Are you planning a 2-week trip to Japan and looking for the best itinerary? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, I will share with you the ultimate 2 weeks Japan itinerary that covers all the must-see attractions and lets you experience the rich and diverse culture of Japan.
How to Save Money and Time on Your Japan Trip with the JR Pass
Japan is a fascinating country that offers something for everyone, from ancient temples and shrines to modern skyscrapers and neon lights. To make the most of your 2 weeks in Japan, you need to plan your trip well and use the best transportation options available.
One of the best ways to travel around Japan is by using the Japan Rail Pass, which gives you unlimited access to all JR trains, ferries and some subway lines. This can save you a lot of money and hassle as you don’t have to buy individual tickets for each journey. You can also use the JR Pass to travel from the airport to the city center, as well as between different cities.
To get the Japan Rail Pass, you need to buy it online before you arrive in Japan, as it is not available for purchase inside the country. Here are the steps to get your Japan Rail Pass:
- Buy the Japan Rail Pass online here and choose the delivery option to your home or hotel address.
- You will receive an Exchange Voucher in the mail within a few days.
- When you arrive in Japan, go to the JR East travel counter at Narita or Haneda airports or other major stations like Tokyo station. Show your Exchange Voucher and passport and choose your activation date.
- You will receive your Japan Rail Pass and you can start using it right away.
If you want more details on how to use the Japan Rail Pass and how much you can save with it, check out my 14-Day Japan Rail Pass Itinerary on Amazon. This book has everything you need to know about traveling with the JR Pass, including day-to-day itineraries, tips on where to stay and eat, and how to make the most of your time in Japan. You can also read this book for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
Another useful thing to have when traveling in Japan is the Welcome Suica Card, which is a prepaid card that you can use on most subway and bus lines that are not covered by the JR Pass. This can save you from having to buy individual tickets every time you use public transportation. You can buy the Welcome Suica Card at Narita or Haneda airports or other major stations.
2 Weeks Japan Itinerary
Now that you have your transportation sorted out, let’s dive into the 2-week Japan itinerary. Here is a brief overview of what you will see and do in each day. If you want a more detailed version of this itinerary, check out my 14-Day Rail Pass Itinerary on Amazon.
Day 1: Tokyo
Welcome to Tokyo, the vibrant capital of Japan! Begin your adventure with these key steps:
- Arrive in Tokyo and activate your JR Pass. Enjoy the convenience of using the Narita Express or Tokyo Monorail, both covered by the JR Pass, to travel from the airport to the city center.
- Choose a hotel near Tokyo Station for easy access to various subway lines and train connections to other cities. Here are some highly recommended options:
Settle in and get ready to immerse yourself in the exciting sights and experiences that Tokyo has to offer!
Day 2: Imperial Palace, Outer Tsukiji Market, Ginza
Get ready for a day of exciting exploration in Tokyo! Here’s your itinerary:
- Start your day by visiting the Imperial Palace, located just a short walk away from Tokyo Station. Marvel at the beautiful architecture and serene gardens of this historic site. Please note that the palace is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and national holidays.
- For lunch, head to the lively Tsukiji outer market, a haven for seafood enthusiasts and food lovers alike. Indulge in the freshest seafood and other delectable delicacies offered by the local vendors. Keep in mind that the market typically closes at 2 PM, so plan your visit accordingly.
- Continue your exploration by visiting Tokyo Tower, an iconic landmark of the city. Take in panoramic views of Tokyo from the main deck, and don’t forget to explore the nearby Zojoji temple, a peaceful Buddhist temple with a rich history. Afterward, venture into the upscale Ginza district, known for its luxury shopping, dining, and entertainment. To save time, it’s recommended to book your Tokyo Tower ticket in advance to skip the lines. The ticket typically includes access to the main deck, and if you wish to visit the top deck, you can either book online in advance or purchase the ticket at the counter.
Immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culinary scene, and iconic landmarks of Tokyo as you embark on this memorable day of exploration.
Day 3: Akihabara, Ueno Park and Asakusa
Get ready for an exhilarating day of discovery as you explore the diverse neighborhoods of Tokyo! Here’s a detailed itinerary to guide you:
- Experience the vibrant anime and gaming culture of Akihabara. Take a short journey on the JR Yamanote line from Tokyo Station to Akihabara Station, using your convenient JR Pass. Immerse yourself in the bustling streets filled with electronic shops, arcades, and anime-themed stores. Indulge in the excitement of this district, where you can find the latest gaming gadgets, collectibles, and enjoy the vibrant energy of Japan’s pop culture scene.
- Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Ueno Park, a picturesque oasis in the heart of Tokyo. Take a leisurely stroll through this expansive park, especially beautiful during cherry blossom season when the trees adorn the landscape with their delicate pink hues. Rent a charming boat at Shinobazu Pond and drift along its tranquil waters, surrounded by lush greenery. Afterward, satisfy your cravings with an array of delicious street food options available at Ameyoko shopping street, offering a mix of local flavors and international cuisine.
- Discover the historic charm of the Asakusa area, a treasure trove of Japanese traditions and landmarks. Begin your exploration at the iconic Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Take in the ornate architecture and vibrant atmosphere as you stroll through Nakamise shopping street, lined with charming stalls selling traditional snacks, souvenirs, and crafts. Make your way to the towering Tokyo Skytree and ascend to its observation decks for stunning panoramic views of the city skyline. Skip the line and book your Tokyo Skytree ticket in advance here. To add a touch of enchantment to your evening, indulge in a delightful dinner cruise along the picturesque Sumida River, taking in the mesmerizing cityscape as you savor a delicious meal on board. Ensure a memorable experience by securing your dinner cruise ticket in advance to avoid any disappointment. Book your dinner cruise here.
Embark on this remarkable journey through the vibrant Akihabara district, the tranquil Ueno Park, and the historic charm of Asakusa, immersing yourself in the unique blend of modernity and tradition that Tokyo has to offer.
Day 4: Shibuya Crossing, Meji Jingu, Harajuku
Prepare for a day of excitement and cultural immersion in Shibuya, Meiji Jingu, and Harajuku. Here’s your detailed itinerary:
- Start your day by witnessing the iconic Shibuya Crossing, a mesmerizing spectacle where thousands of people cross the intersection in sync. For a bird’s-eye view of the bustling scene, head to the observation floor of the Hikarie building or grab a seat at the Starbucks overlooking Shibuya Crossing. Capture the energy and rhythm of this famous landmark.
- Next, venture to Harajuku, a neighborhood known for its unique fashion and vibrant pop culture. Immerse yourself in the eclectic atmosphere as you explore Takeshita Street, a bustling hub of quirky shops, trendy boutiques, and delicious street food. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the renowned Meiji-Jingu Shrine, a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of the city. Marvel at its grand torii gate and serene surroundings as you take in the spiritual ambiance.
- Continue your exploration along Omotesando Avenue, a sophisticated tree-lined boulevard known for its high-end fashion boutiques, stylish cafes, and architectural marvels. Experience the fusion of luxury and artistry as you stroll through this elegant avenue, admiring the stunning architecture and soaking in the fashionable ambiance.
Get ready to be captivated by the energy of Shibuya Crossing, immerse yourself in the traditions of Meiji-Jingu Shrine, and embrace the vibrant culture of Harajuku. This day promises unforgettable moments and a true taste of Tokyo’s dynamic spirit.
Day 5: Unleash Your Imagination in Odaiba and Embrace Vibrant Shinjuku
- Get ready for a day filled with captivating wonders!
- Begin by exploring Odaiba, an enchanting man-made island in Tokyo.
- Marvel at the awe-inspiring Unicorn Gundam Statue.
- Continue your adventure at teamLab Planets, an extraordinary art exhibition.
- Prepare to be spellbound as you step into a realm where art comes to life.
- Witness the breathtaking Rainbow Bridge, an exquisite replica of the Statue of Liberty.
- Venture into the lively district of Shinjuku.
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of bustling streets adorned with dazzling neon lights.
- Explore the diverse range of shopping centers, entertainment venues, and delectable dining options in Shinjuku.
- Lose yourself in the energetic ambiance and create unforgettable memories.
- Embrace the allure of Odaiba and the vivacity of Shinjuku in the heart of Tokyo’s captivating cityscape.
Day 6: Travel to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
- Pick a clear day to travel to Mt. Fuji and make the most of your visit.
- Explore the picturesque Fuji Five Lakes region, known for its stunning views of the majestic mountain. Be prepared to be captivated by the natural beauty of the surroundings.
