Travel. It leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Buttuta.

Why spend 2 weeks in Japan?

If you’ve read my article explaining the reasons why you need to visit Japan, you may have been inspired to make it happen! For first-timers, 2 weeks in Japan is the perfect introduction to this beautiful country’s unique history, culture and stunning landscapes. Here’s some highlights of what you can expect to experience during your visit:

2 Weeks in Japan: A Complete Itinerary for First-Timers | The Invisible Tourist
HIGHLIGHTS ~ 1: Be stunned by vibrant signs and buildings in Electric Town, Tokyo ~ 2: Reflect on consequences of war at the Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima ~ 3: Wander the tranquil Bamboo Groves, Kyoto ~ 4: Make friends with sacred deer, Nara ~ 5: Explore beautiful Osaka Castle & Museum, Osaka ~ 6: Visit Japan’s largest Torii Gate at Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima ~ 7: Enjoy the world’s best wagyu beef, everywhere! ~ 8: Explore the peaceful mountainside at Fushimi Inari, Kyoto.

But what’s the next step? If you’re planning a trip to Japan you may be overwhelmed on where to start and wondering how you’ll get around (isn’t there a language barrier?!) so I’ll reveal the tips and tricks I used for my own Japan itinerary. Below you’ll find ideas for day trips, my hotel recommendations and what you could expect to see in a day at each destination. Hopefully it will inspire you for your own trip and get your itinerary planning off to a good start!

This is a lengthy post so grab yourself a cuppa and get comfortable ☕️

How should I best spend 2 weeks in Japan on a mid-range budget?

For any trip, staying in a centrally located hotel is of utmost importance if you want to maximise your travel experience. In Japan it means you’ll spend less time getting around and more time exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites (7 in this itinerary), wandering the vibrant streets and enjoying the culinary delights that make Japan world-famous. The hotels I’ve recommended below are mid-range, in the heart of the city centres and only a few moments walk to Metro stations.

Also, make use of Shinkansen – Japanese Bullet Trains. They are the most efficient way to get around Japan. I’ll discuss these in more detail at the conclusion of this itinerary.

Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto, Japan
Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion). My favourite gardens in all of Kyoto!

Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Japan Itinerary Overview
Japan Two-Week Itinerary Overview

2 Weeks In Japan: A Complete Itinerary for First-Timers | The Invisible Tourist
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Fly to Tokyo overnight and get excited about where you’ll be waking up tomorrow!

Days 1-5: TokyoDays 1 – 5: TOKYO

Getting to Tokyo:

Narita Airport to Tokyo via Narita Express, approx. 1 hour.
Cost: Adult Narita Express Ticket JPY 3,020 ea

Where to stay in Tokyo?

I highly recommend staying at Dormy Inn Premium, Shibuya ドーミーイン PREMIUM 渋谷神宮前. Shibuya is the perfect location for getting around Tokyo and intercity! You can read my full review in my detailed 6 Days in Tokyo Itinerary. Need some more information on Tokyo hotels? Check out:

Where you can find alternative hotels in Shibuya.
Read more reviews and compare Tokyo hotel prices here.
How much does it cost to fly to Tokyo? Find out here!

Where to eat in Tokyo?

Han No Daidokoro, Kirin City, Crepes in Harajuku, Maid Café in Akihabara, Golden Gai in Shinjuku

Things to do in Tokyo:

  • Spend your first day discovering Shibuya 渋谷 by crossing “The Scramble” (world’s busiest street crossing – some 3,000 people use it at any one time). Wander through the quirky shops on Takeshita-dori, Harajuku 原宿.
  • Explore Shinjuku 新宿 Station (busiest station in the world) then escape to Shinjuku Gyoen for some tranquility in the busy city.
  • Discover Senso-ji Temple at Asakusa 浅草 then visit Akihabara 秋葉原 Electric Town for anime and electronics. Start your night off at the amazing Robot Restaurant ロボットレストラン (read my experience here!)
  • Take the trip up Tokyo Skytree 東京スカイツリー then spend the afternoon strolling Tokyo Imperial Palace 皇居 gardens.
  • Wander the streets in Ginza 銀座 and admire the designer shops and funky architecture.
  • NOTE: For my in-depth 6 day Tokyo itinerary with more information than above, you can find it here!

