In this article I will write about our travel route in Japan. The route took 12 days along with the day of arrival and ran through the most significant cities and sights of the country. Suitable for a first visit to Japan.

Travel between cities is by train, we bought a JR Pass, about that travel ticket I wrote here . With this route, buying a ticket pays off almost 2 times. You can use the route in the form in which it will be presented, or adjust it depending on your interests. You can also use it to apply for a  Japanese visa .

route in japan

Japan Travel Route

Day 1. Arrival in Tokyo at about 10 in the morning with a Finnair flight from Helsinki ( how to buy tickets to Japan ). Passing passport control, buying a sim card, exchanging a JR Pass voucher took 2-2.5 hours, therefore, we were around 13.00 in the city. Lunch ( what to eat in Japan ), a walk around the Ginza area and checking into the Tosei Hotel Cocone Kanda.  In the evening – visit the Shibuya area.

 

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Day 2. Drive to Ashikaga Flower Park – Wisteria Park. When traveling to Japan in late April – early May (at the peak of flowering wisteria) I highly recommend visiting the park. The road is about 2 hours in each direction. The entire route is covered by JR Pass. In the evening – a walk around Akihabara.

ashikaga park japan

Day 3. Transfer to Kyoto. At Shinkansen, the journey time is about 3 hours. Visit the fish market (Fish Market), the quarter of the geisha (Gion). We check into a traditional hotel – the ryokan Nishikiro After – we visit the Temple of Pure Water, and in the evening before sunset – the sanctuary of Fushimi Inari (Fushimi Inari).

Kyoto Geisha
Gion – a geisha area in Kyoto

Day 4. In the morning we go to the bamboo forest, and then – by train to the deer city – Naru. Return to the hotel and overnight.

Day 5. Eviction from the hotel and departure towards Hiroshima. On the way, visit Himeji with the castle of the same name (White Heron Castle). You can go to the castle itself, or you can visit the Kokoen garden. Return to the train station and departure to Hiroshima. In the evening – a walk around the center of Hiroshima , a visit to the museum dedicated to the atomic bombing (the museum is free). Overnight at APA Hotel Hote l Hiroshima-Ekimae Ohashi

coco en japan
Kokoen – a traditional Japanese garden

Day 6. On the ferry (included in the JR Pass) we sail to the Sacred island of Miyajima (Miyajima or Itsukushima), known for its red sacred gate – thorium. Another interesting place on the island is a garden with Buddhas dressed in hats. In the afternoon we return to Hiroshima and immediately go to Kobe.

miyajima japan
Buddha in caps on Miyajima Island

Initially, I planned on another day in Hiroshima and the next morning to go to Rabbit Island, but then I decided that it would be too tiring and booked a 5 * hotel in Kobe – Kobe Portopia hotel (from $ 120) per night.

In the evening, in Kobe you can visit Chinatown and the promenade with the Kobe Tower. The city is very cozy, the embankment resembles even a resort town – there are a lot of people, everyone is sitting in cafes, walking.

 

Kobe japan
Chinatown in Kobe

Day 7. In the morning – a walk around Kobe. Despite the fact that the city is not very famous among tourists, there is something to see. In addition to Chinatown, Europe is also popular, where wealthy Europeans built their mansions. Today, some of them can be visited on an excursion. Asians are interested 🙂 After lunch, we will leave for Osaka (literally 20 minutes by train). We check into the Infinity Hotel Nishikujo apartments. Honestly, they are not in a very attractive area (although everything is safe), but for a little money you have at your disposal an entire apartment with a kitchen and a washing machine. Not far from the apartments is the JR station, where you can get to Universal Studio in 10 minutes.

Kobe European Quarter
Kobe European Quarter

During the evening in Osaka, you can see Osaka Castle and take a walk in the center. A very cool street – Dotonbori – bright, colorful, with many shops and cafes. It looks exactly like we all represent Japan.

Day 8. The whole day is dedicated to the Universal Studios park. Photos and details in a separate article .

universal studios osaka

Day 9. Return to Tokyo (Tokyo guide ). Shinkansen is about 3 hours. Roppongi District, Tokyo TV Tower (we didn’t go to the observation deck , but you can do it), Harajuku and Takeshita Street . Overnight at The Prime Pod GINZA TOKYO capsule hotel  (details about capsule hotels ).

takeshita street tokyo japan
On Takeshita’s face

Day 10. Lake Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji. From Tokyo about 3 hours one way. Return to Tokyo, check-in at the Sotetsu Fresa Inn Ginza Sanchome 

kawaguchiko japan

Day 11. In the morning – Tsukiji market. Shopping Day ( what to buy in Japan )

Tsukiji Tokyo
At Tsukiji Market

Day 12. Walk near the Imperial Palace (the palace itself is closed to visitors, and on Monday even the Eastern Garden is closed). Inspection of the second TV tower – Tokyo SkyTree.

 

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They didn’t go to the viewing room, because it was cloudy. Once again we walked around Harajuku and had dinner at a traditional Japanese fish restaurant, where you had to cook your own seafood 🙂

tokyo skytree
Tokyo Skytree and some modern “horn”

Day 13. Departure home.

I hope you can use my route as a model for composing your own! 

Cool routes to you!

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