- Visit the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji, a popular starting point for climbers, and take in the panoramic vistas that provide a sense of the mountain’s grandeur. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery that unfolds before you.
- Here are some tours from Tokyo that offer the opportunity to experience the wonders of Mt. Fuji:
- Full-Day Trip to Mt. Fuji and Hakone – Embark on a comprehensive tour that combines the beauty of Mt. Fuji with the scenic wonders of Hakone. Enjoy the breathtaking views, a relaxing cruise, and optional bullet train experience.
- Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi – Take a delightful bus tour that brings you to Lake Kawaguchi, offering stunning views of Mt. Fuji reflected on the serene waters. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the region while capturing unforgettable memories.
Day 7: Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto
- Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto by bullet train, with the faster Hikari trains recommended for a journey of around 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- Upon arrival in Kyoto, head to the enchanting Higashiyama Ward and check-in at one of the highly recommended hotels. Drop off your bags and get ready to embark on your Kyoto adventure. Here is our list of recommended hotels in Kyoto:
- Rinn Gion Yasaka – Experience a delightful stay at this charming hotel located in the heart of Gion, offering easy access to major attractions.
- Saka Hotel Kyoto – Enjoy a comfortable stay in this modern hotel situated near popular landmarks, providing convenience and comfort for your Kyoto visit.
- The Celestine Kyoto Gion – Immerse yourself in elegance at this stylish hotel, offering luxurious amenities and a prime location in the heart of Gion.
- Visit Kiyomizu-dera, a historic temple renowned for its breathtaking architecture and panoramic views of Kyoto. Marvel at the intricate details and soak in the serene atmosphere of this iconic landmark.
- In the evening, immerse yourself in the charm of Gion, the renowned geisha district. Stroll through the enchanting streets of Hanamikoji Dori and explore nearby attractions such as Kennin-ji Temple and Yasaka Shrine, which offer a glimpse into Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage.
- Conclude your day at Gion Corner, where you can witness captivating traditional Japanese performances that showcase the beauty of Kyoto’s artistic traditions. Indulge in the local cuisine and explore the vibrant shopping scene to complete your Kyoto experience.
Day 8: Kyoto
- Start your day by immersing yourself in the mystical atmosphere of the famous torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine. Take a serene stroll through the vibrant orange gates and explore the lush forested hillside.
- Continue your adventure by heading to Arashiyama, a picturesque district known for its Bamboo Grove. Get lost in the enchanting ambiance as you walk through the towering bamboo stalks. Don’t forget to visit Tenryu-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire its beautiful gardens.
- Indulge in a delightful traditional Japanese meal or enjoy a soothing cup of tea at one of the charming eateries in Arashiyama. Take this opportunity to savor the flavors of Kyoto’s culinary heritage.
- In the evening, venture to Kyoto Tower or explore the nearby attractions around Kyoto Station. Ascend to the observation deck of Kyoto Tower for panoramic views of the cityscape, or wander through the bustling streets surrounding Kyoto Station, where you can find shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural landmarks.
Day 9: Nara
- Embark on an exciting day trip from Kyoto to the charming city of Nara, known for its rich history and cultural treasures.
- Start your journey by taking the JR Nara line from Kyoto Station to Nara, enjoying a scenic train ride through the beautiful Japanese countryside.
- Upon arrival in Nara, make your way to Nara Park, a vast green space that is home to hundreds of friendly deer. Interact with these gentle creatures, feed them deer crackers, and capture memorable moments.
- While at Nara Park, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Todai-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Japan’s most iconic temples. Marvel at the Great Buddha statue housed inside the temple, an awe-inspiring sight.
- Take a leisurely stroll through Naramachi, a historic district featuring traditional merchant houses. Explore the quaint streets, visit Gango-ji Temple with its tranquil atmosphere, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Yoshiki-en Garden.
- Continue your Nara adventure by exploring Kasuga Taisha Shrine, famous for its thousands of stone lanterns lining the pathways. Experience the serene ambiance and admire the intricate details of the shrine’s vermilion-colored buildings.
- Conclude your day in Nara with a visit to Horyu-ji Temple, one of the oldest wooden structures in the world. Admire the intricate architecture and explore the temple’s serene gardens, gaining insights into Japan’s ancient Buddhist heritage.
