If you're considering traveling to Japan for the first time, it's worth knowing that a 3-week trip is long enough for you to experience the highlights of Japan in more depth and not in a rushed way. This tour length is especially suited to retired couples who have lots of time to explore exotic Japan.
You could see geishas in kimonos, visit the spectacular Mt. Fuji, sample delicious Japanese food, stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), relax in an onsen (hot spring), experience Japanese rural life with attractive natural scenery, take part in a traditional tea ceremony...
Where to Spend 3 Weeks in Japan
Here are the most popular destinations in Japan. We hope this will help you to choose according to your interests and preferences.
- Tokyo is Japan's most famous and popular city with its sophisticated fusion of sushi, samurai, animation, sumo, high-tech modernity, and traditional history.
- Kyoto is an ancient city where you can see various shrines, geishas in kimonos, traditional tea ceremonies, and stay at a ryokan to experience classic Japanese accommodation.
- Osaka, "the kitchen of Japan", is a great place to sample authentic Japanese food and to visit the brilliant Ukiyo-e (Japanese print art) Museum.
- Hakone: What makes Hakone so famous is its onsens and Mount Fuji. Stay at a ryokan with an onsen and a spectacular Fuji view.
- Takayama and Shirakawa-go: A trip to Takayama and Shirakawa-go would allow you to experience Japan's rural life and see unique gassho-zukuri (steep wood and thatch) farmhouses.
- Hiroshima, where the world's first atomic bomb was dropped during World War II, calls on everyone to love peace.
- Hokkaido has the best ski resorts and the freshest seafood.
Sharon has been very helpful since the…
Sharon has been very helpful since the beginning coordinating our itinerary in order to accommodate everything we want to see, it been great working with herMore
May, Jul 2023
When I first book I was scared of what…
When I first book I was scared of what to expect, but oh my God! What an amazing experience this has been, from Sharon to all the guides Shawn and Mr. Ho, such amazing people! Their work is excellentMore
Saul Velez, Jul 2023
Albee was very helpful and responsive…
Albee was very helpful and responsive in helping me make plans for their 10 day Japanese tour.More
Bhavini Patel, Jul 2023
Alisa was a perfect tour consultant
Alisa responded to my numerous questions with efficiency and accuracy. She was constantly suggesting options to make the trip more enjoyableMore
Matha Goram, Jul 2023
I highly Recommend Asia Highlights
For our first guide Jun, he was amazing. Very accommodating. Kept in good communication & kept us on time for our activities. Reached out to me the night before to confirm meet times and locations. Our driver for this time was also so kind & driver was always on time. For our second Guide , Ho. He went above and beyond. He stayed in great communication. Stayed later with us on one of the days because we were worried about riding the train back alone but wanted to visit at the shopping center a littler longer, so he stayed with us and made sure we got off on the right stop! During our time with him he took pictures of us and sent them to us! He was very knowledgeable about every place we visited. He was kind and patient with our large group. He made our trip easy & memorable. The driver we had for this timeframe was also kind & always on time! We felt a bond with both guides given to us! If you want an easy going, stress free trip book with “Asia Highlights”!!!More
Jessalynn Flores, Jul 2023
Working to put together a custom trip…
Working to put together a custom trip with Alissa has been a great experienceMore
Marc, Jul 2023
Wonderful Service from Sharon!
Sharon at Asia Highlights has been a HUGE help in planning our trip to Japan later this year. From her initial contact to finalization of the plan, she has been very responsive, professional, patient, and knowledgeable. She was able to quickly propose an amazing itinerary and helped us customize it for our interests. She also made many great recommendations and gave us tips for the trip. I wasn’t familiar with Asia Highlights before I reached out, but after Sharon’s wonderful service, I have full confidence in them. I can’t wait for the trip and I hope it’s as awesome as Sharon’s service!!!More
Ali Tahir, Jul 2023
We had a wonderful time in Japan with guides Moni and Kazuko and with Jan in Singapore. Will always remember this trip!More
Happy Customer, Jun 2023
Just got to say
Just got to say, Monica was great in every way! So sweet and helpful with planning, itineraries, answering questions… would love to meet her in person! Thank you Monica!More
Teri, Jun 2023
Monica is fantastic
Monica is fantastic. She understood our needs, was very responsive and planned a perfect vacation for us. Highly recommend.More
Philip Sheldon, Jun 2023
Me and my son are traveling to Japan
Me and my son are traveling to Japan. Albee is magnificent. Extremely efficient, helpful, trustworthy. I am very happy she is helping us with my son's dreaming trip.More
Ana Letícia Urbanin, Jun 2023
A great way to plan a dream vacation
Due to circumstances, we had to delay our trip to Japan so this review is only about the process of designing the trip. Albee was always available, responsive to our goals, and competent. Based on how involved he was with our family trip, we know we will be back next year and resuming the plan he built. Really impressed with the quality and extent of resources we found through Albee and KimKim.More
KC, May 2023
Yeliz - Asia Highlights
Yeliz was extremely helpful and patient during our Japan trip planning and answered all my various questions. Really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka!More
Cyndie, May 2023
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful…
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful when navigating me through the trip planning process. She helped me plan a very exciting and extravagant trip.More
Jonny Abad, May 2023
Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
3-Week Japan Itineraries: The Perfect 2 Options
Option 1: The Classic Itinerary (Tokyo–Nagano–Kanazawa – Takayama and Shirakawa-go – Kyoto–Osaka)
For those who want to see major cities in Japan, but also some slower pace for outdoor activities in the countryside. This itinerary should be perfect for you.
