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Introducing Japan

An ancient way of life fuses with modern society in this bustling and iconic travel destination. Travelers fall in love (or renew their vows) with Japanese food and astonishing scenery of this mountainous archipelago dotted with modern cities.

When is the best time to visit?
Late spring and early autumn have traditionally been considered the best times to visit Japan, but more and more travelers are seeking trips to this mountainous county in the winter to take advantage of its snowy season. Skiers and snowboarders are flocking to Japan in December through March in search of the powdery, light snow the region is increasingly known for. Learn more

Where to go in Japan?
The possibilities are endless. Night owls will love the 24-hour food and drinking scene of bustling city centers like Tokyo and Osaka, older cities that are embracing the new with plenty of flair and energy. Rural travelers will enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shiretoko National Park in the mountains of Hokkaidō and the balmy subtropical islands of Okinawa. Learn more

How many days do I need?
Since there is so much to do in Japan and travel within the country via the high-speed bullet trains is so easy, visitors can opt for trips of any duration. To do any justice to this amazing country, spend at least a week and ideally up to three. Learn more

Getting Around Japan
Most visitors to Japan fly into one of Tokyo's two airports, Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport (Tokyo International). Trains connect both airports to downtown Tokyo, and from there, extensive and efficient rail networks carry passengers to destinations on Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Learn more

Explore trips by duration: 5 days · 6 days · 7 days · 8 days · 9 days · 10 days · 11 days · 12 days · 13 days · 14 days · 15 days · 16 days

Japan Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Sunrise in the post town of Narai, Japan
Map of Hike Japan's Nakasendo Trail - 5 Days
Hike Japan's Nakasendo Trail - 5 Days

Step back in time and immerse yourself in nature on this five-day hiking trip along the historic Nakasendo Trail. Feudal lords and samurai once walked this mountain path connecting Kyoto and Tokyo, stopping to rest in historic jukus, or Edo-era post towns, each night. You'll follow in their footsteps as you trek through picturesque valleys, explore idyllic villages, sleep in traditional inns, and relax in the thermal waters of hot springs along the hike.

The Kiyomizu-dera Temple overlooking Kyoto's skyline
Map of Japan's Big Four: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & Hiroshima - 10 Days
Japan's Big Four: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & Hiroshima - 10 Days

This diverse 10-day itinerary leads you through Japan's four major cities. Start in Tokyo, exploring the city's ultra-modern technology and ancient monuments. Then head to the quiet shrines of traditional Kyoto, the buzzing food scene of trendy Osaka, and the historic landmarks and lively downtown of Hiroshima. Along the way, you'll visit beautiful islands and bamboo forests, sample regional delicacies on a food tour, see sumo wrestlers in action, and try locally produced sake and whiskey.

Tokyo's Shinjuku Park
Map of Classic Highlights of Japan - 14 Days
Classic Highlights of Japan - 14 Days

Welcome to Japan! On this two-week journey around the main island, Honshu, you'll enjoy a mix of cultural sightseeing and active adventures. Visit sacred temples and shrines, cycle through the countryside, and wander around Tokyo's most fashionable neighborhoods. From the history of Hiroshima and the wonders of ancient Kyoto to the historic farmhouses of Shirakawa-go and the quiet island of Miyajima, there's so much to see and do.

Explore historic Edo-era post towns along the Nakasendo Trail
Map of Highlights & Hiking in Japan: Kyoto, Tokyo & the Nakasendo Trail - 10 Days
Highlights & Hiking in Japan: Kyoto, Tokyo & the Nakasendo Trail - 10 Days

This active tour of Japan combines modern cities with outdoor adventures, including five days of hiking along the famous Nakasendo Trail. You'll start in Kyoto, visiting the famed red torii gates of Fushimi Inari and watching a live geisha performance. Then, set out on foot along one of the major traveling routes of the Edo period—traversing bamboo forests in Nojiri, the peaks of Torii Pass, and the plateaus of Usui-toge. End in Tokyo for city views from the Tokyo Skytree and a tranquil visit to Asakusa Shrine.

Kyoto's Higashiyama historic district
Map of Best of Tokyo & Kyoto - 7 Days
Best of Tokyo & Kyoto - 7 Days

This weeklong adventure splits its time between two of Japan's most important cities with a mix of customizable tours and free time to explore on your own. Start off in Tokyo for a taste of modern Japan with top-notch architecture, animé, modern art, high fashion, and cuisine. Then head to traditional Kyoto for beautiful temples and shrines, ancient gardens, and cultural experiences like tea ceremonies and calligraphy.

