We recently visited Japan so I wanted to share with you our recommended 14 day itinerary.
Tokyo (Day 1 – 3 days)
We spent 2.5 days in Tokyo and managed to visit the sights that we wanted to see in those days. We arrived in Tokyo in the afternoon after a long flight and spent that afternoon getting to grips with the metro (from the airport) then just had a stroll around the area we were staying in and grabbed some dinner. The remaining 2 days were full sight seeing days.
Nikko / Lake Chuzenji (Day 4)
We actually spent 2 nights in Nikko but would suggest you do it as a day trip (or perhaps only stay one night) instead as the town of Nikko itself is very quiet and lacks restaurants. You can get to Nikko early and see both the temples in Nikko and Lake Chuzenji (outside Nikko), but if you are limited with time, I actually preferred Lake Chuzenji.
Takayama and Shirakawago (Day 5 – 6)
Allocate a day to explore Takayama and a morning to visit Shirakawago. I’d suggest getting the bus to Kanazawa from Shirakawago then jumping on a train from there.
Hiroshima (Day 7 – 8)
Spend a day exploring Hiroshima and the next morning at Miyajima Island.
Kyoto and Nara (Day 9 – 11)
Allocate 2 days wandering around the beautiful parks and temples, and a third day for a day trip to Nara (home to temples and friendly deer).
Osaka (Day 12 – 13)
We did a day trip to Osaka from Kyoto but we could have easily spent longer in this wonderful city. We loved wandering around the vibrant Shinsaibashi district.
There are a great mix of sights in this city including temples, theme parks, and culture.
Departure – day 14
If you have more time, perhaps add another day to Takayama as the journey from Nikko/Tokyo is a relatively long one.
If you have any questions about our trip you can drop us an email via the contact page.
If you’re interested in watching the vlogs from our Japan trip, please take a look at my youtube channel and subscribe for more videos!