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Japan Itinerary 10 Days: Perfect for First Time Visitors


by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Tien T.

Last updated : Nov 30, 202221 min read

Itinerary Ideas

Japan Tour Guide - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

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Japan is a fantastic country to travel during your holidays not only does it have many beautiful natural wonders but also has a fascinating culture. Whether you want to bask in the neon lights of Tokyo, climb Mount Fuji or simply get lost in the beautiful streets of Japan. If you're a first timer in traveling to Japan and don't know where to go then don't fret, because we have prepared a Japan itinerary 10 days guide that you can follow to enjoy Japan to its fullest. 

Day 1 to Day 3: Exploring Tokyo

Three days in Tokyo are barely just enough to explore the main attractions of the capital of Japan. Since this is a Japan itinerary 10 days guide, there's not much time on our hands but If you have the chance then try exploring as much as possible! 

Day 1 Tokyo (Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Sky Duck, Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu, Akihabara)

Asakusa (9:00 ~ 10:30)

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Asakusa is a great first destination as it brings you straight to one of Japan's cultural hotspots, Sensoji Temple. The street that takes you to Sensoji has many old stores that sell excellent street food and most shopkeepers here know English! Upon entering the temple, there will be many things worthy of taking a picture of such as the 'Thunder Gate' (Kaminarimon).  

Tokyo Skytree (10:30 ~ 13:00)

Skytree was built to take the place of Tokyo Tower

Afterwards, you can climb up to the Sky Tree and get a breathtaking panoramic view of Tokyo! The Skytree also has an aquarium, a planetarium and a big shopping center underneath if you're looking to do a bit of shopping!

Take the Sky Duck (13:00 - 13:45)

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The Sky Duck is an amphibious vehicle that will take you on a thrilling tour from the waterways of Tokyo to the Kameido area near Akihabara. You can then explore the vast area of popular ramen and gyoza shops as well as the post-war buildings that have been preserved for the exhibition.

Service period Every day (except 1st Jan, 24th of Feb)
Ticket fee

Adults 2,800 Yen

Children 1,400 Yen

Telephone 03-3215-0008
Website Sky Duck (Japanese only)

Imperial Palace (14:00 ~ 15:30)

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The Imperial Palace is a 25 minutes train trip away from Akihabara and is a must if you visit Tokyo. The whole palace seems like a different world when all of it surrounding are skyscrapers and modern tech as far as the eye can see. If you want to a tour of the inside of the Palace, then you have to book at least four days beforehand on their website. However, you can explore the outside of the palace without any hassle so take your time!

Meiji Jingu Shrine (16:00 ~ 17:30)

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The Meiji Jingu shrine can be found in Shibuya and is a popular "power spot" for those who wish for long-lasting marriage and safety. As such, occasionally traditional Shinto weddings where the bride and groom are guided by priests and shrine maidens can be seen here if you're lucky! Also, the shrine has a wide array of flora that blossoms beautifully during Summer.

Akihabara (18:00 ~ end of the day)

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The land of everything electronics and also the gathering place for anime and manga fans alike. There's also many gaming stores thanks to the rise of the "Otaku" culture, and if you're looking for any kind of electrical equipment such as cameras, to phones, there's no better place than Akihabara. This is the ideal place to end the first day since there are simply so many interesting things to see here!

Day 2 Tokyo (Tsukiji, Go Kart, Odaiba, Ginza, Harajuku)

Tsukiji Fish Market (9:00 - 10:30) [go earlier if you can]

The lively Outer Market filled with many people

Getting up early in the morning to dine at one of the finest sushi in Japan is one of the best experience to have while in Japan. If you want the highest quality sushi in Tokyo then visiting Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the best places to do so. You can even browse the many exotic street foods there as well and see an authentic Japanese fish market. 

Tokyo Go Kart (11:00 - 14:00)

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Not many things are quite better than driving around on a Go Kart and enjoying the breeze while exploring Tokyo. The Tokyo Go Kart is an awesome activity that can do you to visit many famous sightseeing spots without catching a train, and you can even dress up as your favorite video game or anime character! If you're looking to book a Tokyo Go Kart trip as well as any other activities in Tokyo, then you can do so here.

Odaiba (14:30 - 17:00)

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After a trip on the Go Kart, there's no better place to go than the Odaiba, the Tokyo Bayside. Take a picture with the famous Rainbow Bridge and visit the automobile theme park of Toyota. If you're a fan of Takoyaki, then a trip to the Takoyaki Museum is also a must, as they have some of the best Takoyaki stores located there.

