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2 Weeks in Japan:Top 5 Itineraries for First Visit 2024/2025

2 Weeks in Japan:Top 5 Itineraries for First Visit 2024/2025

By Vicky LengUpdated Feb. 21, 2024

Most first-timers to Japan typically spend 8–12 days exploring the country, but spending 2 weeks in Japan would allow you to have a deeper and more comprehensive experience.

One week is perfect for exploring the essence of Japan in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, and then you could dedicate another week to another region, such as Hokkaido, traditional villages in central Japan, or the southern islands. You could also choose to spend a week in Japan and another week exploring the highlights of a neighboring country such as South Korea or China.

In this article, we've carefully selected five 2-week Japan itinerary suggestions to help you create a stress-free and beautiful journey. Each itinerary would be customized for iconic scenery if you choose to travel with us in the cherry blossom season (March to April), and we would, of course, customize the itinerary based on your preferences at any time of the year.

2 weeks in japan

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Itinerary 1: For Families with Teenagers, Featuring Hands-On Activities

tokyo-kanazawa-hiroshima-osaka
  • 3 nights in Tokyo
  • 1 night in Takayama
  • 1 night in Kanazawa
  • 2 nights in Kyoto (side trip to Nara)
  • 1 night in Hiroshima
  • 4 nights in Osaka

This 2-week Japan itinerary is excellent for families with teenagers. It satiates kids' love for anime, offers plenty of family-friendly activities that both children and adults could enjoy, visits unique traditional villages, explores Hiroshima, and you won't have to change hotels frequently.

Tokyo is full of anime and high-tech elements. Discover some Japan-exclusive products at the most beloved Pokémon Center, indulge in interactive experiences that stimulate the imagination at high-tech museums like teamLab Borderless, and make a bowl of delicious ramen with the help of a skilled chef at one of the best ramen shops.

Take a comfortable ride on the Shinkansen to delve into the picturesque towns of Takayama, Shirakawa, and Kanazawa. You could taste Hida beef, which melts in your mouth, admire the traditional farmhouses characterized by their steep thatched roofs resembling 'praying hands', and witness the transformation of chopsticks or porcelain into golden masterpieces under your craftsmanship.

Kyoto is a traditional city in Japan. Wear kimonos to take memorable family photos in the quaint Gion district, feed friendly deer in Nara, and spend a night at a Japanese-style ryokan (traditional inn) with a family room (accommodating 3–5 people). A ryokan typically has 5–15 rooms and they are easily fully booked, so you're advised to book at least 3 months in advance to ensure a wider range of options. Our Japan travel advisors would help you to select a family-friendly ryokan based on your preferences.

In Osaka, your whole family could try on ninja outfits to learn about the weapons and techniques with a ninja master, and you and your kids could spend a day fully immersed in the magic world of Mario at Super Nintendo World.

Hiroshima was the first city to be hit by an atomic bomb. Visit the site of the bombing and explore the museum. You could see the collection of items left behind after the attack and appreciate the importance of post-war peace.

If you have other requirements, our Japan travel advisors can make it happen.

Itinerary 2: Essence of Japan with Biking in Yokohama

tokyo-yokohama-hiroshima-osaka
  • 4 nights in Tokyo (side trip to Mount Fuji)
  • 1 night in Yokohama
  • 3 nights in Kyoto (side trip to Nara)
  • 1 night in Hiroshima
  • 4 nights in Osaka

With this 2-week Japan itinerary, you could cover the major highlights in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka at a leisurely pace. Enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Fuji by cable car, experience a memorable night at a traditional ryokan, feed deer in Nara, and try your hand at ukiyo-e printmaking for a unique souvenir.

Yokohama offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the city's sights by bike. It's extremely attractive during the cherry blossom season (March to April) when you could enjoy the cherry blossoms lining the flat roads. The spring winds carry the petals and drop them on you, creating a delightful experience.

Itinerary 3: Archetypal Japan with Hokkaido's Ainu Aboriginal Culture

Tokyo- Kyoto- osaka- Sapporo
  • 3 nights in Tokyo
  • 2 nights in Kyoto
  • 1 night in Osaka
  • 3 nights in Sapporo (side trip to Otaru)
  • 2 nights in Noboribetsu
  • 1 night in Hakodate

In this 2-week Japan itinerary, you could spend 1 week experiencing the main attractions and authentic activities in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. You would visit traditional shrines, sample various Japanese cuisines, stay at a ryokan, and participate in unique Japanese experiences.

Spend another week in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. Hokkaido is home to the Ainu, the indigenous culture that has greatly influenced the region's history and culture. You could explore Ainu tools and weapons to gain an insight into the Ainu way of life at Historical Village of Hokkaido in the main city of Sapporo.

If you're looking for a more immersive experience, visit Noboribetsu, which boasts an Ainu village offering traditional performances, authentic Ainu cuisine, and engaging activities showcasing their traditional handicrafts.

Itinerary 4: Explore the Highlights of Japan and South Korea

itinerary of Japan and South Korea
  • 3 nights in Seoul, South Korea
  • 3 nights in Busan
  • 2 nights in Osaka, Japan
  • 2 nights in Kyoto
  • 2 nights in Hakone
  • 3 nights in Kyoto

Japan and South Korea are popular for their anime and K-pop cultures respectively, making them dreamy destinations for many kids. With this 2-week itinerary, you could cover the major highlights of both countries and expect abundant family-friendly experiences.

To get more awe-inspiring moments, you're highly recommended to warm up to oriental culture in South Korea and then travel to Japan, as Japan provides more hidden gems for you to unveil.

In South Korea, dance with your teenage kids at a fun-filled K-pop dancing class guided by a professional choreographer, explore the DMZ's tunnel to uncover wartime stories, wear a hanbok to wander through the history-filled Gyeongbokgung Palace and feel like you've traveled back in time, sample Korean snacks at a vibrant local market, and feed seagulls on a sandy beach.

In Japan, you could take the Shinkansen to explore various cities efficiently, immerse yourself in an exciting ninja adventure with your family donning ninja outfits, feed deer in Nara, relax in a traditional ryokan with an onsen (hot spring bath), make sushi as your lunch, and enjoy desserts at an anime café themed with your kids' beloved cartoon characters.

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

Itinerary 5: Classic Japan and China

itinerary of Japan and China
  • 3 nights in Tokyo, Japan
  • 2 nights in Hakone
  • 3 nights in Kyoto
  • 3 nights in Beijing, China
  • 2 nights in Xi'an
  • 2 nights in Shanghai

This 2-week Japan and China itinerary allows you to explore the best of the 'golden triangle' cities of both countries. Traveling to Japan first and then to China would give you a progressive adaption and understanding of Eastern culture. China offers more famous historical buildings than Japan and is one of the main origins of oriental culture.

In Japan, you could explore the perfect blend of historical and modern in Tokyo, stay at a Japanese-style ryokan with an onsen in Hakone, and immerse yourself in the culture-rich city of Kyoto. You could experience the best of Japan in these cities.

China owns many historical buildings that would make you appreciate the charm of its 5,000 years of history. Explore the best-preserved Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing, visit the impressive Terracotta Army and create your own terracotta warriors at a cave-dwelling in Xi'an, and enjoy the charming night views from the Bund in Shanghai.

How Much Does 2 Weeks in 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 handpicked 4-star hotels. Therefore, the total cost for 2 weeks in Japan is about US$4,900–7,000 per person (international flights are not included).

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