The Complete Itinerary: How to spend one week in Tokyo

So you bought your tickets and decided to spend a whole week in the bustling city of Tokyo… Now you are wondering what the heck to do. The following is a rough guide on how to plan your week in Tokyo.

While Gary and I were very keen to see more of the country, we decided to stay an entire week in Tokyo. This decision was mainly reached in order to save on costs. Booking a hotel over a longer period (especially on Expedia) often drastically cuts down the price. It also meant that we were able to buy a one week JR Pass rather than a two week JR pass– which saved us about 100£.

We certainly didn’t regret spending a whole week in Tokyo. There is so much to see and do here. In fact Tokyo ended up being our favourite city in Japan and actually trumped Kyoto in our mind. If you are keen to explore both the ancient traditions of Nikon, as well as Japan’s far more modern side, Tokyo has to be your go-to city. You might even find that seven days in Tokyo, simply isn’t enough.

Tokyo is a very big city. In order to see as much as possible within a week, you are going to want to group the sites you visit by district. This will save you time, as well as money. Far better to walk from site to site than to spend half of your day in the underground system.

While we were in Tokyo we also took the opportunity to go on a couple of side-trips in the surrounding areas. There is a lot to see in the city centre of Tokyo, but there are also some amazing towns on the fringes of the city, that shouldn’t be missed.

This Tokyo itinerary is perfect for travellers who are planning to spend a week in Tokyo. If you only have 3, 4, 5 or even 6 days in Tokyo, feel free to cherry-pick from below. Each day is a mini-itinerary of its own. If you are fortunate enough to have a little more time on your hands, this itinerary can easily be stretched. Just spend a little more time at each site.

As always, the suggested journey is something of a whirlwind trip. This first-timer’s itinerary will, however, introduce you to some the main sites that Tokyo has to offer. You could of course book an all-inclusive package tour. Indeed, this can be a very reasonable option if you don’t have the time or patience to plan your own journey. You will, however, without a doubt, save quite a chunk of cash, by planning and booking everything yourself.

DAY 1: FLIGHT TO TOKYO

The first day of our holiday was spent on a long-haul flight to Japan with Turkish Airways. Our flight from London took over 15 hours, with a one and a half hour long stop-over in Istanbul. You might be very jet-lagged when you first arrive. The time difference between London and Tokyo is 9 hours after all. But don’t worry, you have plenty of time to recover in Tokyo. Tokyo has two Airports, but Narita Airport (成田空港) handles most international flights. Narita Airport is located 60Km to the North of Tokyo. Terminal 1 and 2 of Narita Airport both have a railway station in their respective basements. Terminal 3 (which serves low-budget airlines) is connected to Terminal 2 by a pedestrian walkway. Narita Airport, formerly also known as New Toyo International Airport, is connected to Tokyo by a multiple of rail and bus lines. No need therefore to shell out on an expensive taxi. The most comfortable way to travel to Tokyo Station is to board the JR Narita Express (NEX). The journey takes approximately an hour and will set you back around 3000 yen (currently 16£). There is however a cheaper alternative. The JR Sobu Line is a little slower (90 minutes to Tokyo Station) but only costs 1320 yen ( currently 7£).

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - GINZA, YURAKUCHO, MARUNOUCHI AND THE IMPERIAL PALACE AND GARDEN

DAY 2: GINZA, YURAKUCHO, MARUNOUCHI AND THE IMPERIAL GARDEN

We arrived in Tokyo at 7am. By the time we went through passport control, picked up our passport, boarded the JR Sobu Line and checked into our Hotel, it was 1pm. Our hotel the Grand Arc Hanzomon was located right next to the Imperial Garden. The Imperial Garden and adjacent Ginza, Yurakucho and Marunouchi were therefore obviously our first port of call.

THE IMPERIAL PALACE

The current Imperial Palace (皇居)  is located on the former site of the Edo Castle. It is surrounded by a large park, moat and impressive stone walls. The inner grounds of the palace are closed to the public more often than not. Visitors do however have access to the public Imperial East Garden and Outer Park on a daily basis. Japanese Guided Tours of the palace grounds are offered on rare occasions. If you are determined to catch a rare glimpse of the Inner Gardens, you might want to book this tour a long time in advance.

MARANOUCHI

Located to the West of the Imperial Palace, Maranouchi (丸の内) is one of Japan’s most prestigious business districts. Together with Otemachi, Maranouchi is now home to the headquaters of many of Japan’s most powerful companies. Many older buildings have recently been replaced by large skyscrapers, with shops and entertainment on the lower floors, whil offices are located on the floors above.

