Your Japan Trip Planner
7 and 10 Day Japan Itineraries
Here's your Japan Trip Planner, with a selection of 10 and 10 day Japan itineraries. I love Japan and have travelled there many, many times as a professional travel writer over the years. Here's what you need to know.
Map of Japan
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Plan Your Trip to Japan
Read and bookmark your preferred itinerary
This collection of Japan itineraries should give you enough information to go ahead and plan your trip to Japan. The most in-depth one is the 10 day itinerary for Japan since that's the longest period most first timers have. But there are more. So browse away.
Book your flights
Once the flight tickets are booked, everything else falls into place! I ALWAYS use Skyscanner to check out fares and routes. Their handy filters make it easy to adjust to your own preferences and find better deals, whether in first class or economy.
Book accommodation and essential extras
Some people like to have everything booked, others prefer to keep their itinerary flexible. I'm a mix of the two. However, I'd ALWAYS suggest booking the two nights in a destination before you fly to avoid having to struggle with jet lag on your first night. I also always book the last night, as well, so that I know I can relax and enjoy the end of the trip. I've made some accommodation suggestions along the way for the 10 day Japan itinerary and over on the Tokyo itinerary. Otherwise, I'd recommend searching on these travel websites for the best place to stay.
Go and have a great time in Japan!
Then tag @insidetravellab on social media and let us know how you got on!
How to Use this Trip Planner
- Look at the Japan Itineraries At a Glance section first to get an idea of time and an overview of what's possible. There's a full 10 day Japan itinerary and 7 day Japan itinerary, as well as information if you have more or less time. You'll find plenty of practical advice throughout the article as well as links to more in-depth information both here and elsewhere.
- I cover a lot of ground on this site, focusing wherever possible on unusual, authentic travel. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, go whelm yourself with this clear introduction to the classical highlights of Japan.
- This five day itinerary for Tokyo is also a great place to start. Most travellers fly in and out of the capital but there are routes into other cities as well and it's certainly worth considering flying in to one and out of another if you wish to venture south to Kyushu or Okinawa.
- But don't stress. It's an amazing country with so much to see and do. But there aren't really "must-sees" like the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal. So, I suppose what I'm saying is: don't worry. You can't go wrong!
Japan Itineraries At A Glance
7 Day Japan Itinerary
Spend a few days in Tokyo and make the day trip to Mt. Fuji. Visit the ancient capital of Kyoto, including the Tojo Temple. Visit Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Museum and stop by in the mountains on your way back to the capital.
10 Day Japan Itinerary
Build on the classical route by heading north into Sendai or south to the tropical islands of Okinawa. Expand on Hiroshima by visiting Nagasaki, Japan's only contact with the outside world for centuries at a time.
10 Day Japan Itinerary:First Time Classic Itinerary
Day 1 - ARRIVE IN TOKYO
Day one works as a spare day. So, if you're looking for more things to do, check out the five day Tokyo itinerary and pick something from there.
DAYS 2 - 5 - TOKYO BASE - TWO DAYS IN TOKYO WITH TWO DAY TRIPS - MT FUJI AND SNOW MONKEYS
This 10 day Japan itinerary takes two whole days for Tokyo and two day trips from the city. I've outlined the most popular choices below. But check out the day trips from Tokyo section for more ideas.
DAYS 6 - 7 KYOTO
Take a shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto, the former capital and stunning city of temples and geisha.
DAY 7 - 8 HIROSHIMA AND MIYAJIMA
Travel on by train again to the intriguing city of Hiroshima and the nearby peaceful Miyajima island and floating Itsukushima Shrine. Hiroshima today is a modern, dynamic, thriving city but it's still poignant to see the twisted remnants of the atom bomb damage and to see the folded paper cranes as a memorial. Make sure to visit the Peace Memorial Museum to understand more about the area.
Spend the night on the nearby island of Miyajima. Watch out for the deer!
DAY 9 - JAPANESE ALPS
With the classics under your belt, travel to the Japanese Alps for a cool breath of fresh air and to wander down narrow streets looking for sake and shochu.
DAY 10 - RETURN TO TOKYO
Shinkansen back to the city of Tokyo to fly home.
7 Day Japan Itinerary For First Timers
Day 1 - ARRIVE IN TOKYO
Again, this starts in Tokyo at the main international hub of Narita Airport. With less time, you may need to get up and about right away. But don't stress. Most of Japan's highlights involve experiencing her culture rather than ticking off the sights. Take it easy.
