7 Day Japan Itinerary

Japan is one of the most enigmatic countries we’ve thus far visited. Our 7 days in Japan were spent visiting Tokyo and Kyoto, seeing incredible attractions, eating delicious food and immersing ourselves in the ancient Japanese culture.

Even after several visits, Japan remains our favourite place in the world. So much so, that we decided to move to Tokyo and live in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. We understand planning 7 days in Japan could be overwhelming as there are so many things to do in the country, and this is why we put together a comprehensive guide on how to plan your first 7 day Japan itinerary. Grab a cup of tea and let’s start discussing what is the best way to spend a week in Japan.

7 days in Japan itinerary

Our first 7 days in Japan itinerary was split between Tokyo and Kyoto. Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the most vibrant places on the planet. Kyoto is the old capital, a more spiritual place. In a way, Kyoto is the perfect zen pill to the Tokyo madness. We loved our week in Japan so much that we decided to return and spend a little longer the second time around.

If you also decide to stay in Japan longer, you can also check our 2 weeks in Japan itinerary which includes more things to do and see.

Our recommended 7 days Japan itinerary (from Tokyo): 3 nights in Tokyo – 3 nights in Kyoto – 1 night in Tokyo

Day 1 in Japan – Tokyo: Asakusa – Harajuku – Ginza – Shibuya

Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple

Start the day with an early morning visit to Senso-Ji, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Tokyo. Senso-Ji is open 24 hours and there is no entrance fee. Because of its popularity, the site gets crowded pretty quickly, hence we recommend a very early morning visit. In front of the temple, you will find a long street called Nakamise Dori. During business hours the street is dotted with stalls open for food and souvenirs. Next to the temple, there is also a large market-like full of intricate, narrow streets, which have even more eateries and shops.

Address: Japan, 〒111-0032 Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa, 2 Chome−3−1
Opening Hours: 24/7
Did you know: Sensoji Temple is dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion.

Asakusa District

Next, stroll around Asakusa and enjoy the many stores full of Japanese goodies. This is the place where we found plenty of gifts for our friends and family, including Japanese chopsticks, beautiful lanterns and kitchen utensils, including Japanese knives.

Asakusa is a gorgeous Tokyo district which still has some of that incredible traditional vibe to it. It used to be one of the main entertainment locations in Tokyo famed for its theatre district. However, the area was damaged by the US bombing raids during WWII and throughout the years has been surpassed by Shinjuku as one of the main adult entertainment districts.

However, Asakusa is an incredible place to visit and you will find many things to do there. We found several delicious restaurants in the area with various price tags. In Asakusa, you can also find upscale dining options.

Takeshita Street

Make your way to the youthful and forever crazy Takeshita Street. If you want to talk about unconventional Japanese fashion, this is the place to be. Harajuku is the mecca for kawaii, and it’s the best place for fun shopping. You will see many hot pink hairstyles, lolita costumes, vampire attire and what not. If it’s weird and you thought it’s impossible, then probably you will find it in a shop in Harajuku.

To get to Takeshita Street from Asakusa, you will need to take the subway. Take the Ginza line from Asakusa station all the way to Shibuya. Change for the Yamanote line which will take you to Harajuku station. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes, but add a little extra if you need to find your way around the big Tokyo stations.


Take the subway (45 minutes) or walk (1 hour and 30 minutes) to Ginza, the most exquisite shopping neighbourhood in Tokyo. If you are lucky enough to visit during the weekend, then very likely the main Ginza artery will be closed to cars and open for pedestrians only. This is one of the best ways to enjoy a shopping spree in Japan. Ginza is essentially a luxurious neighbourhood with a network of expensive shops. You will find boutiques as well as well-known brands. Ginza really looks absolutely outstanding during night time, when all the shops look bright and colourful. Don’t forget your passport, you will need it so you can enjoy tax-free shopping. Note that Ginza is expensive. So if budget travel is your target, maybe leave the credit card at home, but bring your camera, as you will find many photo opportunities.