🔵🔵 RELATED: The Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms

Tokyo Highlights
TOKYO HIGHLIGHTS: 1 & 2: Senso-ji Temple ~ 3: Shinjuku Gyoen ~ 4: Shinjuku ~ 5: View from Tokyo Skytree ~ 6: Shibuya Crossing ~ 7: Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens ~ 8: Robot Restaurant


The easiest way to see all the sights is to do the Hakone Round Course with the Hakone Free Pass (Cost: Adult JPY 5,140 ea). It includes a combination of train, cable car, ropeway, boat and bus to see lakes, hot springs, active volcanos, art galleries and gardens. Highlights are the Picasso Museum, Open Air Museum and Mount Fuji (if she decides to peep out from behind the clouds!) More info here.
Getting there: Tokyo Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto stations via Odakyu Express, approx 1h25.
Cost: Adult JPY 2,080 ea.
TIP: Sit on the right side of the Odakyu Express from Tokyo to get the best view of Mount Fuji as you speed past.

Hakone Day Trip Highlights
HAKONE HIGHLIGHTS: 1: Lake Ashi ~ 2: Hakone Cable Car ~ 3: Sulphur mines ~ 4: Sailing Lake Ashi ~ 5: Cedarwood Forest ~ 6: Botanic Gardens ~ 7: Picasso Museum ~ 8: Open Air Museum

Days 6-10: KyotoDAYS 6 – 10: KYOTO

Getting to Kyoto:

2h20 from Tokyo Shinagawa station on Nozomi shinkansen
Cost: Adult Nozomi ticket JPY 13,910 ea

Where to stay in Kyoto?

Kyoto Hana Hotel, Gion 京都 花ホテル [公式]. This hotel was in a wonderful, central location. Perfect for exploring surrounding Gion by foot. For my full review, see my detailed 4 Days in Kyoto Itinerary. Need some more information on Kyoto accommodation? Check out:

Where you can find alternative hotels in Gion.
More reviews and compare Kyoto hotel prices here.

Where to eat in Kyoto?

Manzara-Tei on Pontocho and any restaurant in Gion ぎおん alleyways (Geisha district).

Things to do in Kyoto:

  • Explore downtown Kyoto 京都 and walk along the Sanjo Ohashi Bridge 三条大橋.
  • Start at Arashiyama 嵐山 Bamboo Grove  then walk to Gio-ji Temple & Moss Gardens 祇王寺, Adashino Nembutsu-ji 化野念仏寺, then finish the day at famous Kinkaku-ji Temple 金閣寺 (Golden Pavilion), a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Golden Pavilion is perhaps Kyoto’s biggest drawcard.
  • Maruyama Park 円山公園 in the morning, wander the backstreets of Gion ぎおん ensuring you stop by Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka streets on your way to Kiyomizu-Dera 清水寺 (UNESCO World Heritage site). Spend the afternoon at Fushimi Inari Shrine 伏見稲荷大社 (Thousand Torii Gate), a UNESCO World Heritage site you’re sure to recognise.
    TIP: This shrine literally sits on the side of a mountain. Be prepared for loads of walking because the sign at the start is NOT to scale! 
  • Begin the day at stunning Daigo-ji 醍醐寺 temple & gardens followed by Nanzen-ji 南禅寺 gardens. Nanzen-ji features a massive working aqueduct that dates back to the mid-19th century. Spend the afternoon strolling the Philosopher’s Path north to Ginkaku-ji 銀閣寺 (Silver Pavilion). The Silver Pavilion is said to be the little brother of Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) and in my opinion had the more exquisite gardens! After that big walk you may want to take a taxi back to your hotel (around 20mins, approx. 2,400 JPY from memory).
  • BONUS: Check out “Gear”, an incredible non-verbal performance exclusive to Kyoto. The characters really come to life and tell a story through music, magic tricks, various choreography routines and colourful lighting. It’s very enjoyable!
  • NOTE: For my in-depth Kyoto itinerary with more information than above, you can find it here!