GINZA

Adjacent to Marunouchi, Ginza (銀座) is Tokyo’s most famous upmarket, dining and entertainment district. This is where Tokyo’s most prestigious businessmen come to play. The area features numerous up-market department stores, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and night clubs. If you fancy splashing your cash, you can do so on one of the infamous $10 cups of coffee. The best time to visit Ginza is on the weekend when the central Chuo Dori is closed to vehicle traffic and becomes a large pedestrian zone.

YURAKUCHO

Just like the adjacent district of Ginza, Yurakucho (有楽町) offers a wealth of shopping and dining opportunities, but with a more relaxed and approachable atmosphere. Head to Yurakucho’s lively restaurant district built up under the brick arches of the train track. Known as Gad-Shita (below the Girder), this is one of Tokyo’s best watering holes. The restaurants extend for hundreds of meters, nearly all the way to Tokyo Station. This is the perfect spot to enjoy your first Japnese dinner and a pint or two of beer.

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - SHIBUYA, HARAJUKU AND SHINJUKU

DAY 3: SHIBUYA, HARAJUKU AND SHINJUKU

SHIBUYA

Shibuya (渋谷) is one of Tokyo’s most colourful and busy districts, particularly famous for the popular shopping and entertainment area surrounding Shibuya Station. Shibuya is a center for fashion and culture and the birthplace of many worldwide trends. A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the grand intersection in front of Shibuya Station. Similar to Time’s Square, the intersection is highly decorated by giant neon advertisements and video screens. When the pedestrian lights turn green, all vehicular traffic on this huge junction is stopped, and pedestrians flood the street. The statue of Hachiko, the dog, is another popular tourist attraction.

HARAJUKU

Harajuku (原宿) is the center of one of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, known as Cosplay. The focal point of Harajuku is Takeshita Dori and its side streets.  Lined with trendy shops, fashion boutiques and crepe stands, this area is aimed at the fashion conscious teenagers of Japan. Watch teenagers in outrageous outfits parade down Takeshita-Dori or pop into a Purikura Photo Booth for a souvenir Snap-Shot

MEJI-SHRINE AND YOYOGI PARK

Next head to the nearby Yoyogi Park and Meji-Shrine (明治神宮), for a little bit of traditional Japanese culture. The Meji-Jingu, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meji and his consort, is one of Tokyo’s major and most popular Shinto Shrines. It is located just west of Harajuku Station in the large green oasis, shared with the Yoyogi Park. Visitors can participate in typical Shinto Rituals such as making offerings at the main hall, buying charms and amulets or writing one’s wish on an ema. If you are lucky you, you might ven be able to witness a traditional Shinto Wedding.

SHINJUKU SKYSCRAPER DISTRICT

Shinjuku (新宿) is a large entertainment, business and shopping district around Shinjuku Station. Handling more than two million passengers a day, Shinjuku is the World’s busiest Railway Station. Shinjuku’s Skyscraper District is located to the West of Shinjuku Station. It is home to some of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, such as the Metropolitan Government Buildings (東京都庁). The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building’s two free observation decks, provide panoramic views across Tokyo and beyond. You might even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji on a good day (we didn’t). The North Observatory remains open late at night and is an excellent spot to watch the sunset in Japan.

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - DAY-TRIP TO HAKONE

DAY 4: DAY-TRIP TO HAKONE

Hakone (箱根) located 100 kilometres North of Tokyo, is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It is particularly famous for it’s hot springs, natural beauty and the potential to catch a glimpse of nearby Mount Fuji. Hakone makes for a great one or two-day side trip, if you are looking for a break from Tokyo and want to be surrounded by nature. There are two possible routes from Tokyo to Hakone. The one-way journey on the “Romance Car” of the Odakyu Railway, from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station takes approximately 85 minutes and costs 2080 yen (currently 11£). Alternatively, a journey on the Kyuku express train takes around about two hours and will set you back 1190 yen (6£).  My advice is to purchase the Hakone Free Pass, which includes a return ticket from Tokyo to Hakone-Yumoto and unlimited use of selected trains, cablecars, ropeways, boats and buses in the Hakone Area. The Hakone Free Pass currently costs 5140 yen (currently 28£).

