Explore Japan's natural beauty and intricate rituals on this fascinating 9-day itinerary. In Tokyo, you'll travel back in time by wandering the streets in a kimono. Head to Hakone to cruise on Lake Ashi, enjoy spectacular views of Mount Fuji, and finish the day in soothing natural thermal springs. Continue to Kyoto for Buddhist temples, gardens, palaces, and shrines, then end in Osaka to revel in the city's dynamic "foodie" districts.
Japan Travel Insights
With two weeks to spend in Japan, travelers have a great range of options. Go on a classic tour around the country's highlights — including Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and more — or opt for an itinerary that focuses specifically on culture and history. Travelers with children love a family-oriented tour featuring hands-on activities, like sushi-making classes and a samurai sword-fighting course, plus visits to two major theme parks. Adventurous visitors opt for an off-the-beaten-path journey around Japan's hidden treasures or an active trip around the country's wintry landscapes. Read on to learn more about your choices for a two-week stay in Japan.
With ten days in Japan, travelers can choose from a great range of options. Those interested in urban life and Japanese culture might opt for a tour of Japan's major cities — Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. Or get away from the bright lights and big crowds, choosing a trip through Japan's natural wonders, from towering bamboo groves to mountain peaks to rivers lined with cherry blossom trees. If you're traveling with children, consider a family-friendly journey that includes a visit to a ninja theme park and a ride on one of the world's steepest roller coasters. Adventure seekers should not miss the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of samurai on a self-guided walking tour of the Nakasendo Trail. Learn more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.
With a week to spend in Japan, some travelers choose to focus on Tokyo, adding in side trips to Hiroshima and Mount Fuji. If you're eager to get away from the crowds and neon lights and experience a more traditional side of Japanese culture, consider a weeklong itinerary that takes you to Osaka, Kyoto, the shrines of Nara, and the sacred temples of Koyosan. Photographers love a 7-day adventure that focuses on scenic Japan, from charming villages and quiet gardens to gorgeous natural landscapes. And if you're lucky enough to visit in spring, consider a cherry blossom tour through various destinations where you'll have ample opportunities to see the famed pink flowers in bloom. Find out more about your options by reading over the following itineraries.
If you have just five days to spend in Japan, you could focus your energy on the ultra-modern city of Tokyo. Or you could divide your time between Tokyo and the more traditional Kyoto, taking the time to visit the most famous shrine in the country. A more ambitious itinerary takes you to several cities, including Hiroshima and Osaka, while a simpler trip plan focuses solely on the culture and history of Kyoto. Another alternative is to get away from the crowds and hike along the historic Nakasendo Trail, following the footsteps of feudal lords and samurai on the mountain path connecting Kyoto and Tokyo. Find out more about your options for five days in Tokyo by reading over the following itineraries.
Ski, snowboard, and sip sake on this two-week adventure around Japan's wintry landscapes. From Kyoto to Tokyo, this active journey will give you the opportunity to see both the modern and traditional sides of Japan. You'll also see futuristic art and have some fun on the slopes of Niigata, dipping in the nearby natural hot springs afterward.
Steaming hot springs, a smoking volcano, quiet canals, a ghostly island — on this 10-day adventure, you'll focus on outdoor attractions on the Japanese island of Kyushu. Start in the capital city of Fukuoka, day-tripping to peaceful Yanagawa, a Venice-like town laced with canals. Then spend several days exploring Beppu, famous for its natural hot springs, before continuing to the grasslands and mountains of Aso. Climb Mount Aso, Japan's largest active volcano, before wrapping up the trip in Nagasaki with a boat ride to a deserted island and a cable car journey to one of the world's best night views.
This action-packed 10-day adventure around Japan is perfect for families! The itinerary leads you from the neon lights, futuristic interactive art, and whimsical character cafés of Tokyo to peaceful Lake Kawaguchi, where you'll have the option to visit a nearby ninja theme park or ride one of the steepest roller coasters in the world. Then it's onward to Kyoto, where you'll learn how to make creative Japanese-style sweets and attend a tea ceremony. Travelers of all ages will enjoy visiting temples, bamboo groves, and shrines on the last few days of the trip in Arashiyama, Nara, and Osaka.
