10 Days in Japan Itinerary
Welcome to the 10 Days in Japan Itinerary!
10 days in Japan is plenty of time to make your way throughout the country. From Tokyo to Kyoto and all the way down to Hiroshima, this itinerary has you covered! You will spend time exploring cities, visiting temples, taking in some natural beauty, and enjoying the culture that Japan has to offer. It is sure to be a fun filled trip packed with plenty of activities and attractions along the way.
Before diving into the itinerary be sure to check out the Helpful Tips section to get you prepared for your trip.
Need a place to stay in Japan? Browse through some hotel options by city:
Take a look at the map below which shows you where each city that is part of this itinerary is located throughout the country. You will start the journey at the northern most point (Tokyo) and begin the journey south all the way to Hiroshima. The itinerary also adds in a couple day trips along the way – one from Kyoto to Osaka and the second from Hiroshima to Miyajima. Once the trip is complete you will then take one last train back to Tokyo, where you will depart.
10 Days in Japan Detailed Itinerary
Now lets get on to the actual trip! The following is a detailed breakout of the daily attractions and activities on this 10 day itinerary. Feel free to scroll through and click on any more in depth posts along the way.
An important note before getting into the itinerary itself – it is in your best interest to purchase a 7 Day Japan Rail (JR) Pass prior to your trip. Although this is a 10 day trip, you can activate the pass on day 4 once those longer, more expensive routes come into play. This pass will get you tickets to trains throughout the trip and is sure to save you some money along the way. The helpful tips section goes into more detail about purchasing the pass.
Day 1-3 – Tokyo
You will start off the ten day trip in the capital city of Tokyo. For the next three days you will explore the city hitting a variety of attractions along the way. For an in depth review of what three days in Tokyo have to offer check out our Three Incredible Days in Tokyo guide. For a quick recap here is a list of the main highlights of what you will be able to see for the next three days:
(1) Metropolitan Government Building
(2) Imperial Palace
(3) Robot Restaurant
(4) Piss Alley
(5) Golden Gai
(1) Shibuya Crossing
(2) Shibuya Sightseeing
(3) Meiju Jingu Shrine
(4) Takeshita Dori
(1) Tsukiji Fish Market
I have highlighted a few top rated options for your stay in Tokyo:
Day 4-6 – Kyoto
On the morning of your 4th day in Japan hop on a train from Tokyo to Kyoto. This should be the first time you use your 7-day JR Pass as you make the 2.5 – 3 hour journey. Over the next three days you will be exploring it all. Take a look at the Three Days Exploring Kyoto guide for a full itinerary of things to do. A quick overview:
(1) Nijo Castle
(2) Imperial Palace
(4) Philosopher’s Path
(1) Fushimi Inari
(3) Ninen-zaka / Sannen-zaka / Gion
(4) Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
(5) Arashiyama cont’d
Day 7 – Osaka Day Trip
After some time exploring the temples and scenery of Kyoto, take a day trip to the second largest city in Japan – the port city of Osaka (you can also make this an overnight instead if you would prefer). Using your JR Pass, hop on the train for a quick and easy 45 minute journey. Once you have arrived in Osaka take the quick metro ride to the historical Osaka Castle. The castle is surrounded by a beautiful park, which is filled with a variety of trees and flowers. Also around the park you will find moats surrounding the castle with huge stone walls. You can then make your way inside the castle itself, which is now a museum. Spend some time walking the rooms here before heading up to the top of the castle. Up top you will be able to take in some amazing views of the city that surrounds this compound.
After spending some time at the castle head on over to one of the main streets of Osaka – Dotonbori. Along this canal area you will find various unique eateries, huge neon signs, and even some small temples. Whatever type of local food you are in the mood for they will have it here – gyoza, crab, ramen and octopus balls just to name a few. The huge neon and moving signs will take up the entire façade of a buiding – one of the most famous being the Glico Man. Right nearby Dotonbori you will find one of the main shopping streets of Osaka at Shinsaibashi. Here you will pass by hundreds of different stores with everything you can think of. As it gets later on these areas get even more filled up during the night as the neon signs and lights are in full effect.
Note: depending on what time you arrive in Osaka you might have some time to explore a couple more temples and shrines if you would like after the castle and before you make your way to Dotonbori – the first being Sumiyoshi Shrine and the second Shittenoji Temple. You can then hop back on a JR train to Kyoto or continue your night out in Osaka if you decide to stay overnight.
Take a look at some Japan travel guides to better prepare you for your trip:
Day 8 – Travel to Hiroshima
After wandering Kyoto & Osaka hop onto a train further south to Hiroshima.There should be a few trains covered by the JR pass that can take you this route. Once you arrive in Hiroshima and check into your hotel you will have the rest of the day to explore the city. This will include visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome, the various sites within the Peace Memorial Park, and the Peace Memorial Museum. Head on over to our Day in Hiroshima Guide to learn more about this incredible day.
5) Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima (farther out near train station)
Day 9 – Miyajima
Getting to Miyajima is pretty straightforward traveling from Hiroshima. First hop on the train headed towards Miyajimaguchi and once there walk to the pier where you will take a ferry to the island (both the train and ferry are covered with the JR pass). Once there you can start to explore everything that Miyajima has to offer. The Incredible Miyajima Day Trip guide goes over it all.
Day 10 – Travel to Tokyo
Your time in Japan is sadly coming to an end. You can hop on a train from Hiroshima all the way back to Tokyo, where you can either head directly to the airport or have some time to just grab some food and walk around a bit before your depart.
That about it does for 10 days in Japan. Hope you enjoy your trip! Head over to our Japan itineraries and guides page to check out some more helpful posts, and feel free to comment below with any questions!