Ginza (17:30 - 19:00)

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It wouldn't be a trip to Tokyo if there isn't any shopping. Ginza is perhaps the best if you want to shop for gifts or luxury goods. There is no shortage of famous brands here from Gucci to Hermes and Chanel. For those who want stylish clothes with a more affordable price then the famous Uniqlo is here as well.

Harajuku (19:20 - however late you want)

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Harajuku is the place to experience the Japanese fashion culture at its fullest. Here, fashion is not restricted by the outside world and you can see many bizarre and out-of-the-ordinary clothing. From Lolita to Gothic and even cosplays, Harajuku's fashion sense is all about expressing one's individuality.

Day 3: Yokohama and leave for Hakone (Minato Mirai 21, Cup Noodles Museum, Kirin Beer Village, Yokohama's China Town)

Now that you have visited most of the major sightseeing sites of Tokyo, its time to go further and discover the rest of this Japan Itinerary 10 days guide.

Leave for Yokohama in the morning

Minato Mirai 21 (10:00 - 12:30)

The unique shape of the Yokohama Landmark Tower

Minato Mirai is right beside the Yokohama Harbor and has many attractions for you to visit. There are many shopping malls for those who want to do a bit more and an interactive museum named Orbi Yokohama that is very popular as it was developed under the collaboration of SEGA and BBC Earth.

Cup Noodles Museum (12:40 - 14:00)

An original Cup Noodles made from ingredients that you like

Learn how Momofuku Ando came up with the creation of instant noodles at the Cup Noodles Museum and explore its many changes from branding to various flavorings across history. Afterwards, make your own cup noodle with your favorite toppings and cup art (you can draw it yourself), it's truly an experience that can only be done in Japan! 

Kirin Beer Village (14:30 - 15:30)

The Yokohama Brewery, the oldest and largest of all of the Kirin Beer breweries

Fans of beer will fall in love with this 'beer village' because Yokohama is where Japanese beer first came to life. Visit the Yokohama Brewery to see the process of making over 2000 cans of beer per minute and during the tour, you'll be able to taste a variety of delicious freshly brewed beer. There are also non-alcoholic options for those who can't drink as well.

Yokohama's Chinatown (16:00 - 17:30)

Chinatown where you can thoroughly enjoy Chinese cuisine

Have dinner at Yokohama's Chinatown for something a bit different. Although Chinese cuisine is vast, there's a little bit of everything here from Shanghai cuisine to Beijing and Szechuan cuisine as well, so definitely give this place a try!

Take a train to Hakone which can take roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Day 4 Hakone and leave for Kyoto (Hakone Hot Spring, Lake Ashi, Glass Museum)

After arriving at Hakone, don't miss the chance to rent a room at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) to try their public hot spring baths!

Hakone Hot Spring (9:00 - 10:00)

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Hakone is famous for its onsen and many of them have a fantastic view of Mount Fuji. The water here is said to help recover from muscle and joint pains while also making your skin more beautiful. Try Goura Onsen for the famous five water hot springs or Yumoto Onsen which has been in service for 1200 years.

Cruise on Lake Ashi (10:30 - 15:00)

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The cruises available at Lake Ashi allows visitors to see the most popular sightseeing spots on the water, namely Mount Fuji and Hakone Shrine. They link at three ports which are Togendai Port, Moto-Hakone Port, and Hakone-machi Port, stop by at Togendai for some excellent seafood restaurants that you can enjoy while enjoying a view of the lake.

Explore the Museum of Glass (15:30 - 17:00)

The contemporary glass art is represented by many works filled with character

At the Hakone Glass Museum, the beauty of glass is fully extracted for you to see. There are over 100 glass art with Venetian roots dating over 100 years ago as well as modern glass art. Check out the Corridor of Light which is over 9m in height and comprises of over 160,000 beads of crystal glass which changes in a myriad of colors depending on the season.

Afterwards, leave Hakone in the evening for Kyoto which will take roughly 3 hours


Japan Tour Guide - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

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Day 5 to 6: Exploring Kyoto

Previously named as the Western Capital of Japan, Kyoto is perhaps the best destination to experience traditional Japan.