The sakura, or cherry blossom, is the national flower of Japan and a symbol of renewal. It's no wonder that spring is the best time to visit the country! If you're lucky enough to travel to Japan during the brief blooming season, you'll be treated to the sight of the pale pink flowers almost everywhere you look. This 7-day tour takes you around to top sakura-spotting destinations in Osaka, Kyoto, and Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, with breaks for cultural sightseeing along the way. You'll end the itinerary with a dedicated cherry blossom tour around Tokyo, including classic photo ops of Mount Fuji in the distance — framed by flowers, of course.
This photogenic 7-day tour of Japan offers an unbeatable mix of popular attractions and off-the-beaten-path gems. You'll experience the country's beauty, starting in vibrant Tokyo and continuing to the temples, shines, and gorgeously landscaped gardens of Kanazawa. Side-trip to Shirakawago, where charming wooden farmhouses were built to withstand heavy snow in winter — if you're lucky, you'll see the village under a blanket of white! Then end with a couple of days in Kyoto, learning about geisha culture and traditional arts like flower arranging. From start to finish, this colorful itinerary is a visual extravaganza.
This weeklong journey focuses on Japan's busy cities, including ultra-modern Tokyo and historic Hiroshima. You'll explore the contemporary art scene, dine in a character café, walk around streets lit up with neon at night, and tour temples and historic sites. But the itinerary also features quieter experiences, featuring day trips to the shrines of Nara, a traditional village where you'll learn about the art of kimono design, and a lookout point where you'll get the best photo ops of snow-capped Mount Fuji.
Slow down and savor the spiritual and traditional elements of Japan on this weeklong trip. You'll start by sampling regional street food in Osaka, nicknamed "the kitchen of Japan," followed by a day of sightseeing with a local guide. Then you'll move on to the holy temple complex of Koyasan, where you'll have the chance to observe monks during their early morning prayers. Continue to Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan, to learn about traditional fine arts, including tea ceremonies and flower arranging. Side-trip to the forest trails and UNESCO-honored temples of Nara before the trip comes to an end.
This short but wide-ranging tour of Japanese cities takes you to Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Tokyo — not to mention the mountainous resort town of Hakone. In just five days, you'll see the tallest building in Japan, gaze at Mount Fuji in the distance, go on a guided tour of the historic temples and shrines of Kyoto, and learn about the devastating World War II bombing of Hiroshima before exploring the city's contemporary downtown. Dip in the natural hot springs of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, tour Osaka Castle, and appreciate the refinement of traditional Japanese arts: it's all included on this enriching 5-day adventure.
Enjoy the quiet scenery and traditional Japanese culture in Kyoto on this refreshing adventure. In just five days, you'll visit sacred shrines, wander through ancient forests, take a boat cruise down a river lined with cherry blossoms, practice meditation with a Buddhist monk, and learn about the traditional arts of calligraphy and flower arranging. You'll also detour to the historic city of Nara, famed for its giant Buddha statue and resident population of deer, before returning to Kyoto for one last evening of sampling sushi and sake.
From sumo and sake to ultra-contemporary art and historic shrines, this 5-day adventure in Tokyo offers a well-balanced mix of traditional Japanese culture and modern urban life. As you explore one of the world's most vibrant cities, you'll go back in time, visiting landmark shrines, as well as a museum and a cultural theme park, to learn about Edo-era Japan. After witnessing sumo wrestlers in training and tasting sake, you'll see edgy interactive art at TeamLab and bar-hop in the Golden Gai district. These five days are rich with experiences you'll remember for a lifetime!
Spend 10 days walking and hiking Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail, visiting historic Buddhist temples along the way. You'll see pilgrims, easily identified by their white clothing and walking staff, who spend weeks on the trail visiting all 88 temples. As you explore castles, small villages, and larger communities, sample local specialties and stay in traditional inns or pilgrims' lodgings, you'll get a real taste of Shikoku's unique culture.
Explore the coast of the Sea of Japan, then head across southern Japan to visit towns and islands on the Seto Inland Sea. You'll spend twelve days discovering Japanese history and culture as you visit shrines, temples, castles, museums, and even a preserved silver mine. See how miso paste, sake, and pottery are made and soak in hot spring baths. You'll come away with a true appreciation for the traditions and history of southern Japan.