Shibuya Crossing

I kept the best of the day for last: the amazing Shibuya Crossing. Featured in so many movies, there is no denying that the Shibuya pedestrian scramble fascinates us all. It’s difficult to find a spot to properly photograph it from above and as you might already know, drones are not legal in cities, in Japan. You have a few options… First, I would suggest you cross Shibuya a few times yourself. It’s actually a lot of fun to be in the middle of it all and I promise, it won’t get too overwhelming but will be rather fun.

Once you experienced Shibuya as a pedestrian, it’s time to experience it as a photographer: head over to the Starbucks right in front of the crossing and wait for your turn in front of the window where you can definitely take a lot of photos and videos. Alternatively, in the train station, there is a viewing point as you cross from one side to another. That also offers a great vista point.

You Could Travel Japan

Day 2 in Japan – Tokyo: – Yoyogi – Shinjuku – Tokyo from Above

Yoyogi Park

Day 2 of your 7 days in Japan itinerary. By now I’m sure you will be madly in love with the country. We know we were. So let’s start with a stroll in the park.

Yoyogi Park is a large park in Tokyo, located right next to Harajuku Station. It is well known for its Meiji Shrine and large Torri gate. It is a great place for photographers and nature lovers. Yoyogi Park is not known for its cherry blossoms, but for its Ginko trees which turn yellow during Autumn time.

Yoyogi also comes to life during the weekend when you can see people doing yoga, playing instruments or just hanging around for a picnic. It’s a really beautiful park with large green areas. You wouldn’t believe it such vast green areas can exist in the largest mega-metropolis in the world.

Address: Japan, 〒151-0052 Tokyo, Shibuya, Yoyogikamizonocho, 2−1
Admission: Free
Hours: 24/7

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

A 20-minute walk from Yoyogi will take you to Shinjuku Gyoen. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large park and garden in the heart of Tokyo. This is an incredibly relaxing place and a wonderful spot for nature lovers. You will find many photo opportunities around the park. It is also a great Sakura spot during the Spring. The garden has more than 20,000 trees and over 1500 cherry trees.

We loved Shinjuku Gyoen because it’s the relaxing spot in Shinjuku. Shinjuku is the largest entertainment quarter in Japan (and in the whole of Asia) so being able to stroll in a vast green area full of plants and flowers is pretty amazing.

Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan
Admission: 500 yen
Hours 9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)

Japan Nature


A short 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Gyoen will take you to the Shinjuku Station. There are so many things to do in Shinjuku as this district is also a city in itself, within the city of Tokyo. Pretty cool right? Shinjuku is one of the best places to explore in Tokyo. It is here that you will get to understand the character of the city, with jumbo ads, illuminated shops, myriad colours. Take one hour, or five, and simply meander around Shinjuku. Towards the evening, visit Kabukicho, Asia’s largest Tokyo district.

However, I recommend to watch but not touch. Unless you are fluent in Japanese and always aware of your surroundings, note that many tourists can get in trouble in Kabukicho. If you just walk around and take pictures, nobody will bother you, of course. If you want something a little spicier, check out 18+ activities you can do in Tokyo whilst staying totally safe.
Still, want to have some fun? Here is what to expect from a Tokyo pub crawl.

Tokyo Metropolitan Building

Why not visit the skyscraper district located in Shinjuku, where you can admire Tokyo in all its splendour. The best place to admire Tokyo from above is also the cheapest. Walk for 20 minutes from Kabukicho to The Tokyo Metropolitan Building. In fact, it’s entirely FREE to go to the top. Tokyo is gigantic and seeing it unfold like an endless sea of lights, streets and buildings it’s pretty special.

Tokyo Streets Japan

Day 3 in Japan – Tokyo: – Toyosu Market – Chiyoda – Ueno – Akihabara

Toyosu Market Fish Market

Start your day as early as possible and head over to the Tsukiji Fish Market (now relocated to Toyosu Market). The fish market is the best place for Tokyo’s freshest seafood. You will be able to find all sort of sea creatures here. The sushi here is great and the sashimi is as fresh as it gets. It can be a little odd to enjoy raw fish first thing in the morning, but if you like Japanese food, then I promise you will love this side of Tokyo.