🔵🔵 RELATED: 4 Days in Kyoto – A Complete Itinerary for First-Timers

Kyoto Highlights
KYOTO HIGHLIGHTS: 1: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove ~ 2: View from Sanjo Ohashi Bridge ~ 3: Daigo-ji Temple ~ 4: Kinkaku-ji Temple ~ 5: Fushimi Inari Shrine ~ 6: Backstreets of Gion ~ 7: Gio-ji Moss Gardens ~ 8: Kiyomizu-Dera

🔵🔵 RELATED: Kyoto Hidden Gems You Won’t Want To Miss

Days 10-12: HiroshimaDAYS 10 – 12: HIROSHIMA

Getting to Hiroshima:

1h40 from Kyoto on Nozomi shinkansen
Cost: Adult Nozomi ticket JPY 11,410 ea

Where to stay in Hiroshima?

Royal RIHGA Hotel, Hiroshima リーガロイヤルホテル広島宴会. This is a gorgeous hotel in the heart of the city, making it perfect for exploring all Hiroshima’s attractions on foot. You definitely get more bang-for-your-buck here compared to other city hotels throughout Japan, it’s a very beautiful hotel.

Not to mention the gorgeous view I was spoilt with overlooking Hiroshima Castle! 😍

TIP: If you happen to book a stay at the Royal RIHGA Hotel, request a corner room if possible as you’ll be treated to a 180° view over the city, which is quite breathtaking:

View from Rihga Royal Hotel, Hiroshima
View from m room in RIHGA Royal Hotel, Hiroshima

If you need more information for accommodation in Hiroshima, be sure to check:

Where you can find alternative hotels in Central Hiroshima.
More reviews and compare Hiroshima hotel prices here.

Where to eat in Hiroshima?

Restaurants along the Hondori. Try the local okinomiyaki (savoury pancake)!

Things to do in Hiroshima:

  • Eat, explore and shop on the Hondori. You’ll also find wonderful little souvenirs to remember your visit.
  • Reflect at the A-Bomb Dome 原爆ドーム (UNESCO World Heritage site), be amazed by thousands of paper cranes at the Children’s Peace Monument and find Jizoson. The atomic bomb struck Jizoson and left it with a nuclear shadow, incredible and eerie. You’ll also see the Peace Arch & Peace Flame on your way to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum 広島平和記念資料館. The Peace Flame will burn until the last nuclear weapon on Earth is destroyed.
Hiroshima Highlights
HIROSHIMA HIGHLIGHTS: 1: Hondori Arcade ~ 2 & 4: Children’s Peace Memorial ~ 3: View from Royal RIGHA Hotel ~ 5: Jizoson with its nuclear shadow ~ 6: Peace Memorial Museum ~ 7: Peace Arch & Atomic Bomb Dome ~ 8: A-Bomb Dome

OPTIONAL: Day trip from HIROSHIMA to MIYAJIMA (Itsukushima Shrine)

Itsukushima Shrine 厳島神社 is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The present shrine dates back to the mid-13th century and is one of Japan’s National Treasures.
Getting there: Ferry from Hiroshima Peace Park to Miyajima island, approx 45mins.
Cost:  Adult roundtrip JPY 3,600.
TIP: Check the tide information before your trip to find out whether the Grand Torii Gate will be in high or low tide during your visit. At high tide, it appears to float on the water and makes for stunning photos. In low tide, you can walk right beneath it and appreciate the bright vermillion colour up close.

