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2 Weeks in Japan: Top 4 Itinerary Options

2 Weeks in Japan: Top 4 Itinerary Options

By Vicky LengUpdated Aug. 23, 2023

Although Japan is a small country, it has lots of high-quality attractions and cultural experiences, such as visiting the spectacular Mount Fuji, making sushi, seeing geishas in kimonos, staying at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), relaxing in onsens (hot springs)... It's an extremely ideal place for a bucket list trip, annual getaway, romantic celebration, children's birthday, or graduation gift.

To enjoy the main highlights in Tokyo and Kyoto, 7–10 days are enough. However, a trip of 2 weeks offers you a more relaxed travel pace and a deeper insight into this wonderful country.

Option 1: 2-Week Japan Itinerary for Families with Teenagers, Especially Anime Lovers

Tokyo Disneyland Tokyo Disneyland

Japan is one of the most popular destinations for teenagers — a "youth culture paradise", with many children making a trip to Japan as a birthday gift or graduation present.

For a first family visit to Japan, experiencing anime culture, high-tech, and theme parks in Tokyo, soaking in the onsens and eating a kaiseki feast in a ryokan in Kyoto, and tasting mouth-watering Japanese food in Osaka cannot be missed. Besides these, zooming through the incredible Japanese Alps to explore a traditional Hida folk village in Takayama and learning the value of peace in Hiroshima are both popular for an insightful family trip in Japan.

All the cities in the following itinerary are conveniently connected by Shinkansen bullet trains.

Here is the suggested itinerary:

Japan travel guide
  • Days 1–3 Tokyo (samurai, sushi-making, anime center, and Disneyland)
  • Days 4–5 Takayama (well-preserved townhouses, sake and Hida beef)
  • Days 5–6 Hiroshima (Peace Memorial City)
  • Days 7–8 Osaka (Universal Studios and Cup Noodle Museum)
  • Days 9–13 Kyoto (geisha, ryokans, try on kimonos and feed deer in Nara)

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Days 1–3: Tokyo

You can make sushi at a local home with your family It's fun to make sushi with your family at a local home

International flights to Tokyo offer the most options, so it is the top city for entry to Japan. As the capital of Japan, Tokyo also has many interesting things to do.

Take a day to explore Tokyo's highlights, including visiting Meiji Shrine (in summer most weekends, it's fireworks are awesome), sampling freshly-prepared sashimi at Tsukiji Market, and making sushi at a local home. For anime lovers, buy your favorite manga products in the anime hub of Akihabara and search for the rarest limited edition Pikachu cards in the Pokemon Center.

Suggested day trips from Tokyo:

  • One day to Hakone to soak in onsens (hot springs). >>>The Top 6 Day Trips from Tokyo
  • Spending a day in Tokyo Disneyland is a good choice as well.
  • In winter (December to February) you can see monkeys soak in hot springs in Nagano, which is not far from Tokyo, or you can go skiing there too. >>> How to Plan a Family Ski Holiday

Contact us for more suggestions based on your interests.

Days 4–5 Takayama

townhouses of Takayama Townhouses of Takayama

Discover Japan's picturesque countryside away from the tourist crowds. Wander around the well-preserved townhouses of Takayama, stay at a ryokan (inn) with onsens (hot springs), and sample delicious Hida beef.

You could get more ideas about How to Plan a First-Time Family Trip to Japan>>>

Days 5–6 Hiroshima

Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima, notoriously, was the first of two Japanese cities bombed with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Visit Peace Memorial Park and cherish the post-war peace.

Days 7–8 Osaka

Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios

Dotonbori is the best place to sample authentic Japanese food like takoyaki (octopus balls). Nihonbashi is the Osaka anime gathering place, or you could spend a day at Universal Studios and Super Nintendo World for some fun family time.

Get your family to the heart of Japan's beauty:

Days 9–13: Kyoto

try on kimonos Try on kimonos

Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan, and shrines, geishas, and ryokans are some of the best parts of this incredible city.

  • Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nijo Castle to have a deeper understanding of Japan's history.
  • See geishas in kimonos and their performances in Gion District.
  • Try on a kimono for a family photo and stay at a ryokan with onsens to feel like you are in medieval Japan.

Day Trips from Kyoto:

  • Spend a day in Nara. Feeding friendly and cute deer in Nara Park could be a great family moment.
  • Uji is famous for its tea. Learn how to knead and bake tea in a tea house, and finally you could drink a cup of steaming tea made through your own efforts.

You enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to Asia Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒).

Click here to plan your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

Option 2: 2-Week Japan Classic Itinerary for Couples

enjoy picturesque views Enjoy picturesque views

For couples who want to discover rural life alongside the essence of Japan, this itinerary would be nice for those of you enjoying your golden age (though any couple looking for a relaxed pace Japan sojourn could make it their own). It allows you to travel at a slow pace without changing hotels a lot.

Here is the itinerary outline with more detail following:

Japan tour map
  • Days 1–4 Tokyo (Asakusa, Tsukiji Market, Samurai Museum and sushi-making)
  • Days 5–7 Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa (well-preseerved townhouses, gassho-zukuri farmhouses and sake)
  • Days 8–11 Kyoto (geisha, ryokan, shrines, feed deer in Nara and Arashiyama)
  • Days 12–13 Osaka (Osaka Castle and Dotonbori)
Recommended Itinerary

Days 1-4 Tokyo

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo

Tokyo is an energetic city, which combines history and modernity perfectly.

  • Feel the old vibe of the Edo period (1603–1867) in Asakusa District, go to Sensoji Temple to pray for luck, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and a steaming tea in Hamarikyu Garden.
  • Taste delicious food in Tsukiji Market: a world-famous fish market where you can taste freshly-prepared sashimi and watch tuna auctions if you get there early enough.
  • Experience the incredible collection of armor, swords, and items belonging to samurai warriors throughout the ages in Samurai Museum, and try on their armor for a samurai photo.
  • Shop around Ginza, Shibuya, and Omotesando, taking in its attractive modern feel, while browsing its high-tech and fashion.

Days 5-7 Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa

Wintry lighting in Shirakawa-go Wintry lighting in Shirakawa-go

These three small towns have picturesque countryside views and are away from the tourist crowds.

  • Takayama: Visit well-preserved townhouses from the Edo period, stay at a ryokan with an onsen, and taste delicious Hida beef.
  • Shirakawa-go: View traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. If you go in January or February, you can see their beautiful wintry lighting.
  • Kanazawa: Visit historic Kanazawa Castle, purchase gold-leaf products, and sample Japanese sake at a brewery.

Days 8-11 Kyoto

Kinkaku Temple Kinkaku Temple

Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan. To experience Japanese history and culture in depth, the top ways are to visit shrines, watch the geishas, and stay at authentic ryokans.

1) Fascinating Shrines

Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most famous shrine and a landmark of Kyoto. Kiyomizu Temple and Kinkaku Temple are great places to appreciate the ancient Kyoto atmosphere.

2) A Uniquely Japanese Experience

See geishas in kimonos and watch them perform in Gion District, stay at a ryokan where you can enjoy a high-class kaiseki repast, and sample sake at a local brewery.

Days 12-13 Osaka

Dotonbori at night Dotonbori at night

Osaka is the second largest city in Japan, but spending 1 or 2 days there is enough to explore the lively downtown of Namba, sample authentic street food like takoyaki (octopus balls) at Dotonbori, and visit the outstanding Osaka Castle.

The above represents popular choice of attractions, but you can simply tell us your preferences and requirements, and we will customize a tour for you.

Check the best times for your romantic trip to Japan: for the most comfortable weather, for the lowest crowds...

Recommended Itinerary

Option 3: 2-Week Japan Itinerary for Cherry Blossom Beauty in Spring

Locals in kimonos standing under cherry trees Locals in kimonos standing under cherry trees

Cherry blossom in spring (March to May) is one of the most attractive and well-known sights in Japan. A lot of travelers from Japan and abroad come specifically during this time to enjoy the blossoming pink trees.

