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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.

Unmanned stone steps of Kumano Nachi Taisha
Map of Hiking Japan's Kumano Kodo - 11 Days
Hiking Japan's Kumano Kodo - 11 Days

Get off the beaten path and onto the Kumano Kodo, a network of ancient pilgrimage trails in the remote Kii Peninsula. Trek to grand shrines and thermal hot springs on this self-guided trip, great for those looking to challenge themselves with full-day hikes through hilly terrain. You'll be rewarded, however, with unforgettable experiences as you follow in the footsteps of emperors.

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.

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

With 10 days in Japan, you can choose to tour Japan's major cities—Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. Or get away from the bright lights and crowds, choosing a trip through...

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 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 Hotel Resol Kyoto Kawaramachi Sanjo
Kyoto
Hotel Resol Kyoto Kawaramachi Sanjo
4.7
(3)
· Mid-range
Hotel Resol Kyoto Kawaramachi-Sanjo, opened in 2018, is a contemporary hotel with a blend of traditional and modern elements. Though set on a major roadway, the hotel's prime location puts you less than 10 minutes by foot from popular areas like Pontocho and Kawaramachi, both near the Kamo River....
Photo courtesy of Imperial Hotel Osaka
Osaka
Imperial Hotel Osaka
5.0
(1)
· Luxury
The Imperial Hotel in Osaka is a beacon of elegance overlooking the Okawa River's Osaka Waterfront Park, which blossoms with cherry trees in spring and brightens with fireworks and festivals in summer. In just eight minutes, you can easily walk to this riverfront park via the pedestrian Gempachi...

Our Latest Japan Content

Explore Japan's incredible cuisine on this week long luxury tour
Map of Luxury Foodie's Tour of Japan: Tokyo & Kyoto - 7 Days
Luxury Foodie's Tour of Japan: Tokyo & Kyoto - 7 Days

Immerse yourself in Japan's delectable cuisine and its world-class dining scene with this weeklong luxury tour spread across stays at Tokyo and Kyoto's top hotels. Your journey begins in the capital with a kaiseki cooking class, Michelin-starred fine dining, and a tour of the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Then, it's off to Japan's cultural heartland for a geisha performance and traditional kimono tea ceremony in Kyoto before sampling Kobe's renowned beef and visiting a saké distillery.

End your luxury trip in Osaka, where you'll follow a private guide through the Edo-era Osaka Castle
Map of Japan Luxury Highlights: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto & Osaka - 10 Days
Japan Luxury Highlights: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto & Osaka - 10 Days

See Japan's highlights in grand style with this 10-day luxury tour. You'll start in Tokyo, dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, learning to make nigiri sushi with a private chef, and treating yourself to an elegant afternoon tea amid sky-high city views. Then, you're off to the natural beauty of Hakone for a cruise across Lake Ashi and a soothing hot springs retreat. Explore Shinto shrines and meditate in Zen temples in Kyoto, stop for a saké-tasting in Kobe, and end in Osaka with a visit to the city's Edo-era castle.

Explore some of Japan's most iconic landmarks, including the UNESCO-listed Shirakawa
Map of Highlights of Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto & Osaka - 16 Days
Highlights of Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto & Osaka - 16 Days

Perfect for first-timers, this 16-day itinerary takes you on a journey through some of Japan's most iconic destinations. Start in Tokyo, where you can dive into Japanese culture by watching a sumo wrestling session and see famous landmarks like Senso-ji, the oldest temple in the city. Explore Hakone and Takayama at your own pace, then learn how to make traditional crafts in Kanazawa. Ride a rickshaw around Kyoto before ending in Osaka with a day trip to Hiroshima, the site of the world's first atomic bomb.

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 2 Weeks in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Japan - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
View article
Map 10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Japan
Travel specialist Ana Bicanic
active 7 mins 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 19 mins 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...
Travel specialist Christine Mayol
active 2 hours ago

Christine Mayol

We are a client-focused travel experts in Japan. We specializes in more personalized travel plans for families, groups, couples and individuals. Depends on your preferences, we will help you make...

read more...

Related Destinations

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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
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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

We had a wonderful vacation in Japan
Japan | Feb 4 - Feb 16, 2024

A
ADRIAN I.
Florence-Graham, CA | Reviewed on Feb 19, 2024

We had a wonderful vacation in Japan and Fei (our coordinator from KimKim) was with us along the way, taking care of all the details and making our experience a memorable one.
We enjoyed all the places that we visited (Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto Kanagawa and Osaka), with everyone of them offering something different. We enjoyed very much the visit to the Himeji castle that is south of Kobe.
Very good experience overall and thank you to Fei again for taking care of all the details.
Adrian Iancu

Local specialist: Fei He
Fei
Fei He
Local specialist in Japan | Replied on Feb 19, 2024
Dear ADRIAN, Hope you have a great day. It's fantastic to hear that you had a wonderful vacation in Japan! It's my great honor to have played a role in making your experience memorable by taking care of all the details along the way. I'm glad to know that you enjoyed exploring Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Kanagawa, and Osaka, with each destination offering its own unique charm. The visit to Himeji Castle, south of Kobe, must have been a highlight as well. Overall, it sounds like you had a very... Read more

Dear ADRIAN,

Hope you have a great day.