Offering ancient traditions and futuristic fun, Japan is filled with one-of-a-kind attractions for the young — and the young at heart. This two-week family-friendly itinerary features a great mix of cultural sightseeing and hands-on activities, like a sushi class and a samurai sword-fighting course. You'll explore the character cafés and comic book shops of Tokyo, boat on a lake near Mount Fuji, and wander through towering groves of bamboo in Arashiyama, taking time to learn about history in Hiroshima and Kyoto. Rounding out the trip are day trips to two world-class theme parks: Disney Sea and Universal Studios Japan. This action-packed journey is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Traveling together as a family is such a special experience, and this 10-day action-packed adventure is specifically designed with families in mind. From Kanto to Kansai, this trip takes you from Tokyo and its modern, bustling streets to Kyoto with its tight hold on tradition. It's the perfect way to take in all that Japan has to offer while having plenty of family fun.
Spend four days exploring the historic Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail in Ehime Prefecture on this self-guided tour. You'll meet white-clad pilgrims dedicated to walking the entire trail as you visit several of Ehime's iconic Buddhist temples and discover Shikoku's pilgrimage traditions. Relax in a hot spring bath after a visit to Matsuyama Castle and enjoy local hospitality in shukubo (pilgrim lodgings) and ryokan (traditional inns).
Indulge your sense of adventure while soaking up history and taking in the scenery of Hiroshima, the Seto Inland Sea, and Shikoku. You'll walk, hike, cycle and paddle to temples, islands, shrines, and memorials and get a true sense of life in Seto Inland Sea communities. This trip is designed to accommodate travelers who are used to easy walks, hikes, and bicycle trips and is suitable for children ages 12 and up.
Embark on a journey through Japan’s cultural past with this immersive two-week itinerary. Starting in the modern capital of Tokyo, you’ll travel north to traditional mountain hot springs before making your way through the historic post towns of the ancient Nakasendo Trail. Wander through the 16th-century architecture of Takayama, discover the alpine valleys and traditional thatched-roof farmhouses of Shirakawa-go, and step back in time in the imperial capital of Kyoto. Spend a night with Buddhist monks at the mountaintop temples of Mount Koya before returning to Tokyo for a final evening in the city that never sleeps.
Experience the tranquil magic of a Japanese winter during this immersive 8-day itinerary. Starting in Kyoto, you’ll head to the snowy Kiso Valley to hike along the ancient Nakasendo Trail, spending each night in quaint wooden villages or hot spring inns. After a week spent savoring regional cuisine, snowshoeing through cedar forests, and soaking in natural mineral pools, you’ll spend a final night enjoying the hustle and bustle of Tokyo—the historic endpoint of the trail.
This unique 14-day tour will take you to the major cities and destinations of Japan as well as hidden destinations that few tourists explore. You'll see Tokyo's futuristic neon lights, explore rice fields during a homestay in Izumo, wander through traditional temples in the company of native deer in Nara, relax on pristine beaches in the remote Goto islands, and more. Traveling through various destinations by steam train, ferry, and a traditional boat, you'll get an intimate glimpse into Japanese ways of life.
Perfect for active walkers, this trip combines a four-day walk on Japan's Nakasendo Trail, which connected Tokyo and Kyoto during the days of shoguns and samurai, with a visit to three historic Japanese capitals, Tokyo, Nara, and Kyoto. You'll begin your trip in Tokyo, then take to the trail and stay in post towns once used as feudal-era stopover points. You'll visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nara, Yoshino, and Mount Koya, then spend two nights in Kyoto, where geisha still entertain well-heeled guests and Buddhist temples beckon.
Combine the natural beauty of the Japanese Alps with visits to historic post towns in this 6-day walking adventure. Hike across mountain passes and descend into villages filled with craft shops, gorgeous architecture, and picturesque streets, all while enjoying dramatic views of the alpine scenery. End your trip with an unforgettable hike through Kamikochi Wetlands, but not before sleeping each night in traditional onsen ryokans and enjoying daily hot spring baths.