Miyajima Day Trip Highlights
MIYAJIMA HIGHLIGHTS: 1: Miyajima Natural Botanic Garden ~ 2 & 6: Grand Torii Gate ~ 3: Coins left for good luck between barnacles on the Grand Torii Gate ~ 4: Sacred deer roaming freely on the island ~ 5: Pagoda ~ 7: Tōrō (stone lanterns) lining a walkway ~ 8: Itsukushima Shrine

Days 12-14: Osaka

DAYS 12 – 14: OSAKA

Getting to Osaka:

1h30 from Hiroshima on Nozomi shinkansen
Cost: Adult Nozomi ticket JPY 10,440 ea

Where to stay in Osaka?

Cross Hotel Osaka クロスホテル大阪. Just steps away from Dotonbori Arcade, restaurants and a few minutes walk to Namba station. As a business hotel it means there are many power points for charging devices which is handy.
TIP: Ask for a room facing Mido-suji (street entrance) side for a super quiet sleep! Need more information on Osaka accommodation? Check out:

Where you can find alternative hotels in Chuo Ward, Osaka.
More reviews and compare Osaka hotel prices here.

Where to eat in Osaka?

Showa Taishu Horumon Beef BBQ, try Osaka’s famous takoyaki (octopus balls)!

Things to do in Osaka:

  • See the famous Glico Man over the river from Dotonbori 道頓堀, keep an eye out out for artistic drain covers (pictured below), be amazed at all the shops and how meticulously the products are arranged.
  • Spend the day at Osaka Castle Museum 大阪城, check out the 360 degree view from the observation deck and wander the beautiful grounds.
Osaka Highlights
OSAKA HIGHLIGHTS: 1, 2 & 6: Dotonbori ~ 3: Glico Man and neon signs along Dotonbori River ~ 4: Osaka Castle Moat ~ 5: Osaka Castle & Museum ~ 7: View from Osaka Castle Observation Deck ~ 8: Artistic Street Drain Cover

OPTIONAL: Day trip from OSAKA to NARA

Nara 奈良 was Japan’s first permanent capital in 710 AD so it holds a great historical significance. The city was heavily influenced by Buddhism and many structures reflect this.
Getting there: Yamatoji train from JR Osaka station to JR Nara station, approx 45mins.
Cost: Adult one way JPY 800 ea.
MUST SEE: Todai-ji Temple 東大寺, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest wooden structure in the world. Be amazed by the giant bronze Buddha and see if you’re small enough to fit through the pillar with a hole the size of Buddha’s nostril for good luck! ~ Yoshikien Gardens are breathtaking ~ Nigatsu-do for views over Nara ~ Kasuga-Taisha Shrine 春日大社 for 3,000 stone lanterns ~ Kofuku-ji 興福寺, family temple of the Fujiwara clan.

Day Trip to Nara Highlights
NARA HIGHLIGHTS: 1 & 4: Yoshikien Gardens ~ 2: Tōdai-ji Temple, home of the bronze Buddha ~  3: Some of the 3,000 tōrō (stone lanterns) at Kasuga-Taisha Temple ~ 5: One of Buddha’s minders at Tōdai-ji ~ 6: Bronze Buddha ~ 7: Kōfuku-ji pagoda, first built in 730 AD (rebuilt 1426).

Day 14: OSAKA to TOKYO

Getting back to Tokyo from Osaka:

2h30 from Osaka on Nozomi shinkansen
Cost: Adult Nozomi ticket JPY 14,450 ea

Where to stay in Tokyo?

Different neighbourhood, this time Ginza 銀座 for 1 night. I can recommend the hotel (Mercure Hotel Ginza メルキュールホテル銀座東京) but be aware that this ritzy neighbourhood feels strikingly similar to most New York City neighbourhoods. You don’t really feel like you’re walking the streets of Japan.


Spend half day in Tokyo before heading to airport for your night flight home. Check out a new neighbourhood or revisit one of your favourites!
Getting there: Tokyo to Narita Airport via Narita Express, approx. 1 hour.
Cost: JPY 3,020

Day 16: Home

Arrive home on Sunday.