Address: Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
Outer Market: varies by shop, typically 5:00 to 14:00
Wholesale Area: open to visitors after
Tuna Auction: open to visitors from5:25am to 6:15am (restricted to 120 visitors/day)


Chiyoda is one of my favourite parts of Tokyo. It’s also the best place to stay in Tokyo if you love a quiet night. Unlike the rather manic sides of Tokyo, Chiyoda is peaceful and almost entirely quiet. During the evening especially, there is this incredible silence in the heart of the city. To me, this is astonishing. love Chiyoda so much, that I tend to use it as my hub every single time when I visit Tokyo. The most interesting thing to do in this neighbourhood is to take a walk in the gardens of the Imperial Palace. It is free to do so. I also like Hibiya Park which is next door. For epic shopping, visit the Shin-Marunouchi Building. You will probably get lost around here as this is an inconspicuous shopping mall.

Imperial Palace
Address: Japan, 〒100-8111 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Chiyoda, 1−1
Opening Times:
9AM5PM (Monday Closed)

Japan Beautiful Evening in Tokyo

Ueno Park

There are so many things to do in Ueno Park. You can stroll around the park and pond, or visit the myriad museums nearby. Ueno is a major neighbourhood with lots of shops and eateries. You can visit the Tokyo National Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the Tokyo Zoo.

Allocate a few hours to Ueno especially if you wish to also visit the museums. When we visited Ueno for the first time we found some vendors with several great street foods options for us.

Ueno is classed as a prime sakura spot so if you happen to visit during the Spring, note that you might want to arrive as early in the day as possible to avoid crowds.

Address: 5-20 Uenokōen, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0007, Japan


As the night comes, it’s time for the final Tokyo spot during your 7 day Japan itinerary: Akihabara. Many, myself included, have a love-hate relationship with Akihabara. Also known as the electric town, Akihabara is an incredible place for anime and manga lovers. You can find anything and everything around here, from Sailor Moon costumes to mini figurines. It is also a great place to visit maid cafes, one of the main tourist attractions in the neighbourhood.

There is also a shop called Don Quijote around which is a discount Japanese store. You shouldn’t miss it, as you are guaranteed to find something awesome around.

Address: 1 Chome Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0028, Japan
Don Quijote Akihabara address: 4 Chome-3-3 Sotokanda, 千代田区 Tokyo 101-0021, Japan

Where to stay in Tokyo during your 7 days in Japan itinerary

Shinjuku tends to be the prefered accommodation option for most first time travellers in Tokyo. I tend to agree, although I personally prefer the quieter quarters of Chiyoda. As long as you are close to a subway station, you can pick any district you like in Tokyo. Whether you are a budget, midrange or luxury traveller, we curated our favourite accommodation in Tokyo to make sure you are comfortable and enjoy your stay. Alternatively, please check where to stay in Tokyo for more options in other, quieter neighbourhoods.

The Millennials Shibuya
Mid-range Hotel 8.6

The Millennials Shibuya is located just 400 metres away from the famed Shibuya crossing. Each room comes with shared bathroom and free toiletries. A very nice buffet service is served each morning at the property and it is included in the price. The rooms are super clever and can be used as day lounges as well bedrooms due to the reclining capability of your bed. Prices started from £23 per night.

Click here for prices and book The Millennials Shibuya

Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo
Mid-range Hotel 8.0

Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo is located right in downtown Kabukicho with super easy access to all transport links. It features large and clean rooms with free internet and a coin-operated laundrette. This is a 4-star hotel which is very well priced for Tokyo and couples particularly enjoy this location and hotel.As a tip, you should try and ask for the rooms on the top floors as they have amazing views over the city.