LAKE ASHINOKO AND HAKONE SHRINE

From Hakone Yumoto board a local bus and head Lake Ashinoko (芦ノ湖). this lake was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the Volcano’s last eruption over 3000 years ago. Today Lake Ashinoko with Mount Fuji in the background is the symbol of Hakone. If you are lucky and you visit on a cloudless day you might catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. The best views can be enjoyed from Moto-Hakone and visibility tends to be best early morning or late afternoon during the colder seasons. Hakone Shrine (箱根神社) sits at the foot of Mount Hakone, along the shores of Lake Ashinoko. Although the shrine is hidden in the dense forest, its location is marked by a Huge Torii Gate that stands proudly in the Lake. A path leads from the Torii gate up a series of steps, flanked by beautiful lanterns that light the way. This has to be one of the most atmospheric shrines we visited in our two weeks in Japan. Once you have had your fill of the Hakone Shrine, board a Hakone Sightseeing Boat to cross the lake to Togendai.

OWAKUDANI OR SOUNZAN

From Togendai board the Hakone Ropeway and head to Owakudani. Owakudani (大涌谷) is an active volcanic zone where you can experience the sulphurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers of Mount Hakone. A ten-minute walking trail leads from the ropeway station to a number of steam vents and bubbling pools. The more adventurous can follow a two-hour hiking trail to reach the peak of Mount Kamiyama. Note that due to intense volcanic activity, access to Owakudani is currently (at the time of writing) prohibited. Instead, a substitute bus operates between Togendai and Sounzan.

GORA PARK

In Sounzan board the Tozan Cable Car to Gora. Gora (強羅公園) is a western style landscape park located built into the steep slope of Gora. Relax, unwind and enjoy the magnificent views across Hakone. Inspired by French landscape gardens, Gora Park features a large fountain, rose garden and two Greenhouses. If you purchased the Hakone Free Pass admission is free.

HAKONE TOZAN RAILWAY

From Gora head back to Hakone-Yumoto on the Hakone Tozan Railway (箱根登山電車), Japan’s oldest mountain railway. The 35-minute journey winds itself through a narrow and densely wooded valley, over bridges and through tunnels, stopping at several stations on the way. This train ride is particularly beautiful in June and July when the tracks are lined with beautifully blooming Hydrangeas.

HAKONE HOT SPRINGS

End your day trip in Hakone-Yumoto with a meal and a dip at one of Hakone’s popular Ryokans. Hakone’s multiple hot springs heat the numerous bathhouses and Ryokan’s of the area. Many Ryokan open their baths not only to residential guests but also to daytime visitors. Although staying guests can use the baths for free, day-time visitors will need to pay an admission between 500 and 2000 yen (currently 3-10£). Personally, I would recommend Ryokan Tenzan, a beautiful traditional Japanese bathhouse with a collection of various outdoor hot spring pools. Note that female and male baths are separated and that swimsuits are prohibited.

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - SUMIDA AQUARIUM, TOKYO SKYTREE AND RYOGUKU

DAY 5: SUMIDA AQUARIUM, TOKYO SKYTREE AND RYOGUKU

TOKYO SKYTREE

The Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) is a 634-meter tall television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo that offers spectacular panoramic views of the city from two enclosed observation decks. This Tower is the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world.  The lower Tembo Deck is 350 meters high (50 meters higher than The Shard) and spans over three floors. Whilst the top floor is completely glazed, the middle floor houses the souvenir shop and restaurant and the lower floor features a vertigo-inducing glass floor. The lower observation deck is connected to its 100 meters higher brother, the Tembo Gallery, by a separate set of elevators. Also known as the World Highest Skywalk, this sloping ramp spirals its way up to a height of 451.2 meters and promises dizzying views of the Kanto Region. Access to the lower observation deck costs 2060 yen (currently 11£). Tickets to the top observation deck are sold separately and will set you back an additional 1030 yen (currently 5£).

SUMIDA AQUARIUM

The Tokyo Skytree is built on top of a large shopping complex which contains one of the best Aquariums, I ever had the pleasure of visiting. This moderately sized and beautifully designed Aquarium houses over 10 000 Sea Creatures. The Sumida Aquarium (すみだ水族館) is located on the fifth and sixth floor of the Tokyo Solomachi Shopping Center. The centerpiece of the aquarium is a 350 000 litre penguin enclosure. This tank designed with almost no visible supports is a masterpiece. Entrance to the Aquarium costs 2050 yen (currently 11£).

EDO TOKYO MUSEUM

The Edo-Tokyo Museum (江戸東京博物館) is housed in a crassly modern and very unique building. It’s permanent exhibition features beautifully crafted models, life-sized figures and vehicles that illustrate how Tokyo has developed since 1869. It is a wonderful introduction to the culture and life in Tokyo. In addition various special exhibitions are held on a monthly basis. Tickets to the permanent exhibition cost 600 yen (currently 1£).

