Japan is a vibrant and energetic country that offers abundant attractions and unique experiences for everyone to enjoy. From the graceful geisha and charming cherry blossoms to relaxing ryokans (time-honored inns) with onsens (hot spring baths) and exquisite cuisine, as well as the fun of Disney Sea and majestic Mount Fuji, Japan has a lot to offer visitors from around the world.
8 days is enough for you to visit the major cities of Japan — Tokyo and Kyoto, while also allowing you to spend 1–2 days on day trips to nearby areas such as Hakone, Nara, and the Fuji Five Lakes.
In this article, we’ve described four wonderful 8-day itineraries based on Japan travel’s most popular themes to help you get some ideas for your Japan trip.
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
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
Trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with…
For the reasons above, I decided to book again with Asia highlights for our trip to Japan this year in September. Until now it’s been a pleasure dealing with Albee Ning. She was so efficient and pleasant in adjusting our itinerary. Whenever I had any questions I could count on her to answer promptly. I am very lucky to have her as our organiser for our future trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with Asia Highlights when we went to China in 2018. We were extremely satisfied with the exceptional services rendered by our organiser, Robert Hui and private guide William.More
Mrs Cristina Hidalgo Loris, Apr 2023
Albee Ning and Asia Highlights - wonderful to work with.
I and my daughter planned a trip to China and Japan. We worked with Albee Ning who was fantastic in developing a itinerary based on our desires and needs. She was extremely responsive, taking into account all of our requests and worked closely with us, it wasn't just selecting from one of several pre-developed itineraries. We decided to postpone the trip until next year and received the guaranteed refund, minus a small deposit on next years trip. We look forward to working with her again on next years trip and trips in the future. We highly recommend Asia Highlights and Albee NingMore
Nancy K, Apr 2023
Handcrafted tour of Japan by Asia Highlights
My initial inquiry to this company (based in China) was answered in under 10 hours by an amazing travel consultant, named Alisa. She is such a professional in the ways she conducts herself and serves her clients. Alisa is a great communicator and listener. She is very open to requests for additional experiences which require research on her part to arrange. Alisa also provides very detailed information about each experience, location, guides, private car transfers, trains, hotels. This approach is very appealing since detailed communication is so useful and important to me. Alisa also makes the process simple and easy to follow. Answered tons of questions and created the perfect tour for us. We are looking forward to this once in a lifetime visit to Japan and are so grateful we have had the chance to work with Alisa at Asia Highlights!More
Laurie Lee, Feb 2023
Great Overall Experience
Our guide in Tokyo, Fuki, was outstanding. We saw things we would never have otherwise seen, if Fuki had not been there.More
Todd Hankinson, Dec 2022
Plenty of options and personalized tours as needed
Monica Mo was very helpful from the beginning after I enquired about my travel plans to Japan. She listened with understanding and took careful notes and clarified things to make sure she got everything.More
Ginybel Belgira, Sep 2022
Asia Highlights especially Ms. Kanae Chida superb
Asia Highlights and particularly our Tokyo guide, Ms. Kanae Chida, were the best. When Kanae met us, she asked for details of what we wished to see and she constructed an outstanding combination of visits for the day.More
Geoff Rayner-Canham, May 2019
I have arranged a 27 day tour of China, Japan and Hong Kong China
Peggie's English is impeccable and she uses lots of nuances which usually only a native English speaker would know. I have found her very prompt in responding to emails and her knowledge is terrific.More
Ailsa West, Jul 2018
Very professional, great customer service
We travelled to Japan this May (2018). We had contacted Asia Highlights to organise our trip for us. Miss Peggie Lyoo was very helpful, super-friendly, very professional and very prompt with all her replies!More
Tibor Marton, May 2018
Great job!! We had an amazing vacation to Japan. We will use Asian highlights for all of our trips to AsiaMore
Joe, May 2018
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
Monica, Mar 2023
Best Travel Service for Asia Travel
Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
1. 8-Day Japan Classic Itinerary (Most Chosen): Major Highlights of Japan
For first-time visitors to Japan, this itinerary is perfect for experiencing “the best of Japan” in its “golden triangle” cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Moreover, we can arrange plenty of hands-on experiences for you to create an unforgettable trip. Just contact us, and our expert travel consultant will customize a tour based on your requirements.
Here is a most-chosen-Japan-highlights itinerary:
- Days 1–2: Tokyo (Meiji Shrine, sushi-making, samurai museum, anime center)
- Days 3–4: Hakone (ryokans with onsens)
- Days 5–6: Kyoto (geisha, tea ceremony, try on kimonos, feed deer)
- Day 7–8: Osaka (Osaka Castle, Cup Noodle Museum, Super Nintendo World)
Begin your trip in Tokyo, the energetic capital of Japan. You can feel the old vibe by visiting Meiji Shrine and Asakusa District, enjoy a cup of matcha at an Edo-era Japanese garden, and participate in sushi-making and samurai armor experiences. If you have an interest in anime, head to the anime district as well.
Next, you’ll head to Hakone, the home of onsens. Spend a night at a cozy ryokan and relax in an onsen. Take a boat ride on a majestic replica pirate ship on Lake Ashi, and on a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji towering over the backdrop.
Continue your wonderful trip with tradition-filled Kyoto. See geishas in Gion district, participate in a traditional tea ceremony, visit famous Kinkaku Temple, stay at a traditional ryokan for a night, try on kimonos for a memorable photo, and feed lovely deer in Nara.
Finally, you would end the trip in the prosperous trade city of Osaka. View outstanding Osaka Castle, make your own woodblock print at Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, and enjoy a charming night view from the Umeda Sky Building.