Click here for prices and book Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo
Mid-range Hotel 8.4

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is a 5 star hotel located in Shinjuku Skyscraper district. This can only mean one thing: amazing views over Tokyo. The comfortable rooms all come with free wifi and 21 dining options. You can enjoy a fitness centre, swimming pools, convenience stores and even a business centre. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to Tokyo Disney Resort. Unlike other luxury Tokyo hotels, Keio Plaza is actually really well priced, with rooms starting from just £150 per night.

Click here for prices and book Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

Day 4 in Japan – Kyoto: Gion – Shijo Dori

To get to Kyoto from Tokyo, you will need to take the Shinkansen. You can buy the ticket on the day, or you can buy your Japan Rail Pass before your trip, to ensure you benefit from discounts.

You can read all about the Japan Rail Pass here in order to make a decision.
The journey from Tokyo to Kyoto will take roughly 3 hours.
Once you arrive in Kyoto and leave your luggage at the hotel, it’s time to explore. If you decide to lengthen your trip, you can enjoy a Kyoto onsen or take several day trips from Kyoto.

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine was the first spiritual site I ever saw in Kyoto. I couldn’t wait to visit Kyoto and Kyoto didn’t just live to my expectation, but it greatly exceeded it. The Yasaka Shrine was once called the Gion Shrine. Here, you can attend many matsuri (festivals) and you will find various street food vendors.

Address: Japan, 〒605-0073 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Gionmachi Kitagawa

Yasaka Shrine Entrance Kyoto

Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park is right behind the Yasaka Shrine. It features a beautiful pond and several forested paths which lead to many other temples around. We could spend days exploring just Maruyama park alone. There are some vending machines around the park so you can grab a quick snack if you get peckish.

Sunsets are particularly pleasant in Maruyama park and there are many photography opportunities here.

Address: Maruyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0071, Japan

Shijo Dori

Shijo Dori is without a doubt one of the best places in Kyoto to sample lots of Japanese food. Try rice crackers, matcha sweets, biscuits and sour plums. One of the best things I bought here, was a tea called kombucha. It means plum seaweed tea and it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. Sijo Dori is a long street dotted with shops and it starts right in front of the Yasaka Shrine.

There are several restaurants and cafes too, so you can sit down and enjoy a proper meal. Kyoto is well known for its food so you can be assured that as a foodie traveller you will find your space. Around Shijo Dori you can also find traditional Kaiseki meals which consist of several small dishes. They are on a pricey side but something which everyone should try at least once during their trip to Japan.

Address: Shijo Dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, Japan


No trip to Kyoto is complete without spending an evening meandering around Gion, the old entertainment quarters in Kyoto. This is the best place for geisha spotting. But if you don’t want to take any chances, best to book tickets in advance to see a Geisha performance or better yet, to attend a Japanese tea ceremony. Gion is home to some fantastic old Japanese wooden houses, an absolute wonder to photograph.

Please note that some areas in Kyoto cannot be photographed and taking selfies with Geishas is not allowed. Please be respectful and ensure you don’t break any laws during your week in Japan.

Address: Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0001, Kyoto Prefecture

Married Japanese Traditional Kimono

Day 5 in Japan – Kyoto: – Nijō – Nishiki – Fushimi

Nijō Castle

Start the day by visiting Nijō Castle, a 1603 wooden castle with fantastic gardens. Nijō Castle was the residence of the first Shogun of the Edo Period. The castle is now a UNESCO heritage site and a fantastic place for Sakura lovers.

Note that this is a popular spot for tourists in Kyoto, hence we recommend that you head there first thing in the morning to avoid crowds.

The entrance of Nijo Castle is a short walk from Nijojo-mae Station along the Tozai Subway Line.

Address: Japan, 〒604-8301 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Nijojocho
Opening Times: 8:45 to 17:00 (admission until 16:00), entry to Ninomaru from 9:00 to 16:00

Admission: 600 yen

Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market has been nicknamed Kyoto’s kitchen and for a good reason. You can find many stalls selling fresh food and delicious snacks. For something out of the ordinary, I recommend trying an octopus on a stick which has an egg in its head. A little bizarre? Perhaps, but also rather yummy. When in Japan, expect to sample many matcha sweets. Nishiki Market is a great place for it.