Day 5: Kyoto (Fushimi Inari, Kinkakuji, Arashiyama Monkey Park, Sanneizaka, Gear Theatre)

Fushimi Inari (9:00 - 10:30)

The path through the Senbon Torii

Most famous for its 10,000 torii gates that have been donated by devoted worshipers of the shrine since the Edo period. It is said that the gods of Fushimi Inari would grant protection and prosperous business. As the shrine is connected to Mount Inari, you can hike to the mountain's summit quite easily for a breathtaking view of Kyoto. 

Kinkakukji (11:00 - 12:30)

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This beautiful golden three-story temple is an iconic figure of Kyoto that you must have seen at least once before. It wouldn't be a trip to Kyoto without at least checking out Kinkaku-ji

Arashiyama Monkey Park (12:30 - 15:30)

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There's no better place to see the Japanese Macaques than Arayamashi Monkey Park. Unlike other zoos, there are no cages that make for the best closeup experience with these cute furry fellas. 

Sanneizaka (16:30 - 18:30)

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The street of Saneizaka is one of the best ways to spend the night in Kyoto. This beautiful street is lined with historical Japanese houses that are souvenir stores and restaurants for you to have a look!

Gear Theatre Art Complex 1928 (19:00 - 19:40)

An impressive story unfolds through world-class performances.

The Gear Theater is the newest addition to Kyoto's lineup of attractions, here you can enjoy top-notch performances ranging from mime, magic,  breakdancing and much much more which will definitely leave you amazed. Don't worry about any language barrier because the whole show is non-verbal and is performed purely in action!

Day 6: Kyoto and Leave for Nara (Kiyomizu-dera, Gion, Nishiki)

Kiyomizu Dera (9:00 - 10:30)

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The Kiyomizu-dera temple is a popular tourist spot that attracts many visitors due to its long history and beautiful scenery from the temple and its surroundings as well. See for yourself why this place is deemed as a "national treasure"!

Gion (11:00 - 14:00)

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This is the go-to place to see Geishas and Meikos performing traditional dances and sing songs.  The street of Gion is reminiscent of Edo Japan and is packed with Japanese teahouses that you would often see in movies. So why not sit down for a cup of tea and enjoy the entertainment provided by Kyoto's finest Geishas and Meikos.

Nishiki (14:30 - 16:00)

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Nishiki Market is the accumulation of 400 years of development to become Kyoto's number one market. It sells not only a variety of seafood but also Kyoto's special delicacies. Walk around and try their many food samples!

Leave for Nara

Day 7: Nara and leave for Osaka (Mount Yoshino, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha, Todaiji)

Mount Yoshino (9:00 - 12:00)

Mt. Yoshino in spring when the cherry blossoms open en masse

If you're visiting during the Cherry Blossom season, then don't hesitate to hike Mount Yoshino for an absolutely stunning view of over thousands of flowers blooming. It is said that the cherry trees have been the objects of worship since 1300 years ago and many historical sites are located here as it was also a gathering place for lords and Shoguns to participate in flower viewing. The mountain is also beautiful during the Fall or Winter so it's okay if you can't make it for Cherry Blossom season.

Nara Park (12:00 - 15:00)

Deer are like mascots for Nara Park

This huge 660-hectare park is the center of Nara and is the best place to see Nara's major attractions and meet its friendly neighbors.

The best thing is?

The deers of Nara Park aren't afraid of humans, so you can have a lot of close encounters and even feed them! In addition, the park also has significant landmarks such as Kasuga Taisha and Toudaiji which we will explore after Nara Park.

Kasuga Taisha (15:30 - 16:30)

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This brilliant vermillion shrine can be found within Nara Park. In addition to being deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site, Kasuga Taisha is also famous for its bronze lanterns that were donated by its worshippers, they are only lit twice every year during the city's lantern festivals, and there are 12 'mini' shrines in total that surrounds Kasuga, each with their own purposes.

Todaiji (16:30 - 17:30)

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Todaiji is one of the most important temples of Japan as it has wide influence due to being the head temple of all Buddhist temples within the nation. The Daibutsuden or Great Buddha Hall is the largest wooden building in the world housing one of Japan's largest bronze statue of Buddha.

Leave for Osaka which will take around an hour by train.

Day 8 to 9: Exploring Osaka

Osaka is a vibrant, lively and unique side of Japan. It is of course by no means less impressive than Kyoto or Tokyo!

