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10-Day Itineraries in Japan: Top 5 Ideas in 2024

10-Day Itineraries in Japan: Top 5 Ideas in 2024

By Vicky LengUpdated Nov. 23, 2023

Japan is a popular destination for a bucket list trip, annual getaway, romantic celebration, children's birthday, or graduation gift. Japan's sushi, samurai, geisha, ryokans (traditional inns), and anime attract many travelers, especially families with kids and retired couples.

10 days is enough for you to visit the major cities in Japan like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, while also allowing you to spend 2–3 days on day trips to nearby areas such as Hakone, Nara, and the Fuji Five Lakes.

In this article, we've described five wonderful 10-day Japan itineraries to help you get some ideas of your dream trip.

1. A Classic 10-Day Japan Itinerary: Major Highlights plus Family-Friendly Activities

japan travel guide

Experience the best of Japan in the "golden triangle" cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We can arrange plenty of experiential activities to help you have a memorable trip.

  • Days 1–3: Tokyo
  • Days 4–5: Hakone
  • Days 6–8: Kyoto
  • Days 9–10: Osaka

Tokyo, with its perfect blend of history and modernity, is Japan's charming capital that first-timers invariably visit whatever the season. Visit historical Meiji Shrine, feel the old vibe and take a manpower rickshaw in Asakusa, experience ninja crafts and sushi-making at a local home. Anime lovers, you can buy the anime products you're interested in in Akihabara and have a fun time in Pokémon Center.

Hakone is the home of onsens (hot springs). Stay at a ryokan with an onsen for an enjoyable and relaxing time with your family, and visit Lake Ashi on a sightseeing cruise.

Kyoto is the most traditional medieval capital of Japan where you can experience geishas, kimonos, sake, a tea ceremony, shrines, and authentic ryokans.

Osaka is Japan's flourishing trade city, where you can sample delicious street food in Dotonbori District, visit outstanding Osaka Castle, and make cup noodles based on your preference.

You can contact us to tailor-make a tour for you if the above itinerary does not meet your requirement.

2. 10-Day Japan Spring Itinerary: The Best of the Cherry Blossom Season

Japan tour route map

Cherry blossom in spring (March to May) is one of the most attractive and well-known sights in Japan. A lot of travelers from Japan and abroad come specifically during this time to enjoy the blossoming pink trees. Our itinerary allows you to capture the best pictures of spring cherry blossoms in the best places in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka and experience Japan during its peak travel season.

  • Days 1–3: Tokyo
  • Day 4: Fuji Five Lakes
  • Days 5–7: Kyoto
  • Days 8–10: Osaka

We recommend you make reservations at least 3 months in advance as the top ryokans and guides are easily get fully booked well in advance.

Tokyo is the top city for entering Japan as its international flights offer most options. There, visit the largest fish market in Japan —Tsukiji Market to sample the freshly-prepared sashimi; enjoy a steaming macha at Edo-Period (1603–1867) Hamarikyu Garden, which has stunning scenery; and take a river boat ride on Sumida River for a great view of cherry blossoms along the riverside.

Fuji Five Lakes hosts many of the best places to view the spectacular Mount Fuji. Enter Sengen Shrine to enjoy both cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji! Bike around Lake Kawaguchiko to view picturesque nature scenery with a Mount Fuji backdrop.

Kyoto is the destination you must visit to have a deeper insight into Japan's past. Visit medieval Kinkakuji Temple to get a deeper understanding of Japan's history, see geishas in kimonos in Gion District, participate in a classical tea ceremony, and meander around Philosopher's Path to view more stunning cherry blossoms.

Take a day trip to Nara to feed deer in Nara Park, and hike on the Mount Yoshino to be in right in the middle of A LOT OF cherry blossom.

Spend a day each in Universal Studios and Super Nintendo World for a great family time, and taste authentic street food in Dotonbori District.

You can just tell us your preferences and requirements and our travel consultant will customize a tour for you.

3. 10-Day Japan Nature Itinerary: Revitalizing Countryside Views

folk village in Takayama Folk village in Takayama

Discover two quiet-and-picturesque small towns with this Japan itinerary, which would whisk you away to enjoy the mountain breezes, lush bamboo groves, unique Japanese farmhouses, and light hiking in a national park.