A SUMO MATCH AT THE KOKUGIKAN

Sumo – a Japanese style of wrestling and originally a performance aimed to entertain Shinto Deities – is Japan’s National Sport.  The best way to fully grasped the beauty of Sumo is to attend a Sumo Tournament at the Kokugikan. The Kokugikan, Tokyo’s Sumo Stadium, seats over 10 000 visitors and hosts three of the six sumo tournaments (in January, May and September). In order to acquire tickets to a Sumo Match, you will need to contact the official vendor through buysumotickets.com. Alternatively, if you are lucky, you might be able to find a couple of tickets in a local convenient store. I have written a detailed Blogpost about buying Sumo Tickets and attending the match if you want to know more.

RYOGOKU

Ryogoku (両国) is the area surrounding the Sumo stadium. It is Sumo heaven. Sumo matches have been staged in this area for a long time but the stadium was only built recently, back in 1985. If you are planning to have dinner in Ryogoku you might want to consider heading into one of the numerous restaurants that feature Chanko Nabe (the staple food of Sumo Wrestlers) on their menu.

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - UENO, ASAKUSA AND ODAIBA

DAY 6: UENO, ASAKUSA AND ODAIBA

UENO PARK

Ueno Park (上野公園) is a large Public Park and the location of some of Tokyo’s main Shrines and Museums. The park grounds originally belonged to the Kaneiji Temple, one of Tokyo’s largest and wealthiest temples. In 1868, Kaneiji was almost completely destroyed and the grounds converted into one of Japan’s first western-style parks. Many Museums can be found in Ueno Park including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Japan’s first zoological garden, Ueno Zoo.

TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM

 The Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館) is Japan oldest and largest national museum. Its permanent exhibition features a very large and beautiful collection of Japanese art and archeological artifacts. In addition, the museum holds regular special exhibitions. The Tokyo National Museum is a large museum complex with six different buildings, each one large enough to be considered a museum by itself. If you are following my suggested itinerary, you will probably only have time to visit the main exhibition in the Honkan Building.

ASAKUSA

Asakusa (浅草) has an amazing atmosphere and will transport you back to old Tokyo. The main attraction of the area has to be Sensoji, an incredibly famous Buddhist Temple. The temple is approached via Nakamise, a popular shopping district, which provides temple visitors with a wide selection of traditional snacks and souvenirs. Although Asakusa is easy to explore by foot, you might consider hitching a ride on one of the local rickshaws (jinrikisha). A 30-minute tour for two will set you back 9000 yen (currently 48£)

SIGHTSEEING BOAT

When you have had your fill of Asakusa head to the river and board one of the sightseeing boats. Located in a bay and crisscrossed by rivers, Tokyo has several ferry companies. A ride on a water bus always makes an enjoyable alternative to the crowded underground. Most of the water buses are operated by Tokyo Cruise Ship Company. The most popular route has to be the Asakusa-Odaiba Direct Line, a 50-minute ride from Asakusa to Odaiba in a very boldly designed Himiko Boat with panoramic windows (1560 yen, currently 8£).

ODAIBA

Odaiba (お台場) is a popular highly modern shopping and entertainment district on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. Modern city planning provides Odaiba with plenty of green space and a very pleasant division between vehicular and pedestrian traffic. All pedestrian walkways are elevated above the traffic below. Odaiba boasts some of Tokyo’s boldest architectural creations such as the Fuji Tv Building, Telecom Center and Big Sight. All the man-made islands in the Bay are connected with the elevated Yurikamome Train Line, not dissimilar to the DLR in Canary Wharf. I would suggest you head to Palette Town for some fun on the Ferris Wheel and the massive Arcade, before sitting down for Dinner in Aquacity.

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - TSUKIJI FISH MARKET, AKIHABARA AND KANDA

DAY 7: TSUKIJI FISH MARKET, AKIHABARA AND KANDA

BREAKFAST AT TSUKIJI MARKET

Tsukiji Market (築地市場) is Tokyo’s main and largest wholesale market for fish fruits and vegetables. It is one of the World’s largest Fishmarkets, handling over 2000 tons of marine products per day. I promise you will be amazed by the variety of fish and seafood on display and  completely engrossed in the very busy atmosphere of the markets, a mayhem of scooters, trucks, sellers and buyers. The famous Tuna auction is held in the inner market. In the outer market, retail shops and restaurants cater to the Public. The number of visitors to the tuna auction is limited to 120 per day. If you wish to see the auction, you will need to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center. You then need to turn up very early in the morning. Entry is on a first come, first served basis and entry through the Kachidoki Gate starts at 5:00 am. A visit to Tsukiji Market should definitely be combined with a fresh Sushi breakfast or Kaisen Don (1000 yen, currently 5£)

