14Day Travel Itinerary Japan | Tokyo to Osaka

14Day Travel Itinerary Japan | Tokyo to Osaka
Japan is a beautiful country with a rich culture, amazing food, and stunning scenery.

Here's a sample two-week itinerary that I came up with for anyone who wants to visit Japan this season. It covers some of the most popular destinations and activities in Japan, but of course, you can customize it according to your preferences and budget.

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Day 01 – Haneda Airport to Tokyo
Arrive in Tokyo and check into your desired hotel. Explore the vibrant and modern metropolis, with its skyscrapers, shopping districts, and entertainment options. Visit some of the iconic landmarks like the Tokyo Skytree or relax at Ueno Park where the oldest zoo in Japan is located. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and getting ready for the adventure ahead.

Day 02 – Asakusa, Tokyo
Explore Tokyo’s famous attractions in the Asakusa district.  Visit and pay your respects at Sensoji temple. Then walk towards the Imperial Shinto Meiji Shrine, before moving across the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world in Shibuya. 

Wander through picturesque Shinjuku-Gyoen Gardens before witnessing the Shinjuku entertainment district come alive at dusk. Try some sushi, ramen, and yakitori for lunch and dinner. Shop for some souvenirs and gadgets at the various stores and markets.

Asakusa, Tokyo Japan
Asakusa, Tokyo Japan 

Day 03 – Shibuya, Tokyo
Begin the day in the beautiful Imperial Palace's East Gardens, part of the inner palace area and the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defense. Afterward wander through Harajuku, the epicenter of Tokyo’s teenage youth, and do some shopping and street food tasting.

Day 04 – Hakone
Take a day trip to Hakone, a scenic town near Mount Fuji, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Ashi, the Hakone Shrine, and the Owakudani Valley. Ride the Hakone Ropeway and the Hakone Pirate Ship for some stunning views. If I'm lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji.

Discover the incredible workmanship involved in creating kimonos at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum.
Or if you want some adventure, visit the famous Fuji-Q Highland, and don’t miss the heart-pumping experience at its world’s steepest ride!

Relax in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) and soak in an onsen (hot spring bath).

Lake Ashi in Hakone
Lake Ashi in Hakone

Day 05 – Arrival to Kyoto
Take a bullet train to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and a treasure trove of historical and cultural sites. Check in to my ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and enjoy a kaiseki (multi-course) dinner.

Day 06 – Exploring Kyoto
Visit some of the most famous temples and shrines in Japan, such as the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), the Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water Temple), and the Fushimi Inari Taisha (Thousand Torii Gates). Experience the traditional arts and crafts of Kyoto, such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and kimono wearing. Marvel at the architecture, gardens, and artworks that reflect Japan's ancient heritage.

Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto
Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto

Day 07 – Around Kyoto
Explore more of Kyoto's attractions, such as the Nijo Castle, the Gion district, and the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Experience a tea ceremony, a geisha performance, and a rickshaw ride.
Enjoy your free time in Nishiki Market for shopping and street food tasting. Experience a night walk in Gion, the geisha district.

Day 08 – Kyoto to Nara
Take a day trip to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Begin your day with an early visit to Todai-ji Temple and its surrounding gardens. Afterward, head to Nara Park and feed the friendly deer that roam around the whole serene park. Marvel at the wooden architecture of Horyu-ji Temple. 

We recommend that you try staying at the Ryokan for a unique insight into Japanese culture. This traditional Japanese Inn has tatami mat flooring with futon beds, sliding shoji paper doors, onsen hot spring baths, and private facilities, and includes dinner and breakfast.

Day 09 – From Kyoto to Himeji
Relax on the Shinkansen (bullet train) heading to the Kansai region. It’s known for the sprawling, centuries-old, white Himeji Castle, one of the few original castles from Japan’s feudal period. Afterward move to Okayama to visit the 300-year-old Okayama Korakuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Continue to Kurashiki.

Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle

Day 10 – From Kurashiki to Hiroshima
Walk around the Kurashiki canal area and visit Ohashi House, a former Edo Period merchant house built in 1796. 

Take a day trip to Hiroshima, a city that was devastated by an atomic bomb in 1945 but has since rebuilt itself as a symbol of peace and resilience. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where you can see the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Children's Peace Monument. Pay respects to the victims and learn about the history and effects of nuclear warfare. Visit Orizuru Tower to create your own special origami crane offering.

Don’t forget to sample Okonomiyaki, a delicious savory Japanese-style pancake and specialty of the region.

Day 11 –Miyajima Island, Hiroshima
Take a ferry to Miyajima Island, one of Japan's most scenic spots and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
See the Itsukushima Shrine, which is famous for its floating torii gate that appears to rise from the sea at high tide. Hike up Mount Misen for some panoramic views of the island and the Seto Inland Sea. Visit the local history museum called Miyajima History and Folklore Museum for some historical buildings with cultural artifacts on display.

Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine

Day 12 - Hiroshima to Osaka
Begin the day with a visit to the Mazda Car Museum, which houses all MAZDA cars on display since the 1920s. 

In the afternoon, travel by Shinkansen back to Osaka to enjoy a two-night stay in a hotel. After check-in, catch the Osaka Metro to wander around the lively entertainment area of Dotonbori and Hozenji Yokocho food alley.

Visit some of Osaka's attractions, such as the Osaka Castle, the Universal Studios Japan, and the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Try some of Osaka's specialties, such as okonomiyaki (savory pancake), takoyaki (octopus balls), and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers).

Day 13 – Osaka to Asuka
Wander through the Inabuchi terraced rice paddy fields, and the ancient Tobiishi stone bridge, and visit Ishibutai Tumulus, the largest known megalithic structure in Japan. Learn about the history, life, and training routine of a sumo wrestler during a private visit to a Sumo Museum in Kehayaza, where Sumo originated.

Day 14 - Depart Osaka
Spend the last day in Japan doing some last-minute shopping, sightseeing, or relaxing before flying back home with lots of memories, photos, and souvenirs from your amazing trip to Japan. 

14Day Travel Itinerary Japan | Tokyo to Osaka

I hope you enjoyed reading about my sample itinerary for traveling to Japan this summer 2023. I can't wait to go on this adventure and discover more about this amazing country. 

Have you ever been to Japan? What are your favorite places or things to do there? 

Let me know in the comments below!

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