It's fantastic to hear that you had a wonderful vacation in Japan! It's my great honor to have played a role in making your experience memorable by taking care of all the details along the way. I'm glad to know that you enjoyed exploring Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Kanagawa, and Osaka, with each destination offering its own unique charm. The visit to Himeji Castle, south of Kobe, must have been a highlight as well.

Overall, it sounds like you had a very positive experience. If you ever plan to visit Japan again,feel free to reach out. Thank you for sharing your feedback, ADRIAN.

Best wishes,
Fei

Overall, we had a memorable experience in Osa...
Japan | Feb 9 - Feb 13, 2024

Jaslyin
Jaslyin Q.
Singapore | Reviewed on Feb 18, 2024
Overall, we had a memorable experience in Osaka and Kyoto and we're glad we opted for the private tour and driver. The accomodations recommended were authentic and excellent in service, especially the Imperial Hotel Osaka. The Ryokan in Kyoto gave us a really good feel of the traditional way of living. The guides were all really polite, attentive and knowledgeable. The driver himself was good and acknowledged his minor technical hiccup and went out of the way to get it sorted. Overall we... Read more

Overall, we had a memorable experience in Osaka and Kyoto and we're glad we opted for the private tour and driver. The accomodations recommended were authentic and excellent in service, especially the Imperial Hotel Osaka. The Ryokan in Kyoto gave us a really good feel of the traditional way of living.

The guides were all really polite, attentive and knowledgeable. The driver himself was good and acknowledged his minor technical hiccup and went out of the way to get it sorted. Overall we had a great experience and impression of the places we went.

Hotel Reviews
Momijiya Honkan Takaosansou
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Imperial Hotel Osaka
Osaka
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Half Day Nara Tour
Half Day Nara Tour
Nara
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Half Day Kinkakuji and Nijo Castle Tour
Half Day Kinkakuji and Nijo Castle Tour
Kyoto
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Kyoto Cooking Class
Kyoto Cooking Class
Kyoto
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Traditional Tea Ceremony KYOTO
Traditional Tea Ceremony KYOTO
Kyoto
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Half Day Bamboo Grove and Monkey Park Tour
Half Day Bamboo Grove and Monkey Park Tour
Kyoto
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Full Day Osaka City Tour
Full Day Osaka City Tour
Osaka
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Sandy Ren
Sandy
Sandy Ren
Local specialist in Japan | Replied on Feb 19, 2024
Dear Jaslyin, Hope you are doing fantastic. I'm thrilled to hear that you had such a memorable experience in Osaka and Kyoto! It's great to know that the accommodations recommended are authentic and provide excellent service, particularly the Imperial Hotel Osaka. Experiencing the traditional way of living at the Ryokan in Kyoto must have been truly special. I'm glad to hear that the guides were polite, attentive, and knowledgeable, and that the driver handled any technical issues... Read more

Dear Jaslyin,

Hope you are doing fantastic.

I'm thrilled to hear that you had such a memorable experience in Osaka and Kyoto! It's great to know that the accommodations recommended are authentic and provide excellent service, particularly the Imperial Hotel Osaka. Experiencing the traditional way of living at the Ryokan in Kyoto must have been truly special.

I'm glad to hear that the guides were polite, attentive, and knowledgeable, and that the driver handled any technical issues professionally. It sounds like you had a wonderful overall experience and left with a great impression of the places you visited. If you ever plan to return or explore other destinations, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Wish you a happy life now and future.

Best regards as always,
Sandy

Thank you so much for making our trip to Japa...
Japan | Feb 9 - Feb 14, 2024

Maricris
Maricris S.
Glendale, CA | Reviewed on Feb 16, 2024
Thank you so much for making our trip to Japan memorable and fun. Our guide Lay-la in tokyo, mt. Fuji was also nice to work with. Dennis in Kyoto is very informational too.
Our accomodation locations are also great right in the center of the city.
Read more

Thank you so much for making our trip to Japan memorable and fun. Our guide Lay-la in tokyo, mt. Fuji was also nice to work with. Dennis in Kyoto is very informational too.
Our accomodation locations are also great right in the center of the city.

Activity Review
Osaka Foodie Walking Tour at dark
Osaka Foodie Walking Tour at dark
Osaka

Okini Osaka! Aina-san is the best guide in this tour. She is so jolly and educational which made our trip enjoyable.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Sandy Ren
Sandy
Sandy Ren
Local specialist in Japan | Replied on Feb 16, 2024

Dear Maricris,

Thank you for your kind words! We're thrilled to hear that your trip to Japan is memorable and enjoyable. Lay-la in Tokyo and Mt. Fuji, as well as Dennis in Kyoto, are indeed fantastic guides who strive to provide valuable insights.

We're glad you found the accommodations centrally located and suitable for your needs. It's wonderful to know that Aina-san made your time in Osaka enjoyable with her cheerful demeanor and educational approach.

We appreciate the opportunity to be part of your journey and hope to welcome you back in the future!

Best regards,
Sandy