We spent around 2 hours in Nishiki Market. I remember how many sweets and snacks we tried. You can also find souvenirs here made with traditional materials. There is fresh seafood, treats made on the spot for you to try and so many photo spots.

Locals come here to eat and the rule in Japan is that if you see a queue is usually a good sign that the restaurant serves delicious food. In Japan, locals don’t mind queuing for good food.

Delicious Ice Cream in Japan Crazy Pancakes

Rengeoin Sanjusangendo

Rengeoin Sanjusangendo is a temple in Kyoto, famed for its 1001 statues of Kannoin, the goddess of mercy. Note that you won’t be able to take photos inside the temple. As you arrive at the temple, you will be directed to the main hall where you need to take your shoes off. As with many temples in Kyoto, this is standard practice.

Don’t worry, unlike some other countries, your shoes will be safe and won’t disappear from the stand. But if you do plan a longer Kyoto itinerary, just remember to have slip-on shoes with you for your ease.

Address: Japan, 〒605-0941 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Sanjusangendomawari
Admission: 600 yen
Opening Times: 8:00 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:00 from November 16 to March 31), admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

I recommend walking from the Rengeoin Sanjusangendo temple to the Fushimi Inari Taisha. It’s best to visit the Fushimi Inari during the evening or first thing in the morning.

The place gets pretty crowded, especially during the sakura season. If you wish to take pictures, keep on going up the stairs and don’t stop at the first few gates. Eventually, it will get pretty quiet with fewer and fewer people. You can take the left or right path up. It’s a loop hike so as long as you stick to the main road, you won’t get lost. As you go up, you will find several smaller shrines along the way. You can stop and catch your breath. Don’t forget to stop at the intersection, up the mountain, to admire the sunset over the city. You can read more about it here.

Address: Japan, 〒612-0882 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Fushimi Ward, Fukakusa Yabunouchicho
Opening Times: 24/7
Admission Fee: FREE

Fushimi Shrine Kyoto

Day 6 in Japan – Kyoto: Arashiyama – Spiritual Temple Walk

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Start the day by taking the train to the Arashiyama station. A short walk from the station will take you to the Arashiyama bamboo forest, a beautiful side of wild Japan. The Arashiyama bamboo forest really is one of a kind, and it looks most alluring on a windy day when the tips of the long stalks rock gently back and forth. We believe that Arashiyama is one of the best things to do in Japan and something worth visiting the country for. Beyond the bamboo forest, you will find many shrines and temples, local street food and cosy little restaurants. It’s a beautiful time to visit year-round.

Address: Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Admission Fee: FREE

From Arashiyama I suggest making your way to the following temples. You can essentially temple hop, and you can walk as the distances are between 5-20 minutes between each temple.

Okochi Sanso Villa

This is the former villa of the popular actor Okochi Denjiro (1896-1962), located in the back of Arashiyama’s bamboo groves.

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Admission: 1000 yen

Jōjakukō-Ji Temple

This mountainside temple was founded in 1596. With small, attractive buildings and gates, the temple has a quiet and understated atmosphere.

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Admission: 400 yen

Kyoto Mountain View


Nisonin Temple is a hillside temple with slightly larger and imposing buildings

Hours: 9:00 to 16:30
Admission: 500 yen

Gio-Ji Temple

It is known for its moss garden that is punctuated with tall maple trees.

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Admission: 300 yen

Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street

A lovely preserved street from the Meiji Period. Many of the buildings here are traditional Japanese townhouses. You can find many shops and restaurants along the way.

Japan Beautiful Red Paper Oil Umbrella

Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji

Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple is famous for its 1200 stone statues of rakan, devoted followers of Buddhism, each with a different facial expression. This is by far my favourite temple in the whole of Kyoto. It’s not as impressive or well known as others, but somehow, I felt most connected at the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple. This was my favourite place in the whole of Kyoto.

Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:45)
Admission: 300 yen


From Arashiyama make your way to a Zen temple which will indulge your imagination. It is well known for its rock landscape garden. Its gardens are also superb, and pretty wonderful for a long walk.

Address: Japan, 〒616-8001 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, 13
Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (March to November) 8:30 to 16:30 (December to February)
Admission: 500 yen


Kinkaku-ji is the final stop of the day. This temple is known for its golden pavilion with its impressive reflection shimmering across the rippled surface of the pond before it.

Address: 〒603-8361 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Kita Ward, Kinkakujicho,1
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Admission: 400 yen


Where To Stay In Kyoto During Your 7 Days In Japan Itinerary

Gion tends to be the prefered accommodation option for most first time travellers in Kyoto. Whether you are a budget, midrange or luxury traveller, we curated our favourite accommodation in Kyoto to make sure you are comfortable and enjoy your stay. Alternatively, please check where to stay in Kyoto for more options.

Nine Hours Kyoto
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Nine Hours Kyoto is a capsule hotel. The custom-designed capsules at 9 Hours Kyoto Teramachi include a light-based alarm clock, specialised pillow and high-grade linens. Room wear and slippers are provided. Showers and toilets are shared, and the hotel offers its own Japan-made bathing amenities. Guests can stay in beds next to one another by reserving a two capsule room. Prices start at £13.

Click here for prices and book Nine Hours Kyoto

Kyoto Inn Gion The Second
Mid-range Hotel 8.9

Situated in Kyoto, a 12-minute walk from Samurai Kembu Kyoto, Kyoto Inn Gion The Second provides rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. The property is located in the Higashiyama Ward district and Kiyomizu-dera Temple is 1 km away.

Click here for prices and book Kyoto Inn Gion The Second

Gion Hatanaka
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Just a short stroll from the picturesque Gion district, hotel Hatanaka features traditional Japanese accommodation and a spacious public bath overlooking a zen garden. Free Wi-Fi is available. This incredible luxury ryokan will serve you in-room meals and seasonal local dishes.

Click here for prices and book Gion Hatanaka

Day 7 – Airport

Sadly, this is the last day of your 7 days Japan itinerary, and today, you need to make your way back to the airport. I cried on my last day in Japan, I loved the country so much, I vouched to come back (and I did). Japan, to me, remains the best place on the planet and my favourite travel destination. So much so, that I eventually moved to Japan for a while.

Depending on when your flight is, consider these two options to make saying goodbye to Japan easier:

Option one is to spend some time in the Kyoto train station. This is a 14+ story building with lots of shops and eateries. It’s a great place to pass the time and get lost in all those amazing Japanese products. They offer tax-free, so if you didn’t buy any souvenirs yet, this is the place to find some great stuff. I also recommend having a look in the basement where there is a supermarket which sells lots of fresh food, including lovely bento boxes and really nice sushi.

Option two is to make your way back to Tokyo as early as possible. Once you arrived at the Tokyo station, you can spend a lot of time around, again, with all those shops to keep you entertained.

Just remember, don’t miss your flight!

Important things to know for your 7 days in Japan itinerary

Every trip to Japan needs a little bit of planning. Japan is an easy to visit country with plenty to see and do, but it is very different than the west and it does have a set of rules, manners and requirements. So here’s what you need to know before your week-long trip in Japan.

Japan Visas

Citizens of many countries can get a free 90-day entry to visit Japan for tourism. Be sure to check the official Japanese Immigration Website for the latest information for your specific country.

Best Time To Visit Japan

The best time to visit Japan is during the sakura season in Spring, but note that Spring in Japan is expensive and the most crowded. The cheapest season to visit Japan is winter. The most beautiful in our opinion is during Autumn with the gorgeous foliage leaves. For more information check our comprehensive article on the best time to visit Japan.

We hope you enjoyed our comprehensive guide on how to spend 7 days in Japan. If you have any suggestions on how to improve our one week in Japan itinerary, please let us know in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 7 days enough to visit Japan?