Day 8: Osaka (Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium, Tsutenkaku, Shinsekai, Spa World)

Osaka Castle (9:00 - 11:30)

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Osaka Castle is the very symbol of the city and its easy to understand why. With its massive structure and vast surrounding park, it is hard to miss. If you enter the castle you will be able to learn about its history and its original creator Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Osaka Aquarium (12:00 - 14:00)

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With 8 floors consisting of over 30,000 of sea life, you'll definitely be left amazed after seeing what a magical world the ocean can be. Just recently, the Osaka aquarium just opened a new interactive area where you can touch the friendly inhabitants of the aquarium as well, so visiting here is a must! 

Tsutenkaku (14:30 - 16:00)

With a nostalgia that evokes the feeling of Showa, Tsutenkaku was designed by Tachuu Naito, the man who also designed Tokyo Tower.

If Tokyo has the Tokyo Tower then Osaka has Tsutenkaku. Designed by the same architect of the Tokyo Tower, Tsutenkaku or Osaka Tower is famous for its overview of the city. There's also a museum on the 3rd floor which tells you about the history and its former design before it was taken apart.

Shinsekai (16:30 - 18:00)

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Spa World (18:00 - however long you like)

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Since Osaka does not have many hot springs, they make up for that by creating a whole amusement park specifically for onsens! Since it is relatively close to Shinsekai, you must be tired after your trip around the city, so take a dip their European or Asian baths and even various themed saunas! There's also various arcades and restaurant for you to enjoy after your bath. Their website can be found here.

Day 9: Osaka and leave for Hiroshima (Universal Studio, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori)

Universal Studio Japan (9:00 - 15:00)

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This is the second most visited amusement park after Disneyland in Japan. You can enjoy various themed rides ranging from Harry Potter to Jurassic Park.

Shinsaibashi (15:30 - 17:00)

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Shinsaibashi is the shopping central of Osaka. It has many shops from traditional Japanese stores to modern luxury brands. Before the street mostly comprised of dried goods and grocery stores but gradually it has become a place for youth looking to buy trendy clothing!

Dotonbori (17:30 - 18:30)

The Glico neon sign is the symbol of Osaka Minami area

Finish your trip to Osaka by visiting the famous Dotonbori where the Glico sign is located. There is a variety of restaurants and diners that you can enjoy while enjoying the sights of downtown Osaka. Try out the Okonomiyaki, udon or blowfishes which are the local specialties here!

Leave for Hiroshima 

Day 10: Hiroshima (Peace Museum, Atomic Bomb Dome, Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima Castle)

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (9:00 - 11:00)

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Learn what happened when the bomb dropped on Hiroshima through pictures, videos and scorched items such as clothes, everyday items and even the steps of a person. The museum offers full multilingual audio and videos for visitors as well.

Atomic Bomb Dome (11:30 - 12:00)

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Despite being so close to the hypocenter of the bomb, this Atomic Bomb Dome which once was a building used to promote Hiroshima's industrial goods was one of the last standing buildings after the Hiroshima Bombing. Thanks to the donations across the world, the building was preserved as a memorial for world peace.

Itsukushima Shrine (12:30 - 14:00)

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This gorgeous shrine is famous for its seemingly "floating" phenomenon that happens whenever the high tide comes. The Itsukushima shrine and its iconic torii gate can be seen reflecting beautifully on the water.

Hiroshima Castle (14:30 - 17:00)

Once blown out by the atomic bomb, Hiroshima Castle has been restored

Although this castle was reconstructed after the bombing, its beauty and charm are still retained. Almost every part of the Hiroshima castle is dedicated to Samurai culture, and you can even dress up as one if you like!

This marks the end of this 10 days trip to Japan.

After you have completed this Japan itinerary, you should have visited some of the most popular destinations that Japan has to offer. We hope this Japan Itinerary 10 days guide has helped you figure out what to do once you're in Japan.


Japan Tour Guide - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Come & enjoy the beauty of Japan with our highly rated Japan private tours.


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Over at GoWithGuide, we offer the best professional Local Guides across Japan to give you convenient 10 days in Japan itinerary suggestions or as many days as you want. You can also check our Private tours to Tokyo.

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Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Shimizu Tour Guide - Sayori H.

Sayori H.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)

Hello, I can show you the real Japan. You can taste, see and feel the country. I'd like to show the beautiful culture for you to experience. I can organize the day tour from Shimizu port for Cruise customers. Tea ceremony, strawberry picking experience, anything you are interested, I would love to help you plan your tour. I can communicate in both English and Japanese. I look forward to welcoming people from different parts of the world. Thank you                                                                                                                                 

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(51 reviews)

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(68 reviews)

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

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