Here is an itinerary outline for your inspiration:
- Days 1–4: Tokyo
- Days 5–6: Hakone
- Days 7–8: Nagano
- Days 9–12: Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawa-go
- Days 13–17: Kyoto (daytrips to Nara and Arashiyama)
- Days 18–19: Hiroshima
- Days 20–21: Osaka, depart from Kansai International Airport
Days 1–4: Tokyo
As the largest city in Japan, Tokyo is its cultural, economic, and political center. Spend a morning at Tsukiji Market watching tuna auctions and tasting freshly prepared sashimi, meander around the Asakusa district, where vibes of the Edo Period (1603–1868) linger, in the afternoon. Take a day to experience traditional Japanese culture: enjoy a steaming tea at a teahouse in a Japanese garden, watch a traditional Japanese sport — sumo wrestling.
Days 5–6: Hakone
Hakone is a wonderful place, where you can soak in hot springs in any season, while staying at a ryokan and viewing spectacular Mount Fuji .
Suggested reading: The Top 6 Day Trips from Tokyo>>>
Days 7–8: Nagano
It only takes one and a half hours to get out of metropolitan Tokyo and into Nagano, a city surrounded by mountains. Watching snow monkeys soak in the hot springs is a new and unforgettable experience.
Days 9–12: Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawa-go
These three picturesque rural places offer views of buildings dating back to the Edo period as well as Japan's most famous farmhouses.
- Kanazawa: appreciate local gold-leaf products, sample sake at a brewery
- Takayama: Visit well-preserved townhouses, stay at a ryokan with an onsen, taste delicious Hida beef.
- Shirakawa-go: View traditional and stylish gassho-zukuri farmhouses. If you go in January or February, you can see their beautiful wintry lighting.
Days 13–17: Kyoto
Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan and you can experience various cultural activities there.
One day, you could see geisha in kimonos and watch them perform in Gion District, and sample more local sake at a brewery. On another day, experience a handicraft like pottery making or yuzen dying. Take a day to immerse yourself in a tea ceremony and enjoy the city highlights — for example, walking through Nishiki Food Market and sampling traditional Japanese food. Stay at a ryokan and taste a high-class Kaiseki feast.
- Take a day trip to Nara, feed the cute deer at Nara Park.
- Take a day trip to Arashiyama, walk through the lush bamboo groves, visit Tenryu-ji, the most impressive temple in Arashiyama, and have an enjoyable vegetarian meal at the temple.
Days 18–19: Hiroshima
Visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, and take a short ferry ride to Miyajima to see the famous "Floating Torii Gate".
Day 20 Osaka
Explore the lively downtown of Namba and visit one of Japan's most famous castles, the outstanding Osaka Castle.
Maybe you have other preferred cities or attractions… You can always contact us, and we will create your ideal itinerary based on your preferences, group size, budget, and other needs.
Option 2: 3 Weeks in Japan, China, Singapore, and Bali
This tour will allow you to experience the history and culture of Japan and China, experience the rapid development of Singapore, and relax on the beaches of Bali!
Days 1–7: Japan
Suggested Japan itinerary:
- Tokyo (3 days)
- Kyoto (3 days)
- Osaka (1 day)
Explore the most popular three cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Try some Japanese-style activities, like making sushi, enjoying a traditional tea ceremony, stay at a ryokan with onsens. Also visit all the main attractions: Mt. Fuji, Meiji Shrine, Fumi Inari Shrine, Dotonbori,…
Days 8–14: China
Suggested China itinerary:
- Beijing (3 days)
- Xi'an (2 days)
- Chengdu (2 days)
China is an extremely large country. Visit the world-famous Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Summer Palace, get on a rickshaw and journey into the Hutongs of Dongcheng District. Discover the mysterious underground army at the Terracotta Army Museum, and walk along the Ancient City Wall, or rent a bike for a wall-top exploration. See the cute pandas in Chengdu.
Day 15: Singapore
Discover the charming city of Singapore. Its main attractions include Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay, Little India, Kampong Glam, Arab Street, and a boat trip from Clark Quay.
Days 16–19: Bali
Bali is a romantic tropical beach destination, where you can have wonderful memories with your partner.
Day 20: Bali Departure
You are warmly welcomed to have us customize your trip based on your group size, interests, and other needs. Sit back and use our Create My Trip service.
Best Times to Travel to Japan
Japan is a great place to visit all year round. No matter when you come, you can find stunning views: cherry blossom in spring (March to May), festival celebrations and fireworks in summer (July to August), red maple and yellow ginkgo in autumn (September to November), and snow and skiing in winter (December to February).
How Much Does 3 Weeks in Japan Cost?
Japan is more expensive than other countries in Asia, but is one of the cheapest developed-country destinations. It offers high-quality accommodation, food, service, and attractions.
Generally, 4-star hotels, private guide, private car and other transport in Japan, and tickets for attractions costs 350–500 USD per day per person for a family of 3-5 people. Thus, the total cost is around 7,400–10,500 USD for 3 weeks.
We recommend you take private cars if you'd have any difficulty in taking public transportation. It may save you more than 20,000 steps a day!
You enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to Asia Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒).
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.