japan 2 week itinerary

The Ultimate 2 Weeks Japan Itinerary: An classic first time in japan itinerary guide

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Are you planning your first trip to Japan and only have 14 days? This comprehensive in slow travel guide for 2 week Japan itinerary covers the perfect blend of jaw-dropping cities and serene nature for an unforgettable introduction to Japan.

japan 2 week itinerary

The Ultimate 2 Weeks Japan Itinerary: A Slow Travel Guide

 In a Rush? Here’s a highlight

  • Start in Tokyo then go to Hakone, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shirakawa-go, Takayama, Hiroshima, and end in Osaka
  • Avoid crowds and tourist traps by visiting small towns, lesser-known sites, local guides
  • Relax at onsens, ride the romantic train, see rare snow monkeys, wander ancient villages
  • Eat at hidden local eateries, make your own soba noodles, drink sake with a brewmaster
  • Stay at a farmhouse, restored merchant house, century-old inn nested in the Japan Alps

If you want more details, tips, and ideas, read on!

Why Follow the Standard, Crowded Route?

The typical first timer’s route in Japan rushes through packed cities and tourist sites. As rewarding as seeing top attractions in Tokyo, Kyoto and beyond can be, it often means battling selfie stick-wielding tour groups.

This 2 week Japan itinerary offers an alternative: slow travel through tucked-away destinations. With careful planning, you can avoid crowds and uncover rarely-seen sides of Japan.

A Slow Guide to the Perfect 2 Weeks Japan Itinerary

If you want more details, tips, and ideas, read on!

Relax and Immerse vs Dash and Click

So rather than dashing from one photogenic spot to the next, ticking off bucket list items, you can relax at a mountain onsen, wander through ancient post towns, and watch monkeys bathe in secret hot springs.

Venture Beyond Big Cities

And instead of packing in hyper-popular cities, you can experience life in small towns and villages. See what Japan is like away from population hubs. Stay in a restored merchant house, get to know country hospitality, and maybe help out on a farm!

Take Roads Less Traveled

In other words, this itinerary follows the road less traveled in Japan. You sacrifice some big name UNESCO Heritage sites in order to travel deeper and slower. But you gain rare glimpses into everyday Japanese life amid immersive natural settings.

Best of Traditional and Contemporary Japan

Along the way, you can embrace traditional culture and cutting-edge modernity – from meditating at a zen rock garden to singing karaoke in a themed love hotel. You get insider perspectives thanks to local guides leading you to spots most tourists never reach.

So read on to discover an alternate route and find out…

Why Visit Japan for 2 Weeks?

  • A two week Japan trip allows you to see a nice variety without overly rushing or backtracking
  • You can balance cities with smaller places for a blend of experiences
  • It fits with average vacation times and budgets
  • Japan’s transport network makes getting around easy

With some smart planning as outlined in this guide, two weeks gives you enough time to see top destinations while going off-beat.

You may still feel you’ve only scratched the surface by the end. But that just means you’ll want to return to see more!

How To Plan a 2 Week Japan Itinerary

Now let’s explore the possibilities across this 2 week Japan itinerary. These are these are the steps to plan a 2 week japan Itinerary

Step 1: Decide How Much Time to Spend in Each city for your japan 2 week itinerary

You need to find the right balance between covering multiple destinations and minimizing travel days. Here’s a balanced option:

  • Tokyo – 3-5 nights
  • Hakone – 1-2 nights (onsen town with views of Mount Fuji)
  • Takayama – 2 nights (historic mountain town)
  • Kanazawa – 2 nights
  • Kyoto – 3-5 nights

With a Japan Rail Pass, you can cover long distances quickly by bullet train.

Alternatively, limit destinations to only Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka plus day trips. This allows for a more relaxed pace if that’s your travel style.

Step 2. Plot Your Route on a Map for your 14 day itinerary japan

Once you’ve decided on the destinations, map out your route. Travel in a loop starting and ending in Tokyo makes the most logistical sense.

TIP: An open-jaw flight (flying into one city and flying out from another city) ticket will save you time without having to backtrack . If flying in and out of Tokyo, visit Hakone, Takayama, Kanazawa, and Kyoto in between. Then fly home from Tokyo or Osaka.

