Japan is a wonderful country, with a culture so unique and traditional that everyone should have seen this so-called land of the rising sun at least once in their life if they get the chance to. As you may have already seen in other posts from us, we were fortunate enough to travel Japan for a full month and to meet many wonderful and hospitable Japanese who brought us closer to their country and their culture.
Since not everyone has that much time, we would like to introduce you to what we consider to be the best Japan Itinerary 14 days, which you can travel without any problems to discover these wonderful Japan travel destinations. Furthermore, you will find below a few important Japan travel tips to help you plan your Japan 2 week itinerary
Two weeks in Japan are not nearly enough to marvel at all the wonderful sights Japan has to offer. That’s why in our Japan travel Itinerary 14 days, we give you various options to tailor your trip to your wishes and interests.
What to find out in this post
2 weeks in Japan
If you want to travel to Japan, you should start planning early. Various factors should be decided before the trip. In this section, we would like to introduce you to the most important aspects that you need to consider in order to plan your 2 week trip to Japan.
Japan – Best time to travel
Firstly, you have to decide when your trip should take place. Would you like to visit the country during the cherry blossom season? Then, of course, you should drive in the spring. Do you prefer to experience snow? Then you probably might want to visit the country during the winter months.
Japan is a suitable destination for any travel time and has a lot to offer all year long.
We found May / June to be a great time to travel to Japan. The cherry blossom season was just over, so there were not too many tourists. Despite everything, the temperatures were already pretty summery, but it was not too hot.
How would you like to get from A to B in Japan? The arguably most popular means of transport in Japan is the train. Many travelers opt for a JR pass (more information can be found here). With this, you can use all the JR trains throughout the country. However, you must purchase the pass before (!) your arrival in the country.
If you prefer to save some money and don’t mind long travel times, you can also take the bus. There are several bus companies that you can get around with at a relatively affordable price.
Japan – What to see
Of course, the most important thing about your trip around Japan is knowing where to go. If you have a lot of time, you can explore a lot of wonderful places in the whole country. The following locations are designed for a Japan travel itinerary 2 weeks.
2 weeks Japan costs
Especially if you have a limited budget for your trip, you should think about the cost of the holiday in Japan before you travel.
Who plans well and clever and uses a few simple tricks can really save some money on his trip to Japan. On average, during our trip through Japan, we spent only $43.92 per day, resulting in a 2 week Japan budget of at least $ 614.88 (excluding flights). Find out how we did it in our Ultimate Japan Travel Cost Guide.
Japan Information & travel tips
If this is your first trip to Japan, you should first learn a bit about the culture and customs of the country, some of which are very different from ours.
For this, we have summarized all the things I wish I knew before traveling to Japan. You can find them in our Japan Travel Tips article here.
Your Ultimate Japan Itinerary 14 days
Day 1-4 Tokyo
Tokyo is probably the most popular destination in Japan and most likely your first destination in the country.
Like most, you will probably land at Narita airport. But do not worry, it’s actually easy to get to downtown Tokyo from here. Just take one of the Keisei buses.
Tokyo itself is an exciting and unique city, unlike any other in the world. The Japanese capital is huge, the largest in the world to be exact, and so you need plenty of time to explore all corners of Tokyo.
Tokyo is perfect to get the first glimpse into Japanese culture and to learn more about the locals and the history of this interesting country.
An absolute must-do for every visitor to Tokyo is Shibuya, the famous intersection that is somehow comparable to Times Square in New York.
Because Tokyo is so huge, it can make a big difference in what neighborhood of Tokyo you spend the night. That ‘s why you will find detailed information about all important neighborhoods in our comprehensive Tokyo neighborhood and accommodation guide.
Day 5 + 6 in Japan
For the next few days, we would like to give you a few choices from which you can choose a destination. So you can customize your 14 days in Japan even more individually according to your interests.
Option 1 Hakone
About 100 km from Tokyo you can find the small town of Hakone. It is considered a popular tourist destination and is for many an absolute Highland on a trip to Japan.
Hakone is located in the middle of Fuji Hakone-Izu National Park, in which also Mount Fuji and Ashi Lake are located.
On clear days you have a wonderful view of Mount Fuji, the highest and probably most famous mountain in Japan.
Hakone can be used both as a place to stay and as a base for visiting the mountains or as a day trip from Tokyo.
For those who are into nature and mountains, or even planning to hike Mt. Fuji, Hakone is the perfect destination.