Boating in Arashiyama
Map of Natural Wonders of Japan - 10 Days
Natural Wonders of Japan - 10 Days

Just as fascinating as Japan's ultra-modern urban culture is its spectacular natural scenery. On this 10-day adventure, you'll venture beyond the glittering cities to explore Japan's stunning natural wonders and learn about the country's ancient cultural traditions. Visit ancient shrines, climb mountain peaks, wander through lush bamboo forests, learn about geisha culture and fine arts customs, and marvel at the country's most prized landscape garden. You'll end the journey in quiet Kyoto, enjoying a boat cruise on the Hozugawa River past vibrant cherry blossoms.

Make the Most of Your Time in Japan

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
Take a stroll through Kyoto's Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
How Many Days to Spend in Japan

Japan is made up of hundreds of islands that extend for nearly 2,000 miles (3,210 km). How many days should you spend exploring, and where should you focus your time? From an...

Blossoming sakura (cherry) trees and iconic Mount Fuji
Map of 1 Week in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Japan's efficient trains make it possible to see three regions in one week. First-time visitors will enjoy highlights that include futuristic museums in Odaiba, the temples and...

Take to Tokyo's iconic streets and walk Shibuya's busiest pedestrian crossing
Map of 10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Thanks to Japan's efficient transportation, you can visit at least four regions in 10 days. First-timers will enjoy touring iconic sites in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima....

Wander the streets of Kyoto on a classic two week trip covering the highlights
Map of 2 Weeks in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In a two-week Japan trip, divide your days among Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Okinawa for a highlights tour, or indulge in culinary delights with street food, tea ceremonies, and...

Japan Travel Essentials

All you need to know to get started planning the perfect trip
Brilliant momiji maple at Nanzenji, Kyoto in late November
Best Time of Year to Visit Japan

Japan is famous for its Spring cherry blossoms and its changing colors in Autumn, but there are beautiful places to see in every season. Japan stretches from subtropical...

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto
Essential Japan: Top 10 Things to Do & See

Crescent-shaped islands surrounded by deep blue sea, Japan has everything from Buddhist temples to great beaches. Home to both a robot restaurant and an ancient rainforest, it's...

Iriomote Island, Okinawa (© Yuri Awanohara)
Guide to Japan's Main Regions

Japan is roughly the size of California, with thousands of islands offering a huge variety of things to see and do. You can experience some of the world's best powder skiing in...

Japan Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip

Japan Destination Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
Iriomote Island, Okinawa (© Yuri Awanohara)
Guide to Japan's Main Regions

Japan is roughly the size of California, with thousands of islands offering a huge variety of things to see and do. You can experience some of the world's best powder skiing in...

Coral reefs of Okinawa
Ultimate Guide to Okinawa

Okinawa's attractions have something for everyone. They cater to cocktail-sipping beach bums, history buffs, and active adventurers alike. The island is fairly small, so even a...

Japan Hotel Advice

Unique places to stay, curated by kimkim specialists
Photo courtesy of Cross Hotel Kyoto
Kyoto
Cross Hotel Kyoto
5.0
(3)
· Comfort
Cross Hotel Kyoto, set in Kawaramachi Sanjo, blends tradition and modernity with warm wooden decor showcasing Kyoto-style architecture. You'll be well connected, as the hotel is a 6-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station and even closer to other public transport options, including the Sanjo...
Photo courtesy of The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa by Hulic
Kyoto
The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa by Hulic
5.0
(2)
· Comfort
The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa by Hulic, located alongside the Takase River in Kyoto, stands on a site rich in historical significance, as it was once home to Kyoto clan residences during the Edo period and is the location of Japan's first successful movie preview experiment. The hotel coexists...
Photo courtesy of Ryokan Asunaro
Takayama
Ryokan Asunaro
5.0
(2)
· Comfort
Situated in Takayama, Ryokan Asunaro, originally a sanctuary for samurai warriors dating back to the 16th century, has undergone meticulous restoration and relocation to provide guests with an authentic Japanese experience. Strategically placed, the ryokan (a traditional inn) is just an 8-minute...