Step 3. Pick the Right Places to Stay during 2 weeks in japan

Base yourself in convenient neighborhoods near public transportation.  For longer stays, apartments rentals provide amenities like kitchens. Hotels and ryokan inns better suit shorter visits.

Related: best area to stay in tokyo

TIP: Save money by opting for smaller twin rooms rather than doubles.

Step 4. Research Transportation Options for itinerary japan 14 days

Japan’s efficient public transit system makes getting around easy. The train and subway reach most destinations; you’ll rarely need taxis. (although they did come in handy on those days your feet ache from all the walking)

  • Purchase a Japan Rail Pass if your itinerary includes bullet trains between multiple cities.
  • Get a prepaid IC card for local trains and buses within cities; it saves time over buying individual tickets. Top it up as needed.
  • Google Maps works offline to navigate public transit including trains, subways and buses. The JapanTaxi app also hails and pays for cabs

Related:  must have apps for your trip to Japan & The Best Japan eSIM for Travelers in 2023: A Complete Guide

Alternatively, join group transportation tours between destinations. These convenient bus tours allow you to sightsee without arranging logistics. I recommend you book these tours on Viator they have the best reviews and largest selection of tours

Step 5. Book Desired Tours and Activities during japan 14 day itinerary

Japan offers countless fantastic experiences, from cultural activities like tea ceremonies to adventure excursions like kayaking with snow monkeys.

Book popular tours like Tokyo pub crawls, Kyoto food tours, and sumo wrestling matches well in advance online. For other activities, hotel staff provide local recommendations and assistance with reservations once you arrive.

Leave room for spontaneous decisions too. Part of the fun is stumbling upon hole-in-the-wall restaurants, quirky shops and more!

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2 Week Japan Itinerary Overview

This well balanced 2 week Japan itinerary covers all the places worth including on a first timer’s trip:

  • Tokyo – neon city lights to serene gardens
  • Hakone – hot springs and views of Mt Fuji
  • Takayama – historic mountain town
  • Kanazawa – modern city with geography, history and art
  • Kyoto – top temples, shrines, geisha districts and cuisine
  • Day Trips – Hiroshima, Nara, Nikko, Kamakura

With careful planning using the previous tips, you can craft an itinerary matching your own interests. Keep reading for suggested timings and top sights in each destination.

Suggested 2 Week Japan Itinerary

Follow this complete two week Japan itinerary covering all the highlights at a comfortable pace:

2 Week Japan Itinerary Overview

  • Days 1-4: Tokyo
  • Day 5: Hakone
  • Day 6-8: Kyoto
  • Day 9-10: Kanazawa
  • Day 11: Shirakawa-go
  • Day 12-13: Takayama
  • Day 14: Hiroshima
  • Day 15: Osaka

We cover the capital and cultural hub Tokyo first. We add the hot spring resort town Hakone as a nature break from the city. Then we bask in ancient atmosphere in Kyoto.

From there we head north to visit well preserved castle town Kanazawa and remote mountain village Shirakawa-go. Next comes charming Takayama in the Japan Alps.

We then head south again via Hiroshima to wrap up in lively Osaka. This route minimizes backtracking while showcasing a diverse range of destinations.

Now let’s explore day-by-day!

Days 1-4: Discover Tokyo during 2 week trip to japan

Hit the ground running in Japan’s capital. Tokyo dazzles with its sheer size and energy. Don’t worry, you’ll have time to revisit top attractions later too.

Must see spots in tokyo include:

  • Asakusa – Sensoji Temple and Tokyo Skytree
  • Ueno – parks and museums
  • Ginza – upscale shopping and dining
  • Shibuya – iconic Scramble Crossing
  • Shinjuku – skyscraper views and nightlife
  • Odaiba – artificial island with malls

Escape the busy city center when you need a break. Have a picnic under cherry blossoms in serene Shinjuku Gyoen or stroll through Hamarikyu Garden in skyscraper-framed tranquility.

Fuel up on tasty ramen, sushi and yakitori. Sample traditional Japanese sweets like mochi (glutinous rice cakes).