AKIHABARA

Akihabara (秋葉原) is a district of Tokyo famous for its plethora of electronic shops, arcades, manga and maid cafes. Hundreds of electronic shops, from tiny stalls to giant shopping malls, line the main street Chuo Dori. You can buy anything from the newest computers and cameras to second-hand PlayStations, hugely expensive retro memorabilia and electronic junk. In recent times, Akihabara has gained a reputation as the center of Japan’s Otaku culture. Head to Akihabara if you seek stores that specialize in anime, manga, retro video games, figurines, card games and other collectible. The most surreal experience we had in Japan must have been lunch at a Maids Cafe – hugely popular establishments, where waitresses dress up and act like anime maids and you are turned into their master.

KANDA

I bet you are now in dire need for some culture and traditions. Kanda (神田), although not typically a tourist destination, used to be the site of a Confucian School and still an academic center for young and old. The district offers several interesting neighborhoods, such as the Ochanomizu Music Instrument Area and the Jimbocho Book-District. Kanda is also speckled with some delightful shrines, such as the Myojin Shrine and the Yushima Seido Shrine.

A very detailed Itinerary for one awesome Week in Tokyo - A Two week itinerary for japan - all the best japanese sites - honshu - tokyo - DAY-TRIP TO KAMAKURA

DAY 8: DAY-TRIP TO KAMAKURA

Kamakura (鎌倉) is a coastal town an hour south of Tokyo. It was once the political centre of Japan. Today the small town of Kamakura is a very popular tourist destination. Also know as the Kyoto of the East, it offers numerous temples, shrines and monuments to its visitors. In order to get to Kamakura head to Tokyo station and board the JR Yokosuka Line. A one-way trip costs 920 yen (currently 5£). Along the way, the train will stop at Shinagawa station, Yokohama Station and Kita-Kamakura. Alight the train at Kita-Kamakura and then head south to Kamakura, popping into as many temples as you like on the way.

ENGAKUJI TEMPLE

Engakuji is the second largest Zen Temple Complex in Kamakura and a leading Zen temple in Eastern Japan. The Temple was built to honour the fallen Japanese and Mongolian soldiers of the Mongolian invasion. Engakuji was built into the sloping hills of Kita-Kamakura’s surrounding forest. Within the Temple complex lies Shariden Hall, where a tooth of Buddha is said to have been enshrined. Admission to the Engakuji Temple will set you back 300 yen.

MEIGETSUIN TEMPLE

Meigetsuin Temple (明月院) is also known as Ajisaidera, the Hydrangea Temple. Hydrangeas, especially the Hime Ajisai variety, bloom in abundance in the Temple’s surrounding grounds. The temple was originally built by a son to commemorate his belated father. It later became part of the larger Temple Complex called Zenkoji. Within the Temple grounds lies its main Hall. A beautifully designed circular window frames the scenery of the inner garden that lies behind. Known for its irises, the inner garden is only open to visitors in June and late November. Admission to the Meigetsuin temple costs 300 yen.

KENCHOJI TEMPLE

Kenchoji is the most elaborate of Kamakura’s five great Zen temples. It is also the oldest. Kenchoji is a large Temple complex that stretches far into the forested hills of Kamakura and consists of a large number of temples and sub-temples. The Kenchoji Temple Bell Bonsho has been designated a national treasure in its own right. Behind the Butsuden Hall  lies the largest wooden Temple building in eastern Japan. It houses a statue of Kannon and features a beautifully painted ceiling.

THE KAMAKURA DAIBUTSU

The Daibutsu, Great Buddha of Kamakura sits on the grounds of the Kotokuin Temple. Kamakura is probably most famous for this large bronze Statue. At a height of 13.35 meters, the Kamakura Daibutsu is Japan’s second tallest bronze Buddha, surpassed only by the Daibutsu of Nara. Whilst the temple and its grounds were destroyed multiple times by Typhoons and Tidal Waves, the Daibutsu, built in 1252, has survived until today. If you arrive before 5pm, you can enter this great statue to view the inside of the Great Daibutsu.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

HEADING TO TOKYO ?

Japan Itinerary Travel Guide Books you need to buy

If you are planning a trip to Japan, you might want to consider buying one of the following guidebooks. All of these books are ones that we used ourselves on our trip and that I highly recommend.

Check out the latest hotel prices for Tokyo on   Booking | Agoda | Expedia

Read reviews for Hotels, Restaurants and attractions in Tokyo, Japan on TripAdvisor

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on some of the links in this post and purchase something, I might receive a commission. This is a good thing! There is no additional cost to you and I make a tiny bit of money to help fund this website!

