This 10-day trip will take you to 2 of the biggest cities in Japan—Tokyo and Osaka—but will mostly focus on some of the lesser known islands surrounding the mainland. Hachijojima has some of the best star gazing in the country, Aogashima is literally a volcano in a volcano and absolutely beautiful, and the Goto islands have a fascinating history.

Highlights

  • Visit the smallest island village in Tokyo
  • Explore Hachijojima island on go-karts
  • Relax in onsen baths overlooking the sea
  • Enjoy some of the best food in the country in Osaka

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Tokyo! Tokyo
Day 2 Tokyo's Hidden Island of Hachijojima Hachijojima
Day 3 Volcano in the sea - Aogashima Aogashima
Days 4-5 Osaka Osaka
Days 6-7 Goto Islands - A Hidden Gem Fukuejima
Days 8-9 The port city of Nagasaki Nagasaki
Day 10 Farewell!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Tokyo!

Welcome to Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, the biggest city in the world. We will arrange for someone to collect you from the airport and take you to your accommodations. You will also meet your Kichi Japan guide who will orientate you to your trip as well as organize any train passes and tickets you may need for the duration of your time in Japan.

Depending on what time you arrive, we can arrange for a couple of activities to start your trip with a bang; including, but not limited to: a fascinating shrine/temple visit; the opportunity to view Tokyo from the sky at the world-famous Skytree; dinner reservations at one of the city's highly-rated restaurants; or a riveting display of art and technology at a Robot Show.

Day 2: Tokyo's Hidden Island of Hachijojima

Hachijojima Island

You will wake up today surrounded by sea on the overnight ferry to the island of Hachijojima. This place has some of the best views we’ve seen in Japan (especially Hachijofuji). The natural hot springs overlooking the ocean on Hachijojima is probably one of our favorite's in all of Japan, and racing there on go-karts is, of course, the only way to go. A stop by its mountain for a short hike as well as Karataki falls is a must. 

Depending on the season, the nearby island of Miyakejima also offers swimming with wild dolphins.

Day 3: Volcano in the sea - Aogashima

Aogashima

Aogashima is one of Japan’s smallest villages. Located out in the middle of the sea, it is a small and peaceful island community that has been constructed inside of a volcano, and the best way to reach it, is by helicopter. Some people go there just for the helicopter ride out in the middle of the sea, but the stars at night there away from all of the light pollution of Tokyo are an amazing sight to see.

The island is so small you can walk around it in just a few hours, and a short hike up Mt. Maruyama gives a great view of the island. Other activities include a trip to a nearby volcanic steam sauna and using the volcano’s natural steam pockets to cook your food.

Days 4-5: Explore Osaka

Take a Tokyo food tour

Osaka gives Tokyo a real run for its money when it comes to delicious cuisine. A great way to experience its fares is with a street food tour. Enjoy being tantalized with mouthwatering smells and tastes as you traverse the streets of Osaka, and get introduced to the specialties of the Kansai area. A tour at a nearby sake brewery will also allow you to experience the best rice wine in the region.  For those who prefer whiskey, the city has an amazing whiskey distillery offering both tours and tastings.

The city also has a castle which will give you an amazing panoramic view of Osaka, and is definitely the place to get involved in a karaoke session. The trendy Dotonbori area is full of fantastic foods and great clubs if you're looking for a good night out.

Days 6-7: Goto Islands

Fukue Island

The Goto Islands are steeped in mystery. The history and stories that the islands have to tell are very deep and interesting.  It used to be the site for fleeing Christians which means there are tons of fascinating churches on the main island of Fukue. There are also a lot of small, and hidden islands within the archipelago, and each has a unique story and environment. One of them only has a single person left on it.

The sashimi here is some of the best in the country as the fish is never frozen, caught that day and so flavorful. Takahama beach is one of our favorite beaches, not just in Japan, but in the entire world. The water is crystal clear, and the craggy shore further out on the beach makes it unique and beautiful. Other activities we love to recommend include stargazing on Mt. Onidake, a boat trip to the small island of Oshima, and dinner at a homestyle Japanese restaurant. 

The bountiful sea in the area also has so much to offer. Diving, surfing, fishing, and some of the warmest people we've ever met.  It is a must-see place for any season.

Days 8-9: The port city of Nagasaki

Nagasaki

This port town in the Kyushu region has been heavily influenced by the international community and this is very evident in its cuisine. From Chinese dumplings and Turkish rice to chanpon and Japan’s best caviar, karasumi – it’s everything a foodie could want. While here it would be a good opportunity to view the beautiful city expanse from the Mt Inasa ropeway, rated as one the of top 3 views in all of Asia.

You will also visit the islands of Dejima and Gunkanjima, although the first has actually been reclaimed and is no longer the man-made island it used to be. Dejima used to be a Dutch trading post and the only open port in the country when Japan was cut off from the international world. Gunkanjima means ‘battleship island’, and it gets its name from its shape, which resembles a battleship. It was once the most densely populated place on the planet, and an active coal mine.

One cannot go to Nagasaki without visiting its Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park which have very important lessons for us all to learn.

Day 10: Farewell!

Depart from Japan

Today you will bid farewell to Japan and reflect on all the fantastic memories you've made during your trip.

Map

Map of Cities and Islands of Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki, & More - 10 Days
Map of Cities and Islands of Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki, & More - 10 Days