  • Days 1–3: Tokyo
  • Days 4–5: Karuizawa
  • Days 6–7: Takayama and Kanazawa
  • Days 8–10: Kyoto

Start your amazing nature trip in Tokyo, the prosperous capital of Japan. In these 3 days, you'll visit famous sightseeing spots and do your choice of family-friendly activities, like sushi-making, shopping for anime products, and/or a ninja experience.

Over the next two days, head to the mountain-bound town of Karuizawa to enjoy Japan's natural beauty. Take a light hike in the national park to experience green forests, clear lakes, and wildlife.

Day 5 brings you to the unique farmhouses in Takayama: gassho-zukuri farmhouses have steep thatched roofs that are named after 'praying hands', and taste delicious Hida beef. Spend the night in Kanazawa, where you could buy gold-leaf products and sample sake at a brewery the next day.

Finish the trip in the impressive medieval capital of Kyoto. See geishas in Gion District, stay at a traditional ryokan for a night, and feed friendly deer in Nara.

4. 10-Day Japan History Itinerary: Explore Nippon's Past

Himeji Castle Himeji Castle
  • Tokyo–Kyoto–Himeji–Hiroshima–Osaka

Get a deeper understanding of Japan's history, and do fun things with a historical theme through this itinerary. Highlights include: trying on samurai armor at the Samurai Museum for a unique experience in Tokyo, visiting well-preserved Himeji Castle in Himeji, staying at a tradition ryokan in Kyoto, and paying a visit to Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

Here is the suggested itinerary:

  • Days 1–3: Tokyo
  • Days 4–6: Kyoto
  • Day 7 Himeji
  • Days 8–9: Hiroshima
  • Day 10: Osaka departure

This incredible journey through Japan begins in Tokyo. Meander around to catch the Edo vibe of Asakusa District, explore the Samurai Museum, and stroll through Hamarikyu Garden to see nature scenery with a classical design.

Starting on Day 4, you will spend three amazing days in Kyoto. Enjoy an afternoon tea with geishas, participate in a traditional tea ceremony, stay at a classic ryokan, and take a day trip to Arashiyama, where there is a lush bamboo forest and fresh air, as there always has been through Japan's history.

Take a day tour in Himeji to visit the Japan's first World Heritage site — Himeji Castle. See this outstanding castle from all angles, and enjoy the castle's stunning Japanese-style garden.

Continue the trip in Hiroshima and Miyajima. Cherish world peace and appreciate its cost in Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. Then, take a short ferry ride to Miyajima to see the famous "floating torii gate". Finish the trip in Osaka, exploring the lively Namba downtown area and sampling street food.

5. 10-Day Japan Cuisine Itinerary: The Foodie Tour

sushi Sushi

Japanese food is one of the nation's most important highlights that attracts many travelers to come to Japan. A trip to taste authentic sushi, ramen and wagyu would be well worth it, especially if you're a self-acknowledged foodie. No matter what you want to eat, you can find a restaurant in Japan to suit your taste.

  • Days 1–3: Tokyo
  • Days 4–6: Kyoto
  • Days 7–9: Osaka and Kobe
  • Day 10: Departure

This delicious journey starts with several days in Tokyo, a metropolis with many Michelin restaurants and great local eateries. Head to Tsukiji Market to sample freshly-prepared sashimi, eat traditional snacks in Asakusa, and try the most authentic ramen and tempura.

The following 3 days in Kyoto would give you the chance to taste high-class Kaiseki, sample sake at a local brewery, and try Japan's tofu dishes.

Osaka is considered the culinary center of Japan, where you can indulge in delicious street food like takoyaki (octopus balls) in Dotonbori and create your own cup noodles based on your palate at the Cup Noodle Museum. Take a day trip to Kobe and savor its world-renowned Kobe Wagyu, known as the Rolls Royce of beef for its exquisite flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Contact our travel advisors and we can arrange it for you.

How Much Does 10 Days in Japan Cost?

Japan cost

US$350-500 per person per day is the typical cost for a private tour with 4-star hotels, based on a family of 3–5 people. This includes a private guide, private car, full-day itinerary, tickets for attractions, all intercity transport within Japan, and hand-picked 4-star hotels. Thus, the total cost for 10 days in Japan is about US$3,500-5,000 (international flights not included).

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