Day 10: Kyoto and Osaka
- Start your day by visiting the magnificent Kinkaku-ji temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. Marvel at the stunning architecture and serene surroundings of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Continue your exploration in Kyoto by immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Nishiki Market. Wander through the bustling food market and indulge in a culinary adventure, sampling fresh seafood, local snacks, and traditional Japanese delicacies.
- After your time in Kyoto, it’s time to travel from Kyoto to Osaka. Choose to stay in the lively Namba/Dotonbori area, known for its energetic streets, exciting nightlife, and delectable street food.
- Consider staying at one of our recommended hotels in the Namba/Dotonbori area to make the most of your time in Osaka. Here are some options to consider:
Day 11: Osaka
- Embark on an exciting exploration of Osaka, starting with a visit to the magnificent Osaka Castle. Marvel at the impressive architecture of this historic landmark and take a leisurely stroll through its beautiful gardens.
- Make your way to the Umeda Sky Building, a towering structure that offers panoramic views of the city. Ascend to the observation deck and soak in the breathtaking vistas of Osaka’s skyline.
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Dotonbori, a bustling district renowned for its lively streets, dazzling neon lights, and mouthwatering street food. Indulge in local delicacies like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, and capture a photo with the iconic Glico Running Man sign.
- To enhance your Dotonbori experience, consider taking a memorable cruise on the picturesque Dotonbori River. Enjoy the scenic views and soak up the lively ambiance as you sail through the heart of this dynamic district.
Day 12: Hiroshima
- Embark on a journey from Osaka to Hiroshima via the efficient Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. Sit back and enjoy the comfortable ride as you travel to this historically significant city.
- Upon arrival, visit the poignant Peace Memorial Park, a solemn place that serves as a tribute to the victims of the atomic bombing. Explore the park and witness the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, a haunting reminder of the destructive power of war.
- Delve deeper into the history and impact of the atomic bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Gain a deeper understanding of the events that transpired and the lasting effects on the city and its people.
- Indulge in the flavors of Hiroshima by trying the renowned Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Savor this delicious savory pancake dish, which is layered with various ingredients and topped with a savory sauce.
- Embark on a memorable boat ride to Miyajima Island, known for its iconic floating torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine. Explore the island’s scenic beauty, visit cultural sites, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this sacred place.
- Conclude your day by returning to Osaka using the convenient Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Hikari) with your JR Pass. Reflect on the rich history and experiences you’ve encountered during your time in Hiroshima.
Day 13: Tokyo DisneySea or Disneyland
- Return to Tokyo from Osaka using the convenient Hikari bullet train and Keiyo Line, making use of your Japan Rail Pass for a smooth and efficient journey.
- Check into an official hotel of the Tokyo Disney resort or choose a nearby hotel that offers easy access to the parks. Here are some recommended official hotels:
- Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
- Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel First Resort
- Hilton Tokyo Bay
- Grand Nikko Tokyo Bay Maihama
- Choose between visiting Tokyo DisneySea or Tokyo Disneyland, or make the most of your time and visit both parks for a magical experience.
- To save time and skip the lines, purchase your 1-Day passport online in advance. You can buy your passport for Tokyo DisneySea here, or for Tokyo Disneyland here.
- If you have to choose one park, prioritize Tokyo DisneySea for a unique and extraordinary experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Day 14: Departure
It’s time to bid farewell to Japan. I hope this itinerary has helped you make the most of your time in the country. If you have any questions or need further clarifications, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram. You can follow me on Instagram here.
For those flying from Narita Airport, you can take the Keiyo Line from Maihama Station to Tokyo Station, and then the Narita Express to Narita Airport. The total travel time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and both of these journeys are covered by the JR Pass. Alternatively, there is a direct limousine bus available from Tokyo Disneyland to Narita Airport, though this is not covered by the JR Pass. You can find directions on Google Maps here.
If you’re departing from Haneda Airport, there’s a convenient direct limousine bus service from Tokyo Disney Resort to Haneda Airport. You can find directions on Google Maps here.
Safe travels and thank you for using this itinerary!
Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through those links. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products and services that we believe will add value to our readers. Your support through these affiliate links helps us continue to provide helpful content. Thank you for your support!
Please note that the information provided in this article is based on our knowledge and research at the time of writing. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information, please be aware that travel conditions, policies, and attractions may change over time. We recommend double-checking the details and availability before making any travel plans. Additionally, please be aware of any potential risks and exercise caution while visiting attractions or participating in activities mentioned in this article.