Post End A two week itinerary for Japan
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73 Comments

  1. April 4, 2016 / 1:28 pm

    Such a detailed itinerary. Looking forward to using it as we plan our travels.

  2. April 1, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    I absolutely adore Japan and your itinerary includes a lot of the reasons why! I love ryokans and onsens…everyone should do that!

  3. February 25, 2016 / 5:14 am

    Great itinerary. I went to Japan for about a week and a half and glad to say I got to do a good bit on your list! I wish I had gotten a chance to visit Kamakura, but ah well – next time!

  4. February 25, 2016 / 3:18 am

    Wow, you’ve certainly put together a comprehensive list and guide for traveling to Japan. I hope I have a reason to use it real soon. 😉

  5. February 24, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Woow, this is a very usefull and complete guide! Makes me want to pack my bags and get on a plane 🙂

  6. February 23, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    What an awesome itinerary. Great tips on prepaying for many items.

  7. February 23, 2016 / 12:26 pm

    Japan is one of the next destinations I absolutely want to visit, so thanks for this useful itinerary !

  8. February 23, 2016 / 4:40 am

    That is such a detailed tour plan Someday when I get to Japan, am sure to get back to this

  9. February 22, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    If ever there was a detailed itinerary, it is this! Thanks a ton for sharing!

  10. February 22, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    Wow. I’ve never even researched Japan because I just don’t know where to even begin. Thank you for this. We’ve been talking about doing Japan with the kids in 2017 as part of a larger Asia trip. I’m saving this to review some more.

  11. February 21, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    Japan is high on my bucket list and I hope to make it there some day. I’d love to explore the food culture, yumm yumm. And also I heard skiing is really great so I hope to try that there one day!!

  12. February 19, 2016 / 6:19 am

    A very detailed post with many a useful pointer, will definitely use it as a reference when planning a trip to the land of the rising sun.

  13. February 18, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    A very detailed post, thank you! I’ll be checking out your other post on Japan too, it’s good to know it can be more affordable than what most people say.

  14. February 18, 2016 / 6:12 am

    Great post! Very informative! I really want to see the cherry blossoms there!

  15. February 17, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    I lived there for two years when I was younger and I have to admit that I smiled when you compared it to ‘other third world countries’. It has its quirks, but ‘third world’ is a little surprising.

    You are right to advise the JR card since, unlike other third world countries such as Cambodia or Egypt, it’s not particularly cheap to get around.

    Well done on the detailed research! You have created a comprehensive list of sights.

    • BeautifullyTravelled
      February 17, 2016 / 11:29 pm

      Woops. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s supposed to be first world. No I wouldn’t compare Japan to third world countries at all. I’m fact in certain respects they are far more advanced than the UK. I’ll need to correct that on the text. Sorry for the confusion

  16. shivansh
    February 17, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    Very beutifully written comprehensive itinerary!

  17. February 17, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    We are hoping to go to Japan this year so I was excited to read your post. Thanks so much for including your budget! It’s very helpful for trip planning.

  18. February 16, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    Great tips and guide for Japan. Now I have to go back!

  19. January 12, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    Thanks for this. I have a trip booked for Japan, but I’m only going to be there for a week. I’ve been trying to decide if I should just stay in Tokyo, or fit in a few more places. After reading this post I think I’ll probably stay in Tokyo for the week (maybe do a day trip) and leave some of the other places I want to visit for a future trip.

  20. sonderbarmii
    November 21, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    This is really a great guide! What a coincidence, I was in Japan just a few weeks ago too and am writing up a guide myself 🙂 I see that we visited almost the same places as you did! Although we skipped on visiting kamakura this time, as we went there the last time when we were in Japan. I’m really looking forward to your next part!

  21. Christine Messina
    November 21, 2015 / 3:10 am

    Wow!! There is so much to do! I appreciate including day trips 🙂 I love exploring outside areas as well.

  22. Alli Blair
    November 16, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is just crammed with amazing things to do! I am so envious 🙂 I have been dreaming of visiting Japan forever now. I love you’re style doing and seeing as much as possible.

  23. November 15, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    We spent just over a week in Tokyo for our honeymoon, we loved it so much over there we would love to return, hopefully for much longer and see more of this amazing country whilst teaching English.

  24. Ynah CA
    November 15, 2015 / 8:47 am

    Very comprehensive itinerary! Japan is indeed a great place to explore 🙂

  25. November 13, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Ill bookmark this article. Well written and very informative. Looking forward to visit Japan too. Dream destination. Also, hope you visit us here in the Philippines too:)

  26. November 12, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit. I don’t know if I could handle such long flights and planning it on my own. I would probably do this with my local travel agency who plans trips though.