DAYS 2 - 3 TOKYO
This 7 day Japan itinerary gives two whole days in the city to save time travelling back and forth. Yet, you may prefer to check out the day trips from Tokyo. In that case, spend one day in Tokyo, and one out on the loose!
DAYS 4 - 5 KYOTO
Spend one night in Kyoto and be strategic about how many temples you want to see.
DAY 6 - 7 HIROSHIMA AND MIYAJIMA
Stay overnight on Miyajima island, watching the sun set over the infamous floating torii of Itsukushima. If time allows, visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum before taking the fast bullet train back to Tokyo to catch your flight home from Tokyo Narita Airport.
10 Day Japan Itinerary In Depth
Day One - Arrive Tokyo
Most international flights arrive at Narita International Airport. Depending on how far you've travelled, you may just need to rest and potter about. This 10 day Japan itinerary bookmarks two full days for exploring Tokyo.
- Getting over jet lag
- Discovering the spaceship toilets
- Buying a drink from the vending machines
- Eating a Bento Box
Where to Stay
- The Park Hyatt Tokyo is the famous spot from Lost in Translation, with an international vibe.
- Hotel Niwa is smaller and more affordable, with an authentic vibe and blend of old traditions
Days 2 and 3: Explore Tokyo
Take a deep breath and get ready to explore this amazing city. Find a full itinerary on Tokyo here.
- Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine
- Tokyo Tower
- The Museum District
- Pachinko Arcades
DID YOU KNOW?
Before World War Two, most of Tokyo consisted of wooden buildings. During the bombing raids, fire spread across the city and so the rebuild was extensive.
You can still find a few small pockets of the traditional side of Tokyo in areas like Yanaka.
Days 4 & 5 - Day Trips from Tokyo
I've suggested day trips from Tokyo here to cut down on packing and moving around. But if you have itchy feet, you can head on outta town!
If you are...
- VERY ACTIVE - Climb Fuji in one day
- CURIOUS - Visit the Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Site
- MILDLY ACTIVE - Hike in Hakone Park or see the Big Buddha
- IN LOVE WITH DISNEY - DISNEY!
The Japan Rail Pass works wonders here to get you in and out of Tokyo and back.
When is cherry blossom season?
It sounds as though it should be a straightforward question, doesn't it? When is cherry blossom season in Japan? The short version is that it takes place between March and April each year. However, there is an official peak bloom day, predicted by the National Park Service around 10 days in advance. Under ideal conditions, you'll be able to enjoy cherry blossom viewings up to two weeks after this. However, the best days are considered to be between four and seven days after peak bloom.
It's worth noting that you won't be able to combine climbing Mount Fuji with cherry blossom viewing. That's because the paths to the summit of Fuji-san are only open to the public for a few weeks in August for safety reasons.
Days 6 & 7 - Kyoto
Take your time in the former capital to slow down and experience the tranquil side of Kyoto.
How to get there: around 3 hours by train from Tokyo.
Where to Stay
Check booking.com for recommendations.
About the Ryokans
These beautiful, authentic places to stay provide a taste of old Japan. They use bamboo mats and screens and futons on the floor. Despite the description, they can be incredibly luxurious.
Days 7 & 8 - Hiroshima and MiyaJima
Pay your respects at the peace memorial and ponder the events that led to the destruction at the museum.
Then, get away from it all on scenic MiyaJima.
How to get there: 3 hours by train from Kyoto.
Where to stay
Stay overnight on night seven on Miyajima Island.
The deer on the island may look cute but they'll eat your maps if you're not careful!
Days 8 & 9 - The Japanese Alps
Explore the fresh air of Japan and escape from her cities for a while. Central Takayama offers beautiful wooden merchant houses built by the carpenters who served the Emperor.
How to get there: 5 hours 40 minutes by train from Hiroshima via Kyoto and Nagoya.
Where to Stay
Head to Takayama and stroll around wooden houses from the Edo Period.
Look out for balls of leaves hanging above doorways. They signify there is sake within.
Day 10 Return to Tokyo
This marks the end of the itinerary. Hope you had fun! Let me know how you got on on social media.
How to get back: around 5 hours by train from Takayama via Nagoya.
More About Travel in Japan
More About Travel in Japan
Enjoy these unusual travel stories about Japan:
An Itinerary for Tokyo & Kyoto
Check out our guide to five days in Tokyo and trim down any days you don't need. You can also flesh out your Japan itinerary by checking the day trips from Tokyo too. And then, don't forget the next big city. Immerse yourself in UNESCO World Heritage with this guide on how to spend two days in Kyoto: an itinerary.