Our Latest Japan Content

Partake in a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto to learn how to prepare matcha
Map of History & Culture of Central Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto & Kanazawa - 9 Days
History & Culture of Central Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto & Kanazawa - 9 Days

Immerse yourself in central Japan's rich culture and history on this nine-day tour to three iconic cities. Begin in Tokyo, where you can visit the capital's shrines, temples, and gardens. Go on a day trip to the Fuji Five Lakes to admire Mount Fuji from every angle before riding the bullet train to Kyoto. Tour the geisha district, take part in a tea ceremony, and stroll through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Finally, your last stops are Kanazawa and the UNESCO-listed villages of Shirakawa-go and Suganuma.

Cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Toya, enjoying panoramic views of snowcapped mountains
Map of Winter Adventures & Skiing in Western Hokkaido - 10 Days
Winter Adventures & Skiing in Western Hokkaido - 10 Days

Bundle up and experience a winter wonderland on the Japanese island of Hokkaido with this 10-day itinerary. Warm up with a traditional tea ceremony in Sapporo before heading to Otaru for a quick tour of the coastal city. Enjoy three days of skiing and snowboarding at Club Med Kiroro Peak, nestled in picturesque Akaigawa. Then, head to Toyako for a boat cruise and soak in the onsen. Your last stop before the airport in Chitose is the otherworldly Noboribetsu Jigokudani Valley, nicknamed "Hell Valley."

Stay amid peaceful gardens in a historic Kyoto inn (photo courtesy of Ryokan Genhouin)
1 Week in Japan - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

One week is an excellent amount of time to discover the tranquil beauty, culture, and luxuries of Japan. Split your time between Tokyo and Kyoto to experience iconic highlights and world-class cuisine. Or, swap in Hakone for a delightful immersion into Mount Fuji's foothills. You can also take the lesser-trodden trail and journey between remote temples and quaint onsen towns. No matter which you choose, enjoy spectacular accommodations that further reveal the country's splendors.

Japan Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Map Guide to Japan's Main Regions
Guide to Japan's Main Regions
View article
Map 10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
View article
Map 2 Weeks in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Japan
Travel specialist Ana Bicanic
active 2 hours ago

Ana Bicanic

Hi there! My name is Ana, I am 26 years old and I come from Belgrade, Serbia. Growing up I would travel a lot with my parents who love to dive. I knew from very early on that I want to be in...

read more...
Travel specialist Angel Tang
active 1 min ago

Angel Tang

I love exploring and have been traveling in Asian countries for more than fifteen years. As a Japan specialist, I have a deep affection for this country and I will use my knowledge and expertise to...

read more...
Travel specialist Sandy Ren
active 1 min ago

Sandy Ren

I have been working as a travel specialist since graduating from college twenty years ago. Travel is my lifelong passion. It was such a thrilling thing to venture into a new world full of unknown...

read more...

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Why travelers love kimkim

Custom trips for independent travelers who are too busy to plan

Customize your trip with the help of a local travel specialist

Kimkim has handpicked the world’s top local travel specialists so you will have peace of mind and an unforgettable trip that meets your exact requirements.

Authentic travel experiences

Kimkim’s local specialists ensure that you will have the best experience based on up-to-date local insights. On top of that, the vast majority of your money will go straight to support and grow local economies.

Secure & easy booking

Once you are happy with the trip, you can easily book via kimkim’s secure payment platform.

Local support during your trip

You can always reach your local specialist with a quick message or call in case you hit a snag during your trip, or simply want some great local recommendations.

100% satisfaction guarantee
Kimkim offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied with us, we’ll work with you to make it right.
kimkim trips are 100% climate neutral
A portion of every kimkim trip goes toward the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. Learn more
BBB A+ rated

Kimkim is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.

Seller of Travel Registration number: CST #2136279-40.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Trip Reviews for Japan

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Kuriko(Hakone day trip guide)was SUPERB. Prof...
Japan | Jul 10 - Jul 19, 2024

Ritu
Ritu T.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Jul 20, 2024
Kuriko(Hakone day trip guide)was SUPERB. Professional,Well informed,patient,friendly and it was a pleasure to spend the day with her.
Melanie(Gion walking tour guide) was pleasant but did not give good information or history about the area. No depth of local knowledge.
Josh ,our Nara day trip guide was very good. Well informed, pleasant. Came very prepared for the day with lot of pictures in folders.
Amongst experiences:
Owl cafe
Sumo experience were both exceptional
Esp thanks to...
Read more

Kuriko(Hakone day trip guide)was SUPERB. Professional,Well informed,patient,friendly and it was a pleasure to spend the day with her.
Melanie(Gion walking tour guide) was pleasant but did not give good information or history about the area. No depth of local knowledge.
Josh ,our Nara day trip guide was very good. Well informed, pleasant. Came very prepared for the day with lot of pictures in folders.
Amongst experiences:
Owl cafe
Sumo experience were both exceptional
Esp thanks to Angel for quick responsiveness and well planned itinerary with attention to detail.