Road Less Traveled Japan: Tokyo, Izu Islands, Osaka, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Takachiho, Kumamoto - 16 Days
This 16-day adventure is planned with nature lovers in mind, who also want a touch of Japan's urban highlights. You'll traverse the well-worn paths of the mountain monks, breathe in the history of temples which have endured for centuries, take a boat ride down Takachiho Gorge and test your endurance as you hike Mount Misen, off the coast of Hiroshima. This tour offers a nice balance of remote destinations rarely seen by tourists, combined with museum visits and culinary experiences in Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
Uncharted Japan: Tokyo, Tsuruoka, Izu Islands, Osaka, Kagoshima, Yakushima, Takachiho, Kumamoto - 16 Days
This 16-day adventure tour is specifically designed for nature lovers, where you'll visit remote destinations rarely seen by tourists, go on beautiful hikes with stunning scenery, and visit islands brimming with life. Leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind as you traverse the well-worn paths of the mountain mystics, and enjoy a boat ride down Takachiho Gorge.
Explore the ancient capitals of Japan by foot on this walking tour along the country's oldest known road. Visit Tanzan Shrine, one of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples, and wander the streets of Nara's Edo-period merchant district. Walk through forests dotted with statues of the Buddha, and deepen your understanding of Japanese culture with an overnight stay in a ryokan (traditional inn) or minshuku (family-run guesthouse)—or, spend a night or two getting to know a local family with a Japanese homestay.
Get off the beaten path and enjoy the exceptional beauty of Lake Biwa on this 7-day tour starting in Moriyama. Covering relatively short distances each day on an e-bike, you'll see Japan's landscapes and culture from a unique perspective. Visit historic villages such as Omi-Hachiman, Sugaura, and Harie, where you can sample local cuisine, learn about regional culture, and enjoy forest and beach scenery. Stop at shrines, take a cable car to the top of Mt. Shizugatake, and enjoy a boat ride to the spiritual Chikubujima Island, all while sleeping at traditional guesthouses with onsen, or hot spring baths.
This 6-day winter tour starts in the buzzy city of Matsumoto and continues into the scenic Japanese Alps for adventures like snowshoeing tours, cable-car rides, and peaceful walks through snow corridors. Stay in traditional alpine villages like Nagano and Oku-Hida where you'll sleep at onsen ryokan inns with relaxing hot springs. End your trip by preparing and eating traditional Japanese cuisine with locals before enjoying a little retail therapy in the city of Takayama.
Explore the breathtaking natural scenery of the Noto Peninsula in this 7-day cycling tour, starting in the bustling cities of Kyoto and Kanazawa. Cycle along coastal routes with stunning vistas overlooking the seaside, sandy beaches, and rice fields as you make your way to the charming villages of Togi, Wajima, and Suzushi where you'll stay in traditional, family-run guesthouses. Finish your trip on Notojima Island and in the town of Ogi, stopping at Sojiji Temple and a traditional hot-spring onsen before returning to Kyoto.
Explore the breathtaking natural scenery of the Noto Peninsula in this 6-day tour, starting in the bustling cities of Kyoto and Kanazawa. Cycle along coastal routes with stunning vistas overlooking the seaside, sandy beaches, and rice fields as you make your way to the charming villages of Togi, Wajima, and Suzushi where you'll stay in traditional, family-run guesthouses. Finish your trip on Notojima Island and in the town of Ogi, stopping at Sojiji Temple and a traditional hot-spring onsen before returning to Kyoto.
Discover the pristine natural landscape of Hokkaido on this 7-day winter itinerary. Japan’s second-largest main island is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers, with snow-capped mountain ranges, serene forests, and deep crater lakes. Starting in Kushiro on the east coast, you’ll travel north, heading into the winter wilderness of Akan-Mashu National Park. Visit UNESCO World Heritage nature reserves, experience spectacular snow-covered landscapes, and spot rare wildlife unique to Hokkaido before ending your adventure on the magnificent Shiretoko Peninsula.
Explore mountain villages, snowcapped peaks, and Onsen hot springs on this 6-day winter journey into the heart of Japan’s Northern Alps. Start in the feudal castle town of Matsumoto, venture into the Oku-Hida Mountains to find biodiverse highlands and secluded Ryokan inns, and end your stay in Hida-Furukawa and Takayama for an unforgettable winter experience.
