Are you thinking of traveling to Japan but don't have many vacation days? Would you like to know what to see in Japan in 10 days ? Well, although 10 days are few to get to know Japan, it is enough time to explore the most popular places in the Nippon country, discover its fascinating culture and taste its delicious food.

Before getting down to business with the best places to visit in Japan in 10 days, we are going to answer some of the questions that you are surely asking yourself:

What is the best time to travel in Japan?

You can travel to Japan at any time of the year and each season brings a unique event to Japan that is worth enjoying.

That said, in our opinion it is important to consider when to travel to Japan because there are two times of the year when Japan dresses up:

  • In spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom
  • In Autumn when the red of the tree leaves is the predominant color in the landscapes.

I was lucky enough to visit Japan in the middle of Sakura, at the time of the cherry blossoms in 2018 and I have no words to describe how beautiful the streets and parks of Japan looked with the spectacular pink and white flowers.

cherry blossoms Osaka. What to see in Japan in 10 days

How to get to Japan?

For this route of only 10 days our advice is that you arrive in Japan through the Tokyo airport and leave from the Osaka international airport , or vice versa, depending on the price of the plane tickets .

Another option is to arrive and return from Tokyo, if flights to Japan are much cheaper that way, but you already know that this will mean losing more time on transport during your trip and arriving more tired.

It all depends on the budget you have to travel to Japan .

  • To compare the price of flights we recommend that you use SKYSCANNER , for us it is the best flight comparator on the internet.

How to get around Japan?

Unless you travel to Japan with an organized trip, it is best to move by bullet train, so you will have to get a Rail Pass.

This way you will have unlimited rides for 7, 14 or 21 days on the bullet train in Japan. The Rail Pass must be purchased from outside of Japan, and you can purchase it through this link: Japan Rail Pass .

JR Pass Japan banner

What to see in Japan in 10 days

Map of the route through Japan


10-day Japan itinerary

This is the route that we propose to travel through Japan in 10 days , but you already know that it is best to use it as a base and modify it according to your personal tastes.

In this route, the traditional prevails over modernity. If robots and video games attract a lot of attention then we advise you to add more to Tokyo one day and take it away from Kyoto.

We are going to start this itinerary in Tokyo, as we did, but do you know that if your flights are cheaper starting the trip from Osaka, you only have to start the route at the end?

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

You are going to spend only two days in Tokyo, so you have to make the most of your time in the capital of Japan.

The first day you will surely be looking forward to strolling through the streets of Tokyo and seeing some neon lights. We advise you to take it easy and go for a walk along Takeshita Street in the Harajuku neighborhood.

Takeshita street in the Harajuku neighborhood. Japan

Then you can go to the Shibuya neighborhood to see the Hachiko statue and cross the famous Shibuya crossing a thousand times.

Day 2: Tokyo

During the day we advise you to visit the most traditional Tokyo:

  • Meiji Shrine
  • Asakusa Temple
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace

You can also take a walk through the commercial area of Ginza .

And in the evening night you can go visit the Shinjuku neighborhood and have a beer at the famous bar overlooking the city of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the hotel movie Lost in Translation.

Asakusa Temple in Tokyo, Japan

  • If you are looking for a hotel in Tokyo on booking.com you can compare more than 4,000 different accommodations. Follow this link to find your accommodation in Tokyo: Hotels in Tokyo

Day 3: Mount Fuji and Ryokan

See Mount Fuji and then spend the night in a ryokan (traditional lodging) is a real highlight of the trip.

We saw Mount Fuji from Hakone and took a boat ride on Lake Ashi which was great.

Lake Ashi, Hakone in Japan

Then we went up to Mount Komagatake by cable car to see the Mount better and we were very lucky because the day was very clear and we could see it very clearly (Mount Fuji is usually covered in clouds and you cannot always see it).

Mount Komagatake cable car to see Mount Fuji, Japan

If you are looking for the typical photo of the five-story Red Pagoda and Mount Fuji in the background then instead of Hakone you have to go to Lake Kawaguchiko

Both areas are very good to enjoy the views on Mount Fuji and spend the night in a Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Accommodation) with an onsen bath .