Hotel Reviews
Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu
Tokyo
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cross Hotel Kyoto
Kyoto

Great location, helpful staff. Good sized room(deluxe twin). Excellent breakfast.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Gora Kansuiro
Hakone
Authenticity & Character
Old world Charm, attention to detail.
Location
Scenic, lush green.
Staff
Polite,helpful.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Authentic Sumo Experience in Tokyo: Enter the Sanctuary
Authentic Sumo Experience in Tokyo: Enter the Sanctuary
Tokyo

This was an amazing experience!! The wrestlers and guides were so kind and helpful and fun to spend time with! They shared their history and profession with us, and we had a very fun afternoon with them. This is a MUST SEE experience!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Angel Tang

Hotels and Train connections
Japan | Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2024

B
Berenice M.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Jul 20, 2024

The Kim Kim company is great!! The guides are very professional and informative. Our main contact person Angela was very helpful every step of the way. She was able to make any requested last minute adjustments to make our trip more comfortable and convenient.

Local specialist: Angel Tang

A singular Japanese experience for my family.
Japan | Jun 30 - Jul 12, 2024

S
S A.
New York, NY | Reviewed on Jul 14, 2024
Our family vacation to Japan was fantastic and Myaen was so thoughtful and did a great job of conceiving and preparing a trip that had the right balance of guides and self-exploration as well the right mix of contemporary / modern Japan and traditional sights. Throughout the trip our guides (Junko, Haruki, Momoko and others) were quite amazing and did a great job of catering a tour to our needs that day. Read more

Our family vacation to Japan was fantastic and Myaen was so thoughtful and did a great job of conceiving and preparing a trip that had the right balance of guides and self-exploration as well the right mix of contemporary / modern Japan and traditional sights.

Throughout the trip our guides (Junko, Haruki, Momoko and others) were quite amazing and did a great job of catering a tour to our needs that day.

Activity Reviews
The Golden Pavilion and Magnificent Views in Arashiyama
The Golden Pavilion and Magnificent Views in Arashiyama
Kyoto

Our guide Junko was quite phenomenal. It was unbearably hot in Kyoto the days we were there and Junko did a Teriffic job of adjusting the itinerary to accommodate for the heat. She offered up a new sequence of temple visits to be outdoors during the early AM and then offered some new indoor outings for us in the PM.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Junko was a fabulous guide.
Traditional Kyoto Tour
Traditional Kyoto Tour
Japan

Our guide Junko was quite phenomenal. It was unbearably hot in Kyoto the days we were there and Junko did a Teriffic job of adjusting the itinerary to accommodate for the heat. She offered up a new sequence of temple visits to be outdoors during the early AM and then offered some new indoor outings for us in the PM.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Junko was a fabulous tour guode who accommodated my family when my son was not feeling well.
Tsukiji Fish Market Visit with Sushi Making Experience
Tsukiji Fish Market Visit with Sushi Making Experience
Tokyo

An excellent tour of the “old” Tsukkiji fish market area. Sampling the fresh fish was quite amazing. But overall was a bit disappointed by the size of the market and how touristy the experience was.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Sumo Practice Viewing in Tokyo
Sumo Practice Viewing in Tokyo
Tokyo

I thought we would be touring an actual sumo stable. Instead we got a fairly sanitized sumo exhibition with slapstick comedy. The show itself was fun but much less authentic than we were expecting. .

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Izakaya Food Tour
Izakaya Food Tour
Tokyo

Our guide Haruki did a great job of creating a fun welcoming atmosphere and took us to some fantastic places in Kabukicho.

Quality of Experience
Our guide (Haruki?) was amazing and the food was fantastic! Exceeded my expectations.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Our guide Haruki was amazing.
Local specialist: Myaen Verzosa