Tips:

  • Stay centrally in districts like Asakusa, Shibuya or Shinjuku
  • Consider Tokyo suburbs like Kawasaki for budget lodging
  • Use public transportation including trains, subways, buses
  • Activate rail pass if you have one

Related: the best area to stay in tokyo & How many days in tokyo?

Japan’s sprawling capital blends skyscrapers with temples, narrow alleyways with high-tech districts. As a first timer, visiting Tokyo can feel overwhelming. So many sights! Such size and scale!

With so much on offer in this megalopolis, keeping your Tokyo itinerary focused helps avoid getting lost in the excitement.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/2-weeks-japan-itinerary-first-time-in-japan/
Kyoto Golden Temple

How to Get to Tokyo

  • Fly into Narita or Haneda International Airports
  • Airport buses or trains take about 1 hour to reach the city
  • Consider a pocket wifi device for easy navigation
  • Buy a prepaid IC transit card like Pasmo or Suica

Where to Stay in Tokyo

With so many neighborhoods to choose from, first timers may feel bewildered. But you can narrow options to a few key areas that give good city access:

  • Asakusa – Old town area with budget to mid-range accommodation
  • Shinjuku – Active district with skyscraper hotels near transport hubs
  • Shibuya – Youthful neighborhood with boutique through high end hotels
  • Ginza – Sophisticated upscale area with luxury hotels

Check Tokyo hotel prices and reviews here.

Top Things to Do in Tokyo

With limited time, you’ll want to pick 1 or 2 areas to focus on per day. Top areas and activities include:

Asakusa

  • Senso-ji – Tokyo’s oldest temple with iconic giant lantern
  • Nakamise Shopping Street – Traditional treats and souvenirs
  • Water Bus Ride – Cruise past skyscrapers on the Sumida River

Ueno

  • Ueno Park – Lush gardens surrounding temples and museums
  • Ameyoko Market – Bustling old-fashioned shopping street
  • Yanesen Area – Quiet backstreets with traditional shops and houses

Shibuya

  • Scramble Crossing – World’s busiest pedestrian crossing
  • Center Gai Area – Youth culture, dining and nightlife zone
  • Shibuya Sky – Panoramic observation deck 300 meters up

Shinjuku

  • Shinjuku Gyoen – Peaceful garden sanctuary with greenhouses
  • Golden Gai – Atmopheric area with tiny bars and eateries
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Building – Free observation decks up 202 meters

Ginza

  • High end boutiques, galleries and theaters
  • Kabukiza Theater – Watch a spectacular kabuki show
  • Department store food halls – Amazing basement floor dining

Unique Things to Do in Tokyo

Beyond mainstream sites, uncover memorable Tokyo experiences:

  • Sing karaoke – Belt out tunes in themed rooms at chain Karaoke-Kan
  • See a robot show – Dine on bento watching LED-suited dancers at Robot Restaurant
  • Go Street Go Karting – Have an amazing time dressing up as mario kart charectors in real life mario kart experience
  • Try a capsule hotel – Spend a cozy night in a pod-style room at First Cabin Akihabara
  • Go gaming – Play retro arcades in Akihabara or try VR ZONE Shinjuku

Local Food and Drink in Tokyo

As an eating destination, Tokyo dazzles with choice from across Japan and beyond. Among tasty things to try:

  • Make your own gourmet instant ramen at Cup Noodles Museum
  • Feast on monjayaki savory pancakes in Tsukishima district
  • Drink in a cozy izakaya pub or hit a lively nightclub in Roppongi

Day Trips from Tokyo

Consider mini trips from the city:

  • Nikko – Lavish shrines and temples in lush nature
  • Hakone – Hot springs with Mount Fuji views
  • Kamakura – Ancient capital with giant Buddha statue
  • Yokohama – Festive Chinatown, bay views and museums

Hakone (Day 5)

Just a train or bus ride from Tokyo, Hakone makes for a refreshing nature break. Here you’ll find hot springs, lake cruises, mountain railway rides and more with Mount Fuji views!