Bonus: Day 17

Head back to work on Monday wanting to do it all again!!

Things to keep in mind

Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT need to buy a JR Railpass before you visit Japan.

Flights to Tokyo:

If possible book a red-eye (overnight) flight. Most international flights will land at Tokyo Narita Airport. Get a good sleep and you’ll wake up the next morning in Japan saying “こんにちは” (konnichiwa) ready for a full day of action! Choosing night flights means maximising every waking moment having a blast exploring.

Do I need a JR Railpass? Here’s how to catch the Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) in Japan:

Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT need to buy a JR Railpass before you visit, especially if you’re travelling with a mid range budget. There are 3 types of Shinkansen in Japan. Here’s some fast facts:

  • Nozomi のぞみ Shinkansen reach speeds of 300km/h
  • Hikari ひかり Shinkansen reach speeds of 230km/h
  • Kodama こだま Shinkansen stop at all stations.
Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

The Nozomi Shinkansen are the fastest trains but are not covered by the pass. Additionally, Metro tickets in all cities are only a few hundred yen each way (USD 2.70) so I never bothered with the pass. Over the duration of this trip you can save 3 hours of time using Nozomi over Hikari trains and save 5 hours of time using Nozomi over Kodama trains. Personally, I prefer to pay as I go and not sacrifice exploration time trying to save a small amount of money.

With only 15 days (including all travel time), every hour counts.

TIP: You can buy shinkansen tickets a few days in advance. When buying from the ticket offices at train stations it’s useful to have pre-printed information in Japanese to give to the sales clerk. This is easy with a little help from Google Translate. If you know the time, add that in too. That way nothing will be lost in translation!

Shinkansen Ticket Info | The Invisible Tourist
Shinkansen Ticket Info Example

You can find the Japan Rail (JR) shinkansen timetables used for this itinerary here: Westbound from Tokyo and Eastbound from Hiroshima.

🔵🔵 RELATED: Learn Language for Travel Fast With These 6 Essential Resources

Concluding my two weeks in Japan itinerary

…we never felt rushed. Because we were prepared it allowed us to leisurely stroll between many attractions and enjoy taking our time uncovering the wonders that make this incredible country so unique.

The last day in Tokyo isn’t necessary from a sight-seeing perspective but personally I always like to ensure there is a buffer so I won’t miss my flight home. Although highly unlikely in Japan, it’s wise to factor in train delays in case something unforeseen (like an earthquake) were to happen. You don’t want to be stuck down in Hiroshima or Osaka with no way of getting to Tokyo for your flight that same night. Why stress? Planning this way allows you to spend extra time exploring Japan’s largest city. Go visit a new neighbourhood or revisit one of your favourites before you fly home!

Although it may look like my travel buddy and I crammed a lot into our 2 weeks in Japan, I can honestly say we never felt rushed. Because we were prepared it allowed us to leisurely stroll between many attractions and enjoy taking our time uncovering the wonders that make this incredible country so unique. Travelling The Invisible Tourist way is about being efficient and making the best use of your travel time.

What about the language barrier?

If you’re worried about the language barrier, don’t be. You’ll find hotel staff speak English and in Tokyo many people do, too. They may just be shy to speak to you in English as the Japanese are perfectionists but are very eager to help.

Kindly greet someone in Japanese first before using English if you can. The further south from Tokyo you venture however, English is less widely spoken and understood. Hand gestures go a long way! In terms of getting around there are signs in English and the Metro is very simple to navigate without knowing  Japanese.

If you’d like to know how I learnt Japanese for travelling, you can find out here in my blog post.

Japanese Metro Signs
Many Metro signs are in Japanese and English

In hindsight, what would you change?

I’d not bother with Ginza on my first few days in Tokyo. I should have spent that time doing a day trip to Nikko instead and explored Ginza in detail on my last day in Tokyo before my flight home. If you could predict clouds more accurately, I’d visit Hakone on a different day so I could have seen Mount Fuji. She was so evasive during my visit!