2. 8-Day Japan Cherry-Blossom-Season Itinerary: Best of Spring
- Tokyo – Fuji Five Lakes – Kyoto
Needless to say, the best experience of spring (March to May) is to stand under Japan’s cherry trees and appreciate the blossom in the spring breeze. Our itinerary allows you to catch the most attractive cherry blossoms in the best places and enjoy hand-picked activities.
Here is the well-planned cherry blossom itinerary:
- Days 1–3: Tokyo (Tokyo Tower, Sumida River, Asakusa district)
- Days 4–5: Fuji Five Lakes (Mount Fuji, ryokans with onsens)
- Days 6–8: Kyoto (geisha, Nijo Castle, sake, Arashiyama district)
Start your spring journey in Tokyo, a lively city with a perfect blend of history and modernity. Take a river boat ride on Sumida River for a great view of cherry blossoms along the riverside, sample freshly-prepared sashimi at the largest market — Tsukiji, and take a rickshaw to experience the Edo (1603–1867) vibe in Asakusa district.
In the next two days, head to the Fuji Five Lakes, the best places to view spectacular Mount Fuji. Enter Sengen Shrine to enjoy both cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji, and bike around Lake Kawaguchiko to view picturesque natural scenery with a Mount Fuji backdrop.
Finish your trip in Kyoto to get a deeper understanding of Japan’s past. Visit historic Nijo Castle and Fushimi Inari Shrine, see geishas in kimonos in Gion district, participate in a classic tea ceremony, and enjoy a cup of steaming Japanese tea, feed friendly deer in Nara, and wander through the lush avenues of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
3. 8-Day Japan Rural-Style Itinerary: Explore Scenic Countryside Views
- Tokyo – Takayama and Shirakawa-go – Kyoto
Wondering how to explore picturesque and less-crowded small towns and how to enjoy Japan’s charming countryside views? If so, you should check out this itinerary. You can view Japan’s unique gassho-zukuri (‘praying hands’) farmhouses and well-preserved townhouses, indulge in Nippon’s natural beauty, and sample delicious Hida beef.
Here is a well-organized Japan countryside itinerary:
- Days 1–3: Tokyo (Hamarikyu Garden, making sushi, Tsukiji Market)
- Days 4–5: Takayama and Shirakawa-go (well-preserved townhouses, unique farmhouses, picturesque countryside views)
- Days 6–8: Kyoto (geisha, ryokan, matcha, Fushimi Inari Shrine, feed deer)
Your first 3 days in Japan would be spent in incredible Tokyo, visiting its highlights. Wander amongst the Edo vibe of Meiji Shrine and Hamarikyu Garden, have a charming city-wide view from Tokyo Tower, and experience sushi making plus samurai armor and weapons.
Immerse yourself in picturesque Takayama and Shirakawa-go over the next 2 days. Explore well-preserved townhouses, unique gassho-zukuri farmhouses, and sample delicious Hida beef and traditional sake.
End your trip perfectly in the medieval capital of Kyoto, enjoying the top experiences the city has to offer, including having afternoon tea with geishas, sleeping on a tatami at a traditional ryokan, sampling acclaimed Japanese sake and matcha, visiting famous Fushimi Inari Shrine, and feeding the lovely deer in Nara.
4. 8-Day Japan Snow-Season Itinerary: Best Winter Experiences
Winter in Japan transforms the country into a picturesque, white, fairy-tale world, making it an ideal destination to celebrate Christmas and New Year with family. Traveling to Japan during winter offers a multitude of benefits: much less crowding, lower costs, and ample opportunities for unique experiences.
Here is a Japan winter itinerary for your inspiration (contact us for further details):
- Days 1–2: Sapporo (skiing, local chocolate factory, Sapporo Ice Festival)
- Days 3–5: Tokyo (samurai museum, ninja crafts, Ginza shopping district, Pokémon Center)
- Day 6: Nagano (monkeys soaking in hot springs)
- Days 7–8: Kyoto (snow-covered shrines, geisha, ryokan with an onsen, sake)
Land in Sapporo in Hokkaido to begin your winter tour. Explore the most famous local chocolate factory and take a day trip to Otaru to enjoy a snowy view around the Otaru Canal. For skiing lovers, adding a few extra days to your itinerary allows you to enjoy some of the best ski resorts in Sapporo, which offer high-quality powder snow and stunning surroundings.
Fly to Tokyo to spend 3 days in this amazing city. Experience sushi-making and put on samurai armor for a deeper understanding of Japan. Visit the famous Meiji Shrine and modern Ginza district, or head to the Pokémon Center to fulfill your childhood dreams. A day tour of Hakone, home of onsens, is a must-try in winter. Relaxing at a ryokan with an onsen for a night is definitely one of Japan’s top experiences.
On day 6, you'll have the opportunity to witness a unique spectacle in Nagano: the sight of snow monkeys soaking in onsens. This picturesque scene can only be witnessed in Nagano, a small town that's easily accessible from Tokyo.
Spend your last 2 days in the impressive city of Kyoto, where you can visit snow-covered shrines and temples, indulge in a cup of steaming matcha in a traditional tea house, and see beautiful geishas dressed in kimonos in the charming Gion district.
How Much Does 8 Days in Japan Cost?
Japan rivals Europe both in terms of facilities and service standards, which means that travel in Japan costs more than in China or in Southeast Asian countries.
US$400 (and above) per person per day is the typical cost for a private tour with 4-star hotels, based on a group of 2–4 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. An extra US$100 or more per day is required if you’re looking to stay in 5-star hotels. Thus, the total cost for 8 days in Japan is about US$3,200 or so (international flights not included).
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.
Get Inspired with Our Sample 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.