  27. Sabine @ The Travelling Chilli
    November 12, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    Wow, this is a very detailed description of a tour to Japan. I’d love to visit Japan one day, I always thought it would be too expensive, but it seems it is pretty reasonable. I also don’t know much about the country and this made things a bit more clear about what there is to see 🙂

  28. Carol
    November 12, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    When we begin our coverage of Asia, I should remember this for touring Japan. Very practical! And now I know I don;t have to be that scared of the cost either.

  29. Prianka
    November 12, 2015 / 1:34 pm

    Wow this is an epic guide about Japan! Some really great info here. My experiences were that Tokyo was quite expensive but in Fukuoka and Kyoto, it was really up to you depending on what/where you wanted to eat. I loved traveling to Japan when I lived in SoKo, but now I don’t know if I’ll ever be back. PS – really beautiful pictures!

  30. Jeanine @ sixtimemommy.com
    November 12, 2015 / 12:50 am

    How awesome. I think this sounds pretty awesome. I would love to visit Japan at some point!

  31. November 11, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    Amazing! Hoping to visit one day. I’m obsessed with travel, wish I could spend an entire year just travelling the world.

  32. mail4rosey
    November 11, 2015 / 12:44 pm

    I like the day trip. They are very refreshing. Your pictures here too, are great.

  33. Rebecca Swenor
    November 11, 2015 / 9:44 am

    This sounds like a great itinerary and great advice for a trip to Japan. I would love to do this some day. It is so beautiful and they really do have a great culture.

  34. November 11, 2015 / 9:07 am

    Lovely pictures! I’d love to visit Japan someday, especially Tokyo. It looks so beautiful!

  35. November 11, 2015 / 3:46 am

    You took some amazing photos. I’ve never been out of the country before to travel but would love to some day.

  36. November 11, 2015 / 2:39 am

    My dream is to visit Japan! I would be sure to include some of those spots you mentioned!

  37. Erin Shebish
    November 11, 2015 / 2:22 am

    I would love to visit Japan and one of their fish markets! Every time I hear about them, I can just imagine the variety of seafoods!

  38. CourtneyLynne Storms
    November 11, 2015 / 1:02 am

    Ughhhhh I spent a month in Japan a few years ago and you totally have me missing it!! One of the best trips ever!

  39. November 11, 2015 / 12:08 am

    Your pictures are so beautiful they look like a post card. I would love to see some world but I can’t hardly handle a 5.5 hour flight to the West Coast.

  40. Winifred Jac
    November 10, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    That would be an amazing trip, but I dont think I can do 15 hrs on a plane! Or more. Lol. Your pics are so nice.

  41. Kelly Hutchinson
    November 10, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Visiting Japan is close to the top of my bucket list. I think it is so rich in culture yet so modern at the same tie.

  42. blm03
    November 10, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    I hope to go there one day! Your pictures make it look amazing!!

  43. Lynn Dee
    November 10, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    We’ve been to Japan once, but only at the airport during our connecting flight to Atlanta. I would love to go to Japan and explore. Someday… 🙂

  44. JenJacqs
    November 10, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    Japan is one of the sought-after countries that I want to visit. Actually it is number one on my list. I even have this dream to stay and get a work there. I find Japan a beautiful country.

  45. November 10, 2015 / 6:42 pm

    I would love to travel to Japan one day!! Your pics are amazing!!

  46. November 10, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    Now this is a place I’ve always wanted to visit so it’s good to know what do do when I’m there. Loving this post.

  47. Mykidsguide
    November 10, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    I’ve been to Tokyo a few times before and for me, this is by far the best city that I’ve been to. It’s so clean everywhere you look, the people are courteous, the sights are fabulous and the food is fantastic.

  48. Eileen Mendoza Loya
    November 10, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    I’ve been to Hongkong and Taiwan, so Japan is just a stone’s throw away. I would love to visit this wonderful country. It is so rich in culture and the food is superb!

  49. Emma Spellman
    November 10, 2015 / 3:32 am

    I have never been out of the United States, but I would love to visit Japan someday.

  50. November 10, 2015 / 2:25 am

    wow, I had no idea there were so many important places that you could see in Japan. I’ve never been but have always been so fascinated with the idea of one day visiting.

  51. November 10, 2015 / 1:34 am

    I always think of the big city when I think of Tokyo but I guess I’d be missing out on a lot if I only explored the busy areas. I’d love to see some of the shrines and parks.