Getting to Hakone from Tokyo

  • Take the Shinkansen bullet train or Odakyu Rail Line from Shinjuku Station
  • Both take just over 90 minutes each way
  • Consider the Hakone Free Pass for transport around the area

Top Things to Do in Hakone

Among relaxing and picturesque pursuits:

  • Admire views of Mount Fuji across Lake Ashi
  • Ride the Hakone Ropeway cable car over Owakudani valley
  • Check out interesting modern art at Hakone Open Air Museum
  • Explore the hillside garden and buildings of Hakone Jinja Shrine
  • Relax in soothing sulfurous onsen hot spring baths

Before heading back to Tokyo, stock up on black “volcano eggs” boiled in sulfurous waters to eat later!

Kyoto (Days 6-8:) Historic and Vibrant Kyoto itinerary for Japan 14 days 

Serving as imperial capital for over 1,000 years, Kyoto retains traditional atmosphere amid countless temples and shrines. With mindful navigation you can appreciate World Heritage Sites far from crowds.

Kyoto dazzles with UNESCO World Heritage Sites and sublime natural beauty around every corner.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/2-weeks-japan-itinerary-first-time-in-japan/

Getting to Kyoto from Tokyo

  • Catch the speedy Shinkansen bullet train
  • Nozomi trains take around 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Hikari and Kodama trains take a little longer for less

Where to Stay in Kyoto

Rest your head in charming traditional inns and machiya townhouses in temple districts or modern hotels downtown and by the train station. Top areas include:

  • Downtown for convenience
  • Higashiyama for old world atmosphere
  • Arashiyama for zen tranquility

Check Kyoto hotel prices and reviews here.

Top Things to Do in Kyoto

With over 2,000 temples and shrines, choices feel infinite! Prioritize with:

  • Fushimi Inari Taisha – Walk under rows of vermillion torii gates up a mountain
  • Gion District – Spot geisha (or tourists dressed as them) along hanamichi corridors
  • Kinkakuji Temple – Behold the golden relfection of the Golden Pavilion
  • Kiyomizu-dera – Take in panoramas from the huge wooden viewing platform
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – Wander through soaring stalks of green bamboo

Avoid weekends and holidays when top sites get very crowded. Early mornings and evenings tend to be calmer.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Kyoto

Escape crowds completely at these lesser-known gems:

  • Explore the quiet moss garden and hall of poems at Saiho-ji Temple
  • Visit Funaokayama Jinja Shrine with views over the city
  • Relax sipping matcha green tea overlooking gardens at Shosei-en
  • Stroll Philosopher’s Path lined with cherry trees up to Silver Pavilion
  • Wander Teramachi covered shopping street filled with craft shops

Local Food and Drink in Kyoto

Don’t miss Kyoto’s amazing food scene from fine dining to street eats. Highlights include:

  • Splurge on kaiseki multi-course seasonal delicacies
  • Feast on obanzai home-style Kyoto cuisine
  • Graze at Nishiki Market trying pickles, sweets and snacks
  • Drink local sake from one of many atmospheric bars
kyoto Japan Momiji Japan Autumn leavesWhite Boat on Body of Water near Green and Orange Leaf Tree

Day Trips from Kyoto

Consider quick getaways:

  • Nara – First Japan capital with temple lodging world’s biggest Buddha
  • Osaka – Lively port city famed for street food and nightlife
  • Kobe – Seaside city renowned for premium local beef
  • Shiga Highlands – Ride the cable car for lake and mountain views

Top attractions include:

  • Fushimi Inari Taisha – 10,000 iconic orange torii gates winding up a mountain
  • Kinkakuji – the famed Golden Pavilion reflecting on a lake
  • Kiyomizu-dera – impressive wooden temple perched on a hillside
  • Arashiyama – serene bamboo groves and mountain views
  • Gion – traditional architecture and elusive passing geisha

Escape to the countryside like Arashiyama when city sensory overload hits. Consider an afternoon tea ceremony for cultural immersion.

Kyoto also makes the perfect base for explorations further afield like Nara, Osaka and Himeji Castle.

Tips:

  • Lodging in Southern Higashiyama or Central Kyoto saves transport time
  • Purchase bus, train and subway passes matched to your itinerary
  • Wear proper shoes as you’ll walk a lot here
  • Carry cash for public buses; cards sometimes aren’t accepted

Kanazawa (Days 9-10)

Continue discovering Japanese history and culture in this scenic coastal city, dubbed “Little Kyoto” for good reason.

kanazawa to takayama

Getting to Kanazawa from Kyoto

  • Catch the Limited Express Thunderbird train
  • Direct journeys take around 2 and a half hours
  • Consider adding a stop in pretty Fukui city along the way

Where to Stay in Kanazawa

Kanazawa stays affordable with ample modern hotels and traditional inns across budget levels in great locations. Consider:

  • Central for site convenience
  • Higashi Chaya District to feel old world atmosphere

Check Kanazawa hotel prices and reviews here.

