000 introduces JAL’s highest level of comfort, luxury, and privacy to date with new seat designs and the latest technology. Whether your clients are flying First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, or Economy Class, they will arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and ready to go. For more information about our products and services and a glimpse of the new A350-1000 cabins, visit https://www.jal.co.jp/ar/en/offers/A350-1000/ *Scheduled operations in July 2024 are with the Boeing 777-300ER. Schedule is subject to change. Visit https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/inter/A350-1000/schedule/?inbound=ar for the latest details.

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    Japan Travel App Japan Travel app supports international tourist traveling to Japan with the most efficient navigation. You can find destinations to visit, plan itineraries, make reservations, and search routes while actually traveling. Content is available in 13 languages.

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    Whether you want information on top Japan destinations, Japan trip ideas or travel advice about topics like Japan SIM cards and the Japan Rail Pass, my Japan travel blog is where you need to be. I've criss-crossed Japan dozens of times, and my posts include not only the wisdom I've gained from my journeys, but valuable personal anecdotes as ...

  14. Japan Travel Itinerary

    Best of Japan in 14 days. Day 1 and 2 - Tokyo. Spend three nights in Tokyo. Consider our suggested Tokyo itineraries. Day 3 - Side trip to Nikko. In a side trip from Tokyo, visit Nikko, home to Toshogu, Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Day 4 - Tokyo to Hakone.

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  20. The Perfect 14-Day Japan Travel Itinerary for First Timers

    The next step in our 14-day Japan itinerary is Matsumoto. There're many Samurai Castles scattered across Japan and you should visit at least one during your 14 days in Japan. We opted for the castle in Matsumoto as it is one of the few remaining original castles. Most other castles you will see are reconstructions.

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    This 2 weeks in Japan itinerary will cover: How to explore Japan on your own with confidence; Quick links to useful resources; Complete 2 Weeks in Japan itinerary, day-by day guide including costs, things to do, where to stay, where to eat & getting around for:. DAYS 1-5: Tokyo (including day trip to Mt Fuji) DAYS 6-10: Kyoto DAYS 10-12: Hiroshima (including day trip to Miyajima)

  23. Planning a Full Month (April 2025) activitys check : r/JapanTravel

    Our FAQ is constantly being updated with more information and you can start here with regards to trip planning if you need tips, advice, or have questions about planning your travel to Japan. You can also join our Discord community, comment in our stickied weekly discussion thread, or check out r/JapanTravelTips for quick questions. Thank you!

  24. Planning a Trip To Japan? Here's The Best Airline to Fly

    Through tourism alone, Japan has attracted over 2.5 million international tourists since February of 2024. In recent times, out of 141… Continue reading Planning a Trip To Japan?

  25. Looking for local travel agent

    237 posts. 82 reviews. 84 helpful votes. Looking for local travel agent. May 25, 2024, 10:54 AM. I am trying to plan a trip to Japan for about two weeks next April. My friend and I don't want to do an organized tour but I would like some help making some arrangements. In the past on other trips I have used local travel agencies to do this.

  26. route search

    Planning a Trip to Japan? Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp. Route Search. Google Map by Google. Japan Travel by NAVITIME. Japan Transit Planner by Jorudan. HyperDia by Hitachi Systems. Rail Passes. JRPass. JRHokkaido. JREast. JRCentral. JRWest. JRShikoku. JRKyushu. SEIBU Railway.

  27. International Plans

    If you're a T-Mobile customer on qualifying plan, you can add an International Pass to get more high-speed data and unlimited voice calling in 215+ countries and destinations. 1-Day (512MB) International Pass: 512MB of high-speed data and unlimited calling, to be used up to 24 hours, for $5. 10 day (5GB) International Pass: 5GB of high-speed ...

  28. Japan Airlines

    Japan Airlines. May 14, 2024. JNTO - Japan National Tourism Organization. JAL A350-1000 Dallas Fort Worth - Tokyo (Haneda) Service Begins. Experience unmatched comfort and innovation across the Pacific aboard Japan Airlines' new (JAL) A350-1000 international aircraft, now operating on alternate days between Dallas Fort Worth and Tokyo ...