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2 Week Japan Itinerary Perfect For Your First Trip to Japan!

by TheWanderingQuinn

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How much of Japan can you see with 2 weeks in Japan? Actually, quite a lot if you follow this 2 week Japan itinerary!

It is so easy to get around Japan that you can visit many of the best places to visit in Japan with two weeks in Japan!

I guess you’re reading this because it is your first trip to Japan! Based on my 2.5 weeks travelling around Japan, I have condensed the best of my trip and the things I learned into this 2 week Japan Itinerary and Japan travel guide so you can see as much of Japan as possible during just 2 weeks annual leave.

This Japan itinerary is perfect for people visiting Japan for the first time because it includes all of the iconic and popular places in Japan that you need to visit and see on your first trip to Japan.

2 Week Japan Itinerary

2 week Japan itinerary

Keep Reading for the perfect 2 Week Japan Itinerary!

In order to see the most places in Japan you can on a 2 week Japan itinerary, I think that it is best to fly into one airport and out of a different airport so you don’t have to go back on yourself and waste time.

Therefore, this Japan itinerary for 2 weeks is based on arriving in Osaka and ending in Tokyo. With that said, you can adapt it to fit a 2 week Tokyo to Tokyo itinerary too by reversing it and on your last day travelling from Osaka to Tokyo to fly out!


Day 1 – Arrive in Osaka

How To Get from Kansai Airport to Osaka

Buy a train ticket in Kansai Airport Station for the train that goes to Namba Train Station which is in the Centre of Osaka.

I got the 1000Yen ticket which covered my train from Kansai Airport to Namba plus one subway ride which took me to my accommodation.

Where To Stay in Osaka

The Best Area of Osaka to stay in is Central Osaka I think. Accommodation near Namba Station is perfect for your 2 week Japan itinerary as Namba is very central making it easy to get around Osaka as well as leave Osaka, and it’s next to the neighbourhood of Dotonbori which has a lot going on for tourists.

There are lots of hostels in Osaka close to Namba Station, have a search on Hostelworld here.

Or, search for Hotels & Hostels in Osaka on Booking.com here.

I use Booking.com and Hostelworld for all of my bookings and I did whilst I was in Japan so I am recommending these two sites to you in this post.


Day 2  – Explore Osaka

Things To Do in Osaka

  • Osaka Castle and Castle Grounds
  • Abeno Harukas Observation Deck (Free View of Osaka)
  • Walk around the cool and unique areas of Shinsekai and Dotonbori.
  • Dotonbori Ferris Wheel

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in osaka.

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in osaka.


Day 3 – Train to Hiroshima & Explore Hiroshima

How To Get to Hiroshima from Osaka

A Bullet Train / Shinkansen Train leaves from Shin Osaka Station to Hiroshima Station regularly throughout the day taking just 2 hours. This Train is included in your JR Pass if you have one (and I recommend you do, here’s my full blog on the JR Pass to help you decide.)

Hiroshima is such an interesting place in Japan and although it may seem out of the way on the map, it is quick to get to and a must-visit on your 2 week Japan itinerary!

Buy your JR Pass here now while you think about it:

Things To Do in Hiroshima

  • Peace Memorial Park
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
  • Hiroshima Orizuru Tower (View of Hiroshima)
  • Hiroshima Castle
  • Eat Okonomi Yaki (it was created in Hiroshima!)

Where to Stay in Hiroshima

I stayed at Kawate Ya Hostel in Hiroshima which I enjoyed, it’s in a great location just a few stops on the tram from Hiroshima Station. The dorm rooms are big but it’s well designed and because the rooms are so big it’s a budget-friendly place to stay in Hiroshima for backpackers.

If you want a Hotel in Hiroshima, look for one close to the Peace Park and you’ll be in a good central location.

Search for all accommodation in Hiroshima on Booking.com here.

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in hiroshima



Day 4 – Day Trip to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima

Miyajima island is definitely one of the best places to visit in Japan but you only need a day there so a day trip from Hiroshima on your 2 week Japan itinerary is best. It’s full of temples, deer, street food and the iconic floating Tori gate!

How to get to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima

If you have a JR Pass, from Hiroshima Station take JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station which leaves regularly and takes about 30 minutes, you don’t need to buy a ticket, just show the inspectors your JR pass at the gate. Then head towards the Ferry Port and get on the JR Ferry, again no need to buy a ticket, just show your pass.

Alternative ways to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima which are not included in the JR Pass, are to get a boat from the Peace Park in the Centre of Hiroshima or take Tram / Streetcar 2 to Miyajimaguchi.

Things To Do in Miyajima Island:

  • See the Great Torii Gate
  • Itsukushima Shrine
  • Hike or Get the Cable Car to Mount Misen
  • Five-Story Pagoda
  • Daishoin Temple
  • Taste all of the local Street Food

Make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip to Japan by reading this great post on Essential Travel Tips for Japan.

2 week japan itinerary, things to do on miyajima island

2 week japan itinerary, things to do on miyajima island


Day 5 – Train to Kobe via Himeji Castle

How to get from Hiroshima to Himeji Castle

Book or get on a train from Hiroshima Station to Himeji Station.

Visiting Himeji Castle is a popular thing to do on the way to or from Hiroshima seen as it’s on the route there and there is nothing else (touristy) to do in this area. For more details on how to visit Himeji Castle on a stopover on the train including what to do with your luggage, have a read of this post I wrote with all the details.

Related Post: Himeji Castle Day Trip via Hiroshima 

Things To Do in Himeji

  • Himeji Castle
  • Koko-en Gardens
  • Tea Ceremony in Koko-en Gardens Cafe

How to get from Himeji to Kobe

Get on the next train to Kobe after seeing the Castle.