So there you have it! I’m a little biased, but I firmly believe visiting these cities in a loop as described here is the best itinerary for Japan. After much research I concluded this was the most efficient way to see all the main sights (and also wander off the beaten path) without being rushed or short on time.

What are you waiting for? Take the next step and get your Japan itinerary planning started by searching for hotels in Tokyo hereOr, why not compare the cost of flights here?

Are you thinking of heading to Japan? What are your thoughts on this itinerary or do you have any questions about it? I’d LOVE to hear if you use this itinerary on your visit! 🇯🇵 If you found this helpful please share it on Facebook or Pinterest and follow me on Instagram for more Japan inspiration!

Until next time,

The Invisible Tourist

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2 Weeks in Japan: A Complete itinerary for First-Timers | The Invisible Tourist

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Alyse has spent 9 years travelling "The Invisible Tourist Way" and hopes to encourage fellow travellers to do so, too. A professional language hoarder, she can usually be found burying herself in travel books and Wikipedia articles. Her dreams? Always about the next destination and how to make the most of the experience.


  1. Love your Japan recommendations! I’ll be in Japan in a few weeks myself and most of the locations are already on my list ^^ now I’m even more excited! I decided to take the Rail pass because I didn’t want to spend (= loose) time buying tickets for all the journeys every other day. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      Hi Pina, I’m jealous to hear you’re going so soon! Good on you. Whatever it takes to save precious travel time is worth it 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks so much for your comment. I hope you have a blast in Japan!

  2. I’ve wanted to go to Japan for such a long time, and your post has made me want to pack up and go immediately! The time and the budget just aren’t there for Japan right now, but I’m hoping that my family and I get there sooner rather than later. Gorgeous pictures! 🙂

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      I am so happy to hear I’ve inspired you, Natalie! If you want to go you will definitely find a way to make it happen someday. It will be one of the best trips you’ll ever do 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  3. Katie Hughes Reply

    This itinerary is a dream ^0^! It’s exactly everything I want to do when I travel there, but I would like to spend another day in Osaka.

    I’m interested to know how much spending money you took for the whole 2 weeks – and what type of accommodation did you stay in for all of the places? Hostel’s aren’t my thing so I’m expecting a pricey trip.

    Japan is my dream destination – and I want it to be perfect. Your itinerary is perfection!

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      I am so happy to hear that, Katie! Why not spend an extra day in Osaka, there is loads to see.

      For accommodation, I mentioned in the hotels I stayed in the first paragraph for each city (under Where to Stay?). Just like you hostels aren’t my thing either 😉 All hotels I chose are centrally located and within walking distance to Metro stations. The Tokyo hotel was around AUD 220 per night during my stay and the others were cheaper than that, within a mid-range budget. Hiroshima was the best value. In terms of spending money I found everything to be quite cheap compared to many European/North American destinations – you can grab delicious dinners at sit-down restaurants for under JPY 1000 and breakfasts from convenience stores for under JPY 800. Of course you can choose higher-end restaurants as well if you prefer. Temple entries are usually only a few hundred yen too.

      Japan is not as expensive as people think!

      If you have any other questions I am happy to help. Thanks for your lovely comment and I hope you have the best time in Japan 🙂

  4. A perfect itinerary for Japan. I have never been to Japan, but am fascinated by its mystic beauty. I am always intrigued by the way the future, past, and present seem to merge seamlessly in Japan. Technology and tradition go hand in hand, which is amazing.

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      You are spot on about future, past and present merging seamlessly in Japan! It’s one of the few places in the world that does that so brilliantly. You will have to visit someday, it’s truly an amazing destination. Thanks for your comment Sandy N Vyjay!

  5. Thank you for this awesome blog. I will definitely be referencing it to my plans for Japan.

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      I’m so glad to hear that, Julie! I hope you enjoy your trip to Japan as much as I did, it’s such an incredible destination 😊 Thanks for your comment and safe travels!

