Japan Travel - 7 Days Itinerary Around Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

by GoWithGuide travel specialist

Are you in the middle of planning your trip for a week in Japan? Stressing yourself out about where to go, and thinking that perhaps you should spend longer? Then this article is perfect for you!

 

Japan has a lot of things to offer first-time travelers, and you might be confused about how to visit all the major spots in the span of a week. Well, worry not! In this article, I will tell you what to do during your week in Japan. Hop on!

About Japan

Before we start anything, I think I should first tell you the basic route that most tourists travel to during their trip in Japan. The major route is called The “Golden Route”, which consist of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

 

It is best for you to come from either Tokyo or Osaka and exit Japan from the other one. For example, if you arrive in Japan from Tokyo, it would be better for you to depart from Osaka. This is for your own convenience since doing so will save you more time and money!

 

I will make a simple itinerary that consist of all these places in the point below. Hop on!

Day 1 to 3  Tokyo Day Tour

On the first day of your arrival, I suggest you explore Tokyo as much as you can. Here are the major attraction spots you should visit during your Tokyo Trip!

 

Senso-Ji Temple

The icon of Tokyo! Stroll down Nakamise-Dori, where you can buy traditional Japanese street foods. Don’t forget to take a photo stop at the famous Kaminarimon!

Location

Senso-ji (map)

Hours

06.00 - 17.00

Fee

Free

 

Meiji-Jingu Shrine

Walk to this shrine that’s located deep inside a lush city forest right in the heart of the city! It’s just a few meters away from JR Harajuku Station. You can visit this place after you’re done shopping in Shibuya or Harajuku

Location

Meiji-Jingu Shrine (map)

Hours

Sunrise to sunset

Fee

Free

 

Imperial Palace

Although the main area itself is closed to the public, you can still visit the East Garden freely! There are some day tours that allow you to enter the main area premises, although no building is entered. Click here for more information regarding the Imperial Palace!

 

Shibuya

Take a picture with the famous Hachiko statue right at the Hachiko exit of JR Shibuya station. You can also try and re-enact a scene from the movie Lost in Translation in the busiest crossing in the world, the Shibuya Crossing! Shibuya never sleeps anyway, so feel free to go on a late night hunt for food in Shibuya.

Location

Shibuya (map)

 


Roppongi

This shady-turned-classy spot is quite well-known among foreign visitors. Here you can find a lot of night establishments during the evening, and visit art galleries during the day!

Location

Roppongi (map)

 

Tsukiji Fish Market

You might want to see this famous fish market before it’s relocated in 2019. Although it is famous for its great sushi and the Tuna auction, getting into the latter is not as easy as you thought. Read more information about Tsukiji’s Opening Hours and Tsukiji’s Best Sushi here.

Since the Tuna auction is quite hard to get into, perhaps you’d consider joining this Tuna Auction Tour here.

 

Tokyo Itinerary Samples

Here, you can find itinerary samples for the days you'd spend at Tokyo!

Tokyo 3-days Itinerary

Tokyo 4-days Itinerary

Tokyo 5-days Itinerary

 

Tokyo has a lot more places to visit! Take a look at the Best Destinations in Tokyo and Tokyo’s Night Attractions and Views. You might also want to consider joining a sightseeing tour so you can visit all of the best attractions easily.

Day Tours

Optionally, if you would like to spend the next day by traveling to other destinations around Tokyo, then you might be want to read about Day trip Destinations from Tokyo. You can find destinations that suit each of your preferences!

Tokyo Tips

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, so it really is not surprising if Tokyo has the most complicated transport system in all of Japan. To help you better at navigating around Tokyo’s train system and subway system, I suggest you read this article about Tokyo’s Trains and Subways.

 

For those of you who will arrive in Japan from Tokyo, I suggest you read these articles about how to get to Tokyo area from Haneda or Narita Airports:

Haneda Airport to Tokyo Area

Narita Airport to Tokyo Area

Tokyo Private Guide

Look:

Hiring a guide might be a better choice for you to spend your time more effectively.