Related: Kanazawa Itinerary

Top Things to Do in Kanazawa

Don’t miss top cultural attractions like:

  • Kenrokuen Garden – Stunning landscape garden with seasonal beauty
  • 21st Century Museum – Unique circular modern art museum
  • Nagamachi Samurai District – Wander preserved area where warriors once resided
  • Higashi Chaya – Historic geisha tea house district still operating today
  • Omicho Market – Lively fish and produce market filled with seafood and local specialty eats

Local Experiences in Kanazawa

Delve deeper through hands-on cultural experiences:

  • Take a one day kimono wearing course and photoshoot dressed like a local
  • Learn to make gold leaf at Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Company Workshop
  • Join a market tour and make your own sushi from seasonal seafood
  • Visit a sake brewery for a tasting and tour guided by knowledgeable staff

Day Trips from Kanazawa

If you have time, make quick trips to:

  • Shirakawa-go – Fairytale thatched roof farmhouses in remote mountain village
  • Noto Peninsula – Rugged coastal scenery and fishing villages
  • Toyama – Modern canal-lined city with impressive glass art museum

Be sure to arrive hungry – Kanazawa is famed for its fresh seafood thanks to its coastal location. Splurge on a seafood sashimi rice bowl for lunch one day.

Tip: Dress for unpredictable weather in Kanazawa ranging from warm sunny skies to windy rainstorms off the Sea of Japan.

Afterwards, wander Nara’s historic Naramachi district to shop and dine alongside locals.

Tip: Come early to avoid lines for the popular attractions around Nara Park.


Shirakawa-go (Day 11)

Nestled deep in the remote mountains, World Heritage site Shirakawa-go transports you to another time with its majestic gassho-zukuri farmhouses. See these towering thatch roof structures up close in Ogimachi village.

Getting to Shirakawa-Go from Kanazawa

  • Catch the Wide View Hida limited express train
  • The journey takes just under 90 minutes
  • Time return trains wisely as they run infrequently

Consider stopping in Takayama for the night on your way back to maximize time.

Top Things to Do in Shirakawa-Go

This open air museum town captivates with:

  • Photogenic steeply angled gassho-zukuri houses
  • Inside look at huge thatched roof farmhouse interiors
  • Riverside and mountain strolls surrounded by nature
  • Delicious hunks of grilled Hida beef

Wandering remote village lanes transported in time is reason enough to visit!

Related: Shirakawa Go Itinerary & Travel Guide

Good to Know for Visiting Shirakawa-Go

  • Schedule at least 3 or 4 hours to walk around and inside a farmhouse
  • Visit on a weekday to beat weekend tourist crowds
  • Stay overnight in a converted farmhouse for full immersion

Nearby Gokayama Heritage Village

If you have more time, also check out Gokayama in Toyama Prefecture just north of Shirakawa-go. Remote and mountainous like Ogimachi, Gokayama actually has more gassho-zukuri houses thanks to scenic river valley locations.

Days 10-12: Traditions in Takayama plus Shirakawa-go – Itinerary 2 weeks Jpam

After a week exploring Japan’s marquee attractions, slow things down in Takayama, a charming mountain town in the Japan Alps.

Old Town enchants with its beautifully preserved wooden buildings, small museums, hillside shrines and temples like the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall.

Enchanting Takayama 

nestled in the Japan Alps surrounded by peaks – looks like a movie set with its beautifully preserved architecture. Sometimes called Little Kyoto, it promises big charm without crowds. It was one of my favorite towns to experience a Ryokan onsen at. Check out the best takayama onsen ryoakans. 

takayama old town

Getting to Takayama from Shirakawa-Go

  • Catch the Wide View Hida limited express train back to Takayama
  • The scenic journey takes just under 90 minutes one way
  • Time departures wisely as trains run infrequently

Where to Stay in Takayama

Rest up in restored merchant houses, traditional ryokan inns, and charming hotels in this lovely town. Top areas include:

  • Central for convenience
  • Southern Higashiyama for historic walks and temples

Check Takayama hotel prices and reviews here.