  52. November 9, 2015 / 11:24 pm

    Tokyo looks like a fantastic and beautiful city, thank you so much for sharing! 😀

  53. Jeanette
    November 9, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    My brother lived there for a year and fell in love with the country. If it were up to him he would have lived there forever. I can’t wait until I can check out the country!

  54. Mistee Dawn
    November 9, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    I have never been to Tokyo! It looks like a wonderful city. Hope to make it there one day!

  55. November 9, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. I love the culture. I’m particularly obsessed with Samurai. I also love anime and JRPGs. So yeah. I’d probably never come back.

  56. Robin Rue
    November 9, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    My husband was there in the military, but didn’t get off base much to explore the country. He talks about going back all the time.

  57. November 8, 2015 / 11:28 pm

    We visited Tokoyo many years ago as a stop over. If I went back to Japan I would like to explore the countryside, I love their gardens.

    • Beautifully Travelled
      November 9, 2015 / 2:52 pm

      I agree their countryside and landscaped gardens are fantastic. I wouldn’t mind doing a tour completely focused on nature either

  58. JustGoPlaces
    November 8, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    We were just in Japan for a week a couple of weeks ago. We spent the whole week in Tokyo with the one side trip to Hakone. My kids and I loved the city! I lived in Japan for 2 years umpteen years ago and would love to spend a good month or two travelling through the country again – this time with my kids.

    • Beautifully Travelled
      November 9, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      If you are going to spend only one week in japan it really isn’t worth staying in more then one city. But Tokyo is a great choice with the possibility to take fantastic daytrips into the surrounding mountains as well. I would love to stay a whole month. You’re lucky you lived there for 2 years. It’s such a beautiful country

      • JustGoPlaces
        November 10, 2015 / 10:00 am

        I loved it there! And, 20 years later, I still loved it.

  59. November 7, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    looks amazing flights are relatively cheap from Australia to japan on the bucket list you go japan

    • November 7, 2015 / 10:57 pm

      I believe I read somewhere that Japan is one of the favourite holiday destinations for Australians. Do you think that’s the case?

  60. November 7, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    This is such a wonderfully compiled list. I usually travel to Japan using tour groups and pre-planned itineraries but I might use this in the future to plan my own solo trip! Thanks!!!

    • November 7, 2015 / 11:14 pm

      Great to hear this was helpful. I must admit it was a lot of work planning the whole thing but it worked out great and was worth the effort. Just better to do the work yourself and use the extra cash on food and attractions.

  61. powercouplelife
    November 7, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    Can’t wait to visit Japan. I want to see they cherry blossom festival

    • November 7, 2015 / 8:57 pm

      Oh if you haven’t yet you must go at some point. It’s fantastic! I really want to return for cherry blossom season too

  62. Stacey Peters
    November 6, 2015 / 3:39 am

    WOW, at first I thought you did all the things you talked about and I wondered where you got your magic carpet from. lol I did get to some of the districts above, Shinjuku, Shibaya, Ginza, Akihabara and Asakusa. I enjoyed a lot of yummy sushi and sashimi, took in a few temples, gardens and a dinner cruise which I highly recommend. They were all beautiful. I enjoyed the two days we spent in Kyoto the best though. I currently live in Korea and I have traveled all around here and China and I found Japan to be much more expensive than either, especially transportation. But Japan is much more orderly than Korea and definitely more familiar with black tourists than China where I was HUGE novelty. I barely received a side glance in Japan, except when I tried out my Japanese, which was probably horrible, but I do try. I look forward to your future post.

    • November 6, 2015 / 10:25 am

      Hi Stacey. We did actually manage to almost everything in that itinerary. We got up a little late on a couple of days due to Jetlag and had to skip a couple of steps. I arranged our itinerary in such a manner that areas relatively close to each other were grouped in the same day. This saved us time and money. I must admit though that we didn’t spend as much time at each location as we should have. Again mainly because we got up too late. We really enjoyed Tokyo. Kyoto was absolutely beautiful but we timed it wrong. The Japanese had a national holiday and the place was crowded with American and Australian tourist. We therefore didn’t enjoy Kyoto quite as much as we should have. I know that Kyoto is generally a travelers’ favourite. Japan is quite expensive. Especially compared to other Asian countries. But it’s pretty cheap compared to Europe and especially London.

  63. GoFashiondeals
    November 5, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    That looks like so much fun!! Wonderful tips too!!!

    • Beautifully Travelled
      November 5, 2015 / 10:03 pm

      Oh! It was one of the best holidays ever! Have you ever been to Japan? If not perhaps one day you will.

      • GoFashiondeals
        November 6, 2015 / 2:50 am

        No but really want to. 🙂