Where To Stay in Kobe

I stayed in Maya Guesthouse in Kobe which I really liked. It has private rooms and dorm rooms and a very personal feel to it. It’s in the neighbourhood of Nada just outside of Central Kobe and it was so nice being able to experience a quiet Japanese neighbourhood on my 2 week Japan itinerary that I wouldn’t have seen if it wasn’t for this hostel.

For more Hotels and Hostel in Kobe have a look on Booking.com here. Keep in mind that there is not a huge amount of accommodation in Kobe so I recommend booking in advance.

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in himeji Castle


Day 6 – Explore Kobe

Kobe is a great city to visit in Japan as it’s not visited by as many tourists yet but it offers so much as the City is sandwiched between the Ocean and Mountains which means you can see all 3 sides in just one day in Kobe.

Things To Do in Kobe

  • Eat Street Food in Chinatown
  • Go down to Kobe Harbour
  • Go on a Sunset Cruise
  • See Views of Kobe and the Kansai Region from Mount Maya

Related Post: My Complete Guide to Kobe & Why You Should Visit!

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in Kobe

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in Kobe


Day 7 – Explore Kobe & Train To Kyoto

Finish off exploring Kobe doing more of the things to do in Kobe during the morning before going to Kyoto.

How to get from Kobe to Kyoto

Get the Shinkansen Train from Shin Kobe to Kyoto Station, or get a local JR line train from one of Kobe’s many JR Stations to Kyoto Station.

Where To Stay in Kyoto

Accommodation in Kyoto will probably be your most expensive accommodation on this trip as Kyoto is a very popular place to visit. Kyoto’s attractions are all very spread out too so there’s not one central area that is best to stay in.

Search for Hotels and Hostels in Kyoto on Booking.com here.

If you cannot find accommodation to suit your budget in Kyoto you could choose to stay in Osaka and do a day trip to Kyoto instead which is what I did on my 2 week Japan itinerary.

Related Post: How to do a Day Trip from Osaka to Kyoto!

Related Post: If you want to spend longer in Kyoto here’s a full Kyoto Travel Guide.

2 week japan itinerary, shinkansen train


Day 8 – Explore Kyoto

Things To Do in Kyoto

  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Geisha Spot in Gion
  • Kyoto Park
  • Walk along the Canal’s & River’s
  • Golden Temple
  • Kyoto Castle and Palace

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in kyoto

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in kyoto


Day 9 – Day Trip to Nara from Kyoto

From Kyoto or Osaka if you decide to stay in Osaka, head to Nara for the day or for a few hours which is one of the most popular day trips to do in Japan and a must-visit on your 2 week Japan itinerary!

Things To Do in Nara

  • Walk around Nara Park
  • Feed the Deer
  • Visit the Temples in Nara Park

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in nara

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in nara deer


Day 10 – Train from Kyoto to Hakone

How To Get From Kyoto to Hakone

There is not a direct route from Kyoto to Hakone but you can get there by getting on 2 or 3 trains. I suggest using HyperDia to check train times in advance.

Where To Stay in Hakone

Accommodation is quite spread out in this area but it is well connected by train. The main train station is Odawara, so this is a good area to stay, or you can stay in Hakone town.

For Hostels and Hotels in Hakone have a look on Booking.com here.


Day 11 – Day Trip to See Mt Fuji from Hakone

The reason for going to Hakone is because it’s a great place to see Mount Fuji from. You can do a day trip from Tokyo to Hakone but it does involve quite a journey to get there and if the weather isn’t good you have today and tomorrow as chances for a clear day to see Mount Fuji on your 2 week Japan itinerary so it is better to stay overnight!

There is a Hakone Freepass which gives you access to all sorts of transport in this area including a boat, ropeway, cable car and the trains so you can do the full Hakone loop and this pass is valid for 2 days.


Day 12 – Train from Hakone to Tokyo

How to get from Hakone to Tokyo

There are several trains which can take you from the Hakone area to Tokyo. Be sure to look into where you are staying in Tokyo so you go to the right area of Tokyo. Many trains from Odawara go to Shinjuku but if you are not staying near in West Tokyo you may want to go to Tokyo Station in the Centre of Tokyo.

Where To Stay in Tokyo

I stayed at Grids Hostel Nihombashi East which I recommend. The dorm rooms are big but it’s very well set up.

There are so many hostels and hotels in Tokyo. Many of them are in East Tokyo however if you can, I suggest staying in West Tokyo as you’ll be closer to more of the area’s you’ll probably spend a lot of your time in like Shibuya and Shinjuku at the end of your 2 week Japan itinerary.

Search for Hotels and Hostels in Tokyo on Booking.com here.


Day 13 – Explore Tokyo

Things To Do in Tokyo

  • Explore the cool area’s of Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku
  • Eat Cool food in Harajuku
  • Play in the Arcades in Shinjuku
  • Electric Town
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a Free Observation Deck
  • Senso-ji Temple
  • Walk around the many Parks in the City

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in tokyo

2 week japan itinerary, things to do in tokyo


Day 14 – Leave Japan from Tokyo


This is the perfect 2 week Japan itinerary for those visiting Japan for the first time as you’ll visit all of the most popular places and you can see a lot in this time too because of how good the trains are.


To SEE Japan and follow my route around Japan, have a look at my YouTube videos here.



Remember you’ll need a 14 Day JR Pass and you need to get it in advance, you can purchase it here!

 

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2 comments

Emmalene May 21, 2019 - 6:55 pm

We’re just starting to plan our Spring 2020 trip so this is SO useful! Loving all your Japan content and vlogs ?

Reply
TheWanderingQuinn May 22, 2019 - 12:54 am

Yay that’s so good to hear!! If you have any other questions just let me know!! 🙂

Reply

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