7 days can be a fantastic timeframe to experience Japan, although it may feel a bit rushed. During my own 7-day trip, I was able to visit Tokyo and Kyoto, seeing both the modern and traditional sides of the country. In Tokyo, I explored iconic landmarks like Shibuya Crossing and the neon-lit streets of Shinjuku, tried lots of food and visited Senso-ji in Asakusa. In Kyoto, I got to see the Kinkaku-ji, the beautiful Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and the gorgeous Fushimi Inari Shrine.
While I couldn’t see everything Japan has to offer in just 7 days, it was a fantastic experience that left me wanting to return and explore more of this fascinating country.

How much does 7 days in Japan cost?

Expect to pay $1,295/person for your 7 day self-guided tour to Japan. This includes accommodation in great 3 star hotels with private bathroom, all transportation within Japan, some experiences like tea ceremony and kimono wearing, as well as pocket wifi. I would say that you need another $50-100 per day for food, more activities if needed and souvenirs.

Is $5000 enough for a week in Japan?

$5000 is more than enough for a week-long trip to Japan. During my own week in Japan, I found that accommodations and transportation were reasonably priced, especially when using public trains and buses. I enjoyed trying affordable local eateries and street food, which offered delicious meals without breaking the bank. Some attractions and activities had entrance fees, but I prioritized the ones that interested me the most to make the most of my budget.

How many days is ideal to visit Japan?

Based on my personal experience, I would recommend allocating at least two weeks to explore Japan. This timeframe allows for a well-rounded experience where you can visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka and take trips to Nikko, Hakone and Nara. Having two weeks provided me with the flexibility to adapt to unforeseen circumstances or simply take moments to relax and fully appreciate the beauty and depth of Japan. I recommend spending 5 nights in Tokyo, 4 nights in Kyoto, 2 nights in Hiroshima, 2 nights in Osaka and 1 night in Hakone.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


35 responses to “7 Day Japan Itinerary”

  1. Rhiannon @ Rhiannon Travels Avatar
    Rhiannon @ Rhiannon Travels

    Ahh this made me miss Japan SO much! I loved every part of that wonderful country. Can’t want to go back one day. Your photos are incredible! You’ve included so many awesome, useful and informative tips in here, it’s great! 😀
    Kyoto was definitely my second favourite city, after Hiroshima! 🙂

    1. Cory Avatar

      Japan really is the best. We loved Hiroshima <3

  2. Michelle Avatar

    So happy to have found this blog of yours, been dying to go to Japan for the Cherry blossoms but still needed to get my head around what else there is to enjoy. How amazing that Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has so many Cherry trees!!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Ah, it’s all about the cherry trees. I hope you make it to Japan and come back with awesome memories.

  3. Caroline Avatar

    Japan is my favourite too! Amazing how much you can cram into 2 weeks yet barely scratch the surface isn’t it? This is a really good introduction to the country that people will find useful! Have you booked to go back yet? 🙂

    1. Cory Avatar

      As a matter of fact, we are going back next year for another month. We just want to move there really 😀

  4. Louise Avatar

    What a great article. You’ve got so many ideas of what to do and I love the detailed itinerary! Japan has always been on my list, especially after my friend went there on her honeymoon and said what you say – that it is her favourite place in the world! After reading this, I want to go even more now 🙂

    1. Cory Avatar

      We got engaged in Japan, such cool place! I strongly recommend it. I think a honeymoon in Japan is awesome as well.

  5. Kate Avatar

    Wow! Such gorgeous photos! I especially love the photo of the rainy day with everyone carrying their umbrellas. There are clearly an incredible amount of sights to see from the castles to shrines. As a history lover, this looks like an absolute paradise. This is definitely going on my travel wish list.

    1. Cory Avatar

      The sea of umbrellas <3 that’s what I called it. I love Japan so much, it really has it all.

  6. Mille Mirah Seiersen Avatar
    Mille Mirah Seiersen

    Such a great itinerary! I have always wanted to go to Japan! Your pictures are beautiful too!