 

Tokyo’s transport system is no joke. It is effective, but it’s also very complicated. One could easily get lost in Tokyo. To handle that problem, I suggest you hire a guide. Hiring a guide would save you a lot of time during your trip. Here is a list of recommended guides you can hire during your days in Tokyo!

Day 4 - 5  Kyoto trip

Kyoto is the previous capital city of Japan before Tokyo. Here, you can see a lot of traditional buildings, temples, and shrines. I will list a few must-see spots you should visit during your trip in Kyoto!

 

Kiyomizudera Temple

This is the number one spot to visit in Kyoto! This magnificent Buddhist temple stands atop of a hill, and what’s amazing is that you can see a view of Kyoto from the top of the temple.

Location

Kiyomizudera Temple (map)

Entry

Adults 300 yen

Child   200 yen

Website

http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

I’m sure you’ve at least seen a photo of The Thousand Red Gate. You can see them for yourself in Fushimi Inari Shrine! The entrance is free, and you can join the hike through all of these gates which are all offerings from the shrine’s patrons.

Location

Fushimi Inari Shrine (map)

Entry

Free

Website

http://inari.jp/

 

Kinkakuji

The Golden Pavilion….need I say more? You can see this legendary golden reliquary hall and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains as the background view.

Location

Kinkakuji Temple (map)

Entry

Adults 400 yen

Child   300 yen

Website

https://kyoto.travel/en/shrine_temple/132

 

Gion

Walk along this beautiful old path paved with traditional buildings and sights. You could also go to the nearby river and enjoy the view of Japan’s old town.

Location

Gion (map)

Entry

Free

Website

http://kyoto.travel/en/thingstodo/entertainment/106


Kyoto has a lot more things to offer you! It would be easier if you join a 
sightseeing tour to make sure you get to all of the famous attraction spots. You might also consider hiring a local guide that will tell you more about Kyoto’s rich history!

Here's a sample 1-day Itinerary plan for Kyoto!

Day 6 - 7  Nara and Osaka

Nara

You can stay at Osaka, and do a simple day trip to Nara! The city is almost over-populated by deer, which you can feed with a special cracker called the Shika Senbei!

 

Nara is actually Japan’s first capital city. Here, you can also visit Todaiji Temple, where you can see Japan’s biggest Buddha statue. It is also a World Heritage Site. Spend a whole day at Nara and enjoy Japan like never before! Here's a sample 1-day Itinerary for Nara!

Location

Todaiji Temple (map)

Entry

600 yen

Website

http://www.todaiji.or.jp/english/

Osaka

Osaka is known for their delicious and cheap food! It is also one of the largest cities in Japan. Here is a sample 1-day Itinerary Plan for Osaka!

Osaka Castle

Visit this magnificent castle and see the story behind it! An extra fee is needed to get into the castle. However, entering the premises of the castle itself is free so you can take as many photos as you want. 

Location

Osaka Castle (map)

Price

600 yen

Hours

09.00 - 17.00

 

Shinsaibashi

This massive shopping center is the right place for you, shopaholics! You can also enjoy local delicacies such as Takoyaki in this area. Don’t forget to take a snap with the famous Glico Man poster!

Location

Shinsaibashi (map) 


More Tips

Look;

Traveling to all of these places could be a hassle.

 

Japan’s public transport system is quite complex, it is so very easy to get lost. Moreover, traveling by yourself could make you miss a lot of things such as the history of the places you visit.

 

Don’t worry!

 

I have an easy way out for you: Hire a guide! If you hire a private guide in each city, you’d have no problem getting around to all of the famous destinations. Your guide would also be able to tell you more about the story behind the places you’d visit.

 

If you are planning on hiring a guide, then I recommend you to get one from Triplelights! They have a list of professional guides that know their ways around destinations. Their excellent customer service would also make sure you’d never get the wrong guide that doesn’t understand your needs!



In this article, I have reviewed and made a simple itinerary plan for your 7 days trip in Japan. Here’s to a good trip!