This active 9-day itinerary takes you on a memorable journey through central Japan's history and culture, from ultra-modern Tokyo to the historic imperial capital of Kyoto. In between, you'll visit the famous gardens of Kanazawa, cycle through traditional thatched villages of the Hida region, walk portions of the ancient Nakasendo Trail, and explore the preserved post towns of the Kiso Valley.
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.
This two-week itinerary takes you on a whirlwind tour through Japan's greatest highlights. Walk the streets of hyper-modern Tokyo and Osaka, hike to a sacred Buddhist monastery at Koyasan, soak in hot springs under Mount Fiji, and step back in time in historic Kyoto. From ancient temples to futuristic art shows, vibrant cities to secluded mountaintops, you'll experience a little bit of everything on this adventurous journey.
October is, arguably, the best month to travel to Japan (although this will depend on what you want to experience!). Temperatures in most places are still warm, but the intense humidity and increased rainfall of summer has subsided. Autumn leaves begin appearing at higher elevations and more northern latitudes. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in October.
September in Japan tends to be a month of two faces: earlier in the month, temperatures remain high and a second rainy season hits, bringing typhoons to some parts of the country. Later in the month, conditions are better for getting out and about, with warm but not overly hot temperatures, and clear skies. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in September.
August is the hottest month of the year in Japan, and conditions are generally quite uncomfortable, with high humidity and hot nights. But, there are exceptions to this, and having a great time in Japan in mid-summer depends on knowing the best places to go, and the right experiences to enjoy. Here's what you need to know about traveling to Japan in August.
July is mid-summer in Japan, and while temperatures aren't quite so high as in August, they are pretty hot. Add intense humidity to the mix, and conditions can be quite uncomfortable. But, conditions aren't the same across the whole country: Hokkaido is much more temperate, and the beaches of Okinawa are a good retreat at this time of year. If you find yourself in Japan's major cities in July, you can also enjoy many traditional summer festivals. Here's how to have a good time in Japan in July.
June is the start of summer in Japan, and also the rainy season. Temperatures and humidity are high in many parts of the country, but June tends to be more comfortable than late summer. If you want to experience a Japanese summer, June is a better option than July and August, and if you know where to go, you can have an enjoyable and comfortable time in Japan in June.
May is a great time to travel to Japan, as the temperatures are generally warm but not as stifling and humid as they'll become in the summer. The extremely busy Golden Week holiday earlier in the month should be avoided, but if you're coming later in the month you'll find many places busy but not uncomfortably crowded. Here's what you need to know about traveling to Japan in May.
The arrival of spring brings warmer temperatures throughout the country, as well as more visitors. Aside from the increased crowds, April is a great time to visit Japan as it avoids the cold winter and the wet, humid summer. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in April.
March is on the cusp of winter and spring in Japan, with different parts of the country leaning more towards one than the other. The country's famous cherry blossom parties begin in more southern locations later in the month, when the sakura bloom. Northern parts of the country are still quite wintry, and you can still ski. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in March.
February is mid-winter in Japan, and along with January, is the coldest moth. But, winter varies enormously throughout the country, with warm temperatures in the islands of Okinawa in the south, very cold temperatures and heavy snow on the western side of Honshu and Hokkaido, and moderately cold temperatures elsewhere. But, there are relatively few tourists at this time of year, and the spectacular Sapporo Snow Festival is one reason (among many) to visit Japan in February.
December is the start of winter across Japan, but what that means in reality varies from north to south and east to west. In the northern island of Hokkaido, expect temperatures below freezing and snow. In southern parts of Kyushu, earlier in the month, you may still see autumnal colors. Here are a few important things to know about visiting Japan in December.
By November, Japan has well and truly entered autumn mode. Towards the end of the month, the leaves on the trees turn red and gold in central and southern parts of the country, and leaf-viewing parties are second only to flower-viewing parties to the Japanese. Temperatures are mild in many places, and rainfall low, so November is a great time to travel to Japan.
January is mid-winter in Japan, but because it's such a long country with many climatic zones, mid-winter can mean everything from deep snow and sub-zero temperatures to pleasantly warm and sunny. It's not peak tourism season, but there are still many things you can enjoy, both indoors and outdoors. Here's what you need to know about traveling to Japan in January.