Option 2 Matsumoto
Matsumoto is a less crowded city, about 136 miles from Tokyo. It is the perfect destination for those who want to recover from Tokyo’s bustle and are interested in Japanese history, castles and samurai culture.
In Matsumoto, you will find the so-called crow castle, which is definitely worth a visit. At the entrance, volunteers are waiting for you to give you a free tour (even tipping is not accepted here). However, we strongly recommend you to choose a guide. He can tell you many details about the history but also about the castle itself. Our guide could speak English as well as Spanish and was more than happy to practice a little Spanish with us. He knew everything about the castle and its exhibits, making the tour a great experience.
Option 3 Kanazawa
Another wonderful option if you are interested in Japanese culture, architecture and history is Kanazawa. This city is compared to Japanese destinations such as Osaka and Kyoto rather unknown and still worth a visit. Although Kanazawa Castle is rather unspectacular in comparison to Matsumoto Castle, Kanazawa offers many other attractions, such as the traditional Geisha District or some beautiful parks and gardens.
Anyone coming in June should not miss the Hyakumangoku Matsuri Festival, when the whole city seems to be on its feet, dancing and singing through the streets of Kanazawa.
Option 4 Magome
Japan is famous worldwide for its unique and diverse nature. If you are looking for nature and traditional Japanese villages, you should not miss Magome. We immediately fell in love with this small village in the Japanese Alps.
You can use the day you arrive in Magome to take a look around and let your gaze wander over the wonderful nature. We definitely recommend spending a night here as Magome is even more beautiful once the day trippers have left the village and the tranquility has returned.
The next day you can continue on foot to the village of Tsumago, about 4,3 miles away, which is also a traditional Japanese village in the Alps. You can have your luggage delivered to Tsumago for little money. Although the so-called Magome – Tsumago Trail is not only for hiking professionals, it is still a great way to get to know the beautiful nature of the Japanese Alps.
Day 7 & 8 Kyoto
Whichever option you choose before, a city no one visiting Japan should miss is Kyoto – even if you can just spend one day in Kyoto I can’t recommend you enough to go. Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan and is full of ancient architecture and traditional temples. You could probably spend many days or even weeks in Kyoto without getting bored.
In addition to the famous Arashiyama bamboo garden, you will also find the unique Fushimi Inari-Taisha temple in Kyoto, with the orange gates (Toriis), which you may have already seen in many photos.
While we stayed 4 days in the city to discover as much as possible, we have summarized the best 5 attractions that you should not miss during your visit.
Day 9 Nara + Osaka
When staying in Kyoto or Osaka, don’t miss a day trip to Nara. It is a wonderful little town full of deer. Although the deer are wild animals, they can be petted in exchange for a few cookies. Note, however, only to feed the deer’s cookies, which you can buy at the entrances of the park.
Nara is located directly between Kyoto and Osaka, making it a perfect stopover when traveling between those famous Japanese cities.
Definitely take some time to watch the lively animals, which are an important part of Japanese culture.
Later, you can take a train to Osaka and end the day with a delicious Okonomiyaki or popular karaoke.
Day 10 Osaka
Osaka definitely became our favorite city in Japan, even though we are actually not huge fans of big cities. But Osaka somehow has its own very special vibe. Our friend Kana took us to areas where few tourists go to so that we could get to know the very authentic and non-touristy Osaka.
Of course, we also spent time looking at tourist attractions such as the famous castle of Osaka.
Day 11 + 12 Hiroshima & Miyajima
If you are interested in the history of Japan, Hiroshima is definitely a must-do for you.
A real highlight is a day trip to Miyajima, a small island just a few minutes boat ride away from Hiroshima. Even if you’ve never heard of this island before, I’m sure you’ve already seen pictures of it. Because here stands one of the most famous sights of Japan: The Torii in the water. At high tide, its feet are always covered with water, but at low tide, you can walk to Torii and take a look at the most famous Japanese gate from a different angle.
But the island also offers other attractions that can fill a whole day on the island. Similar to Nara, there are also free-roaming deer walking around. Take good care of your bags, especially if you have something to eat with you.
Day 13 + 14 Tokyo
Author’s note: If you have booked your return flight from Osaka, you can simply spend a day more in Tokyo at the beginning of your trip and now simply return to Osaka.
Has it already been 2 weeks? Probably your time in this fascinating country goes by in the blink of an eye and it’s already time to return to Tokyo where your adventure began.
Spend your last days in the colorful metropolis of Tokyo and try all the yummy delights that Japan’s capital has to offer. If you are not sure yet what you should definitely try, you will find our top 10 Japanese dishes here.