    1. Cory Avatar

      you are too kind, thank you

  7. mytraveltricks Avatar

    Even though my trip to Japan is still a couple of years away I find your advice very helpful! Love how your recommend everyone to visit Japan and omg your pictures are just stunning!! Can’t wait to read more!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you so much!

  8. Tina Avatar

    Never been to Japan, but it’s on the list! This will be helpful when I finally get there!

    1. Cory Avatar

      I’m so glad it’s on the list. Best place ever

  9. Taylor Avatar

    Great informative post! Now I know best places and things to do in Japan!

  10. C-Ludik Avatar

    Japan has always been on my bucket list ! First, I would love to go to Japan for the Cherry blossoms & to see Nikko but there are incredible amount of sights to see. What surprised me most about Japan is how they are able to preserve such a huge areas of nature while they are currently running out of space in cities like Tokyo ! Thank you for sharing your experience !
    Your post includes really useful and informative tips.

    1. Cory Avatar

      They are so good with their space, aren’t they? The cherry blossom is incredible and def one of the best things to do in Japan.

  11. Jordan Avatar

    I love how in-depth this is…thanks for including all the relevant times and contact info! Can’t wait to visit Japan (hopefully soon!)

    1. Cory Avatar

      No worries, glad you found it useful!

  12. Erin Avatar

    I really want to travel to Japan, and this post is super helpful for planning a visit! Kyoto, Nara, Yoshino, and Osaka all sound wonderful. I’d love to see all these shrines, castles, forests, and mountains. I’d also make sure to have/buy some tea and see the snow monkeys. Thanks for so much for the useful information plus your beautiful photos that make me want to visit even more!

    1. Cory Avatar

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I do hope you will get to visit Japan soon. It’s the most wonderful place on Earth!

  13. Michelle Avatar

    Hi Cory! Your itinerary has been super helpful in referencing for planning 🙂 May I ask which train route did you take from Nara to Yoshino and back? I was told by my airbnb host that it would take 2 hrs from Nara to Yoshino! Which sounds different from what japan-guide mentions.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Michelle,
      Make sure you take the Kintetsu-Limited Express as that doesn’t require you to change. Once you arrive at Yoshino, just buy your return ticket at the counter. The trains are a little slower and it can take up to 2 hours as you won’t be on the Shinkansen. It’s absolutely worth it tho! Any questions, let me know.

  14. Cory Avatar

    Thank you so much

  15. Erica G Avatar
    Erica G

    Thanks for the great tips! Husband and I are planning on going this August and I can’t wait! On your first visit, did you go on a tour or just wing it? Is it fairly easy to get around or do you recommend a guide?

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Erica,

      Thank you for your message. Honestly, you will be fine on your own. We do recommend Beauty of Japan for pub crawls. They were really, really good, showed us truly off the beat locations. Apart from that, you will be just fine on your own. The only thing you truly need is a Japanese sim card with internet on it. This will really help navigate around Japan. Have lots and lots of fun!

  16. Jacob Avatar

    With the Tsukiji Fish Market moving locations in October, how do you recommend we get a comparable experience? (not necessarily the auction, but a great fish market)

  17. Monica Avatar

    Love this blog.
    I am traveling to Japan for my first time and taking my father (84years old) with me. He is in great shape. It has been recommended that we stay in the Ginza area of Tokyo. do you think that is best? We are planning 5 nights in Tokyo and touring from there including Kamakara and then going to Kyoto and Nara for 3 nights. Do you think that is good timing? Any recommended companies to book day tours as I want to plan more than trying to figure out on the fly
    Thanks, Monica

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Monica,

      Ginza is a great option as well as Chiyoda.

      And here is an awesome article about best places to stay in Tokyo

      Wishing you lots of fun! Japan is awesome <3

  18. clara Avatar

    I have read your plan for the next 7 days when in Japan. The schedule that you have specified is very good. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge here.

  19. Rodrigo Avatar

    What would youo recommend to include a great view of Mt. Fuji in this itinerary?

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Rodrigo, you can organise a day trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji.

  20. Rasheed Avatar


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