  6. Carah Campbell Reply

    I am heading to Japan in 5 weeks with my brother! We are doing 2 weeks in Japan and then a week in Thailand. I will be following your itinerary; it lines up perfectly with what we want to see!

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      How exciting for you, Carah! So glad to hear you’ll be using my itinerary 🙂 I hope you and your brother have a wonderful trip!

  7. Oh my goodness, thankyou for sharing your itinerary!
    I stumbled on your blog via one of your responses on Quora and am so glad I did. Your suggestions, maps, links and cost estimates, etc. are all amazingly helpful. Love the photos too!
    I’m planning a two-week-ish trip next year for my 30th birthday and was having trouble trying to figure out the best way to fit everything in.
    I’ve emailed myself the link so I can check it out properly later when I’m not at work, hehe.
    Thanks again! 🙂

    • The Invisible Tourist
      The Invisible Tourist Reply

      What a lovely compliment Alex, thank you so much! So happy to hear my itinerary has been helpful for you 🙂 I try to be as thorough as possible so you can get the most out of your trip! If you have any questions about anything here feel free to let me know. If not I hope you have an absolutely amazing time for your 30th birthday (I personally went for my birthday too, best birthday EVER!!) Thanks again for your comment 🙂

    • Hey Alyse! Thanks so much for this awesome itinerary! A fellow travel blogger shared your article with me as they know I’ve been thinking about booking a trip next year for the cherry blossom festival. Super helpful pricing and railway info! I’ve been trying to decide whether a JR pass was a necessity or not. Cheers!

      • Alyse, The Invisible Tourist
        Alyse, The Invisible Tourist Reply

        You’re very welcome Boxman and I’m so happy to hear you found this helpful 🙂 Even better my article came recommended to you by a fellow blogger – huge thanks from me, too! Yes the JR pass is interesting isn’t it. I think many people think it’s a necessity but I didn’t think it was, especially with the Nozomi shinkansen. I hope you have a blast in Japan and thanks alot for your comment!

  8. Thank you for this itenerary. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. We are interested in going to Japan for two weeks next May for the Wisteria Festival. How would you go about incorporating that into your itenerary? Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

    • Alyse, The Invisible Tourist
      Alyse, The Invisible Tourist Reply

      You’re welcome and I’m so glad you found it helpful, Victoria! How amazing the Wisteria Festival would be 😍 As Ashikaga Flower Park is about 1.5 hours from Tokyo by bullet train, you could visit as a day trip or even spend a night. With this itinerary I’d probably spend 3 or 4 days in Tokyo instead of 5 and use that time to visit the Flower Festival in Tochigi 😊 I hope you have a wonderful trip and thanks for your comment!

  9. Hai, love this post! And i love the pictures you have, it seems you travel with a perfect weather. When did you do the travel? Was it in spring?

    • Alyse
      Alyse Reply

      Thanks very much, Ayu! I travelled at the end of August/early September so it was late summer. The weather wasn’t all perfect though – it was quite hot but there was some heavy rain and fog during my visit. I’m definitely going back in Spring someday though. Are you planning on visiting?

  10. Hi! I will spend about 14 days in Japan this summer and I really like your itinerary. With regard to travelling by train, what kind of tickets did you end up buying (JR Railpasses, regional passes, single tickets) and what were the approximate costs? Thanks in advance! 😊

    • Alyse
      Alyse Reply

      That’s awesome to hear, Nina! I just purchased single tickets. Personally I didn’t bother with the JR Railpass because I wanted to use the Nozomi (fastest) Shinkansen to save time and Nozomi trains are not covered by the pass. I provided the costs for getting to each destination in this itinerary under each city (look for the headings “Getting to Tokyo/Kyoto/etc” and “Cost”) 🙂 If you need more tips on how I used the bullet trains in Japan, please see my “JR Railpass & Shinkansen” section toward the conclusion of the itinerary above 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful trip and thanks for your comment!

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