Our itinerary allows you to capture the best pictures of spring cherry blossoms in the best places in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka and experience Japan during its peak travel season.

We recommend you make reservations at least 6 months in advance as the top ryokans and guides are easily get fully booked well in advance.

Here is the suggested itinerary:

Japan tour route map
  • Days 1–4 Tokyo (Meiji Shrine, Asakusa, sushi-making, Japanese garden and Chidorigafuchi)
  • Days 5–8 Kyoto (geisha, tea ceremony, sake, Philosopher's Path and feed deer in Nara)
  • Days 9–10 Osaka (Osaka Castle and Cup Noodle Museum)

Suggested reading: How to Plan a Japan Cherry Blossom Trip

Start your amazing nature trip in Tokyo, the prosperous capital of Japan. During these 4 days, you can take a boat ride on the Chidorigafuchi to enjoy the cherry blossoms, visit some famous sightseeing spots, and participate in some interesting hands-on activities like sushi making or ninja crafts. You may also take a day trip out of Tokyo to soak in the onsen at Hakone.

For the next four days, head to culturally-rich Kyoto. Meander around Philosopher's Path to appreciate the cherry blossoms, see geishas in kimonos in the Gion district, and stay at a traditional ryokan for a night. Don't forget to visit Nara to see the cute deer and feed them.

Finish your trip in the flourishing trade city of Osaka by visiting the outstanding Osaka Castle and trying street food at Dotonbori.

Simply contact us to make any adjustments. Make this itinerary your own with Asia Highlights!

Cherry Blossom Tour to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka at US$3,699 Per Person

Option 4: 2-Week Japan Summer Family Vacation: Hands-on Experiences and Outdoor Activities

Our clients are having a good time with us Our clients are having a good time with us
  • Tokyo – Kamakura – Kawaguchiko – Karuizawa – Nagoya – Kyoto – Osaka

To take a good break from work and school, you and your children could spend a wonderful summer trip with the following experiences: immerse yourself in a ninja experience in Tokyo, take a light hike close to nature in Karuizawa, and have fun in lovely Ghibli Park or full-of-technology Nagoya City Science Museum in Nagoya, have a geisha dinner and feed deer in Kyoto, and make cup noodles in Cup Noodle Museum and enjoy the Osaka Aquarium in Osaka.

Here is the itinerary for your inspiration:

  • Days 1–4: Tokyo (sushi-making, ninja experience, MORI Building Digital Art Museum)
  • Day 5: Kamakura (giant bronze Buddha and Hasedera Temple)
  • Day 6: Lake Kawaguchi (Mount Fuji)
  • Days 7–8 Karuizawa (national park and light hiking)
  • Days 9–11: Nagoya (Ghibli Park, Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and SCMAGLEV and Railway Park)
  • Days 12–14: Kyoto (geisha, Gion District, Kinkakuji Temple, Nishiki Market, Arashiyama, and feed deer in Nara)
  • Days 15–17: Osaka (Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Cup Noodle Museum, and Osaka Museum of Housing and Living)

Suggested reading: 3-Week Japan Itineraries: The 2 Smart Options>>>

Check out the summer bestseller for Japan

How Much Does 2 Weeks in Japan Cost?

How Much Does a Trip to Japan Cost

Although Japan is more expensive than other Asian countries, it is one of the cheapest destinations in the developed world. It offers high-quality accommodation, restaurants, attractions, and services at good value for money.

The cost of a 2-week trip varies based on different standards and needs. Here, we provide some for-reference prices based on a private tour.

For a medium budget, it will cost around 350-400 USD per day per person. This includes 4-star hotels, tickets for attractions, private car, and private guides. Thus, the total cost is around 4,900–5,600 USD for 2 weeks.

For a higher budget of around 500 USD per day per person, you could have a more comfortable and efficient tour. This includes 5-star hotels, tickets for attractions, private transportation, and private guides. The total cost is around 7,000 USD for 2 weeks.

Suggested reading: How Much Is a Trip to Japan

Further Reading

Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

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