You have to spend the night yes or yes in a Ryokan (Traditional Accommodation) where you can bathe in traditional hot springs (Everyone in a chopped ball, as tradition dictates), put on a kimono and taste a typical traditional Japanese dinner. It is the most beautiful of the trip.

Ryokan Traditional accommodation in Japan

Day 4: Kyoto

Travel to Kyoto from where you can settle in for a few days and do the excursions from there.

  • The days we were in Kyoto we stayed at the hotel  RHIGA ROYAL KYOTO and we recommend it because the rooms were great and the hotel was very conveniently located near the Kyoto Station.

Kyoto is wonderful, so it is very important that you organize yourself very well here to make the most of your time.

The first day, since you will only have the afternoon because you will have arrived from Hakone, I advise you to go to the downtown area of Kyoto : The famous neighborhoods of Gion and Pontocho , which are neighborhoods of Geishas (I came in love with Pontocho) , Kiyamachi, Teramachi and Shinkyogoku streets. When you go to Gion come to visit the Yasaka Jinja Shrine.

kiyamichi street-what-to-do-kyoto

Day 6: Nara and Osaka

In the morning you can take the train to and from Nara (45 minutes with your Rail Pass tickets) to see the Todaiji Temple and feed the deer in Nara Park.

Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan

And then in the afternoon go to Osaka (45 minutes) to see Osaka Castle and stroll through the Dotombori shopping area which is very famous for its lively nightlife and the number of restaurants you can find there . You can have a drink there and you're back in Kyoto.

Osaka Castle, What to see in Japan in 10 days

Day 7: Kyoto

We are going to dedicate this day completely to traditional Kyoto.

You can organize to go to Arashiyama first and see the Sagano Bamboo Forest and then make an itinerary around the city and visit these places:

  • Kinakakuji Temple
  • Ryoanji Temple
  • Ninnaji temple
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace

Bamboo osque from Sagano. 10 day Japan tour

Day 8: Kyoto

This day we recommend that you get up early to visit the famous Fushimi Inari , the walk of the Red Toris, and thus avoid the mass of tourists a bit.

This day can visit Kyoto Station, Higashi Honganji Temple and Kiyomizu temple when you return to visit Fushimi Inari.

Other places in Kyoto that you should visit are:

  • Higashiyama Temple
  • Heian-Jingu Shrine

Fushimi Inari, the promenade of the Red Toris Japan

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Day 9: Hiroshima and Miyahima

Some ask us if it is worth visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima , because these two cities are a little far from the traditional route (about 2 and a half hours of travel with your Rail Pass).

I did not miss this excursion because the island of Miyahima is truly amazing .

Take the bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima. When you arrive in Hiroshima, take a train to Miyajimaguchi station from where you must go to the pier to board the ferry that will take you to the island of Miyajima.

If you want to see the floating Torii you have to go when there is high tide, you can check it out on this web page that we found: Torii Tides .

On the island you cannot miss the Floating Torii , the Itsukushima Shrine, the Senjokaku temple and the Goju-no-to pagoda.

Floating Torii, Miyajima, what to see in Japan

After lunch you can return to Hiroshima and visit the Peace Park and Museum . If you have time to spare and you feel strong, come to visit Hiroshima Castle.

Hiroshima Peace Monument. What to see in Japan in 10 days

Day 10: Back home

The trip is over, travel from Kyoto to Osaka International Airport where you will take your flight back.

Japan is a fascinating country, a place of contrasts where tradition and modernity coexist harmoniously and definitely a country with a culture and customs unlike any you have ever known before.

Gion neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan

Make the most of the 10 days you have to visit Japan with this route : Stroll through the narrow streets of Kyoto, be dazzled by the neon lights of Tokyo and be amazed by the freaks that you will find in its most nerdy neighborhoods and enjoy the delicious Japanese gastronomy.

Hopefully this route that I followed will help you plan your itinerary, which of course you must customize to your style. You will tell us what you think of Japan.

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