Top Things to Do in Takayama

  • Wander picturesque Old Town with buildings from the Edo Period
  • Browse colorful Morning Markets filled with gorgeous produce
  • Admire craftsmanship at Hida no Yakata Folk Village outdoor museum
  • View spring cherry blossoms and autumn fall foliage surrounding town
  • Relax in onsen hot springs like the architecturally splendid Yutaki Onsen

Related: Takayama Itinerary

Local Experiences in Takayama

  • Master making sarubobo traditional good luck talismans
  • Learn the art of soba noodle making then dine on your efforts
  • Sample straight from the cask at a historic sake brewery

Day Trips from Takayama

Consider quick getaways:

  • Ogimachi Village – World Heritage Site farmhouses
  • Furukawa – Quaint riverside heritage area with museums
  • Shinhotaka Ropeway – Vistas from Japan’s longest aerial lift

Nearby Gokayama Heritage Village

If you have more time, also check out Gokayama in Toyama Prefecture just north of Shirakawa-go. Remote and mountainous like Ogimachi, Gokayama actually has more gassho-zukuri houses thanks to scenic river valley locations.

Sample the regional Hida ramen and beef specialties at local restaurants and stalls. Stock up on tasty Japanese sweets like mochi rice cakes for souvenirs.

Take a half day trip out to UNESCO site Shirakawa-go to experience life in a traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouse. See the thatched roofs designed to withstand heavy winter snowfall.

Consider some hiking or outdoor hot spring bathing too while surrounded by nature.

Tips:

  • Takayama is a great base for countryside explorations
  • Allow extra nights here versus other stops
  • Purchase the limited edition Hida Wide View train ticket in advance for the journey between Takayama and Tokyo

Hiroshima (Day 14)

While rendered unimaginable tragedy as first city nuked, today vibrant cosmopolitan Hiroshima radiates peace and hope. Pay respects while witnessing the remarkable human spirit.

Getting to Hiroshima from Takayama

  • Catch the Shinkansen bullet train with likely transfers
  • The journey
  • takes around 5 hours
  • Consider stopping in Osaka, Kyoto or Okayama along the way

Where to Stay in Hiroshima

Rest easy in centrally located business hotels, international brands, and unique historic lodgings a short walk from top memorial sites and museums. Popular areas include:

  • Central for peace park access
  • East of center for nightlife

Check Hiroshima hotel prices and reviews here.

Top Things to Do in Hiroshima

Reflect at pivotal landmarks:

  • Peace Memorial Park – Site of tragic 1945 atomic blast
  • A-Bomb Dome – Devastated building standing as UNESCO site
  • Visit moving Peace Memorial Museum explaining the destruction

Also see sights beyond history:

  • Shukkei-en Garden – Meticulously landscaped sanctuary
  • Hiroshima Castle – Recently reconstructed 16th century tower
  • Island Miyajima’s – Iconic “floating” vermillion Otorii Gate

Consider hiring a guide for personalized context.

Local Food and Drink in Hiroshima

Tuck into Hiroshima’s fresh regional specialties like:

  • Okonomiyaki savory pancakes packed with cabbage and noodles
  • Oysters plucked from nearby Inland Sea waters
  • Locally brewed sake produced from soft water and rice

Osaka (Day 15)

Lively Osaka provides a spirited grand finale with street food feasts, neon cityscapes, and nonstop metropolitan energy!

osaka 2 day itinerary

Getting to Osaka from Hiroshima

  • Ride the Shinkansen taking a little over an hour
  • Or budget flights connect Hiroshima and Itami/Kansai airports

Where to Stay in Osaka

choose among abundant lodging options to suit your style and budget:

  • Central for site-seeing and dining convenience
  • Shinsekai and Tennōji for old time atmosphere
  • Namba and Shinsaibashi for shopping and nightlife

Check Osaka hotel prices and reviews here.

Top Things to Do in Osaka

Eat, play and revel in Japan’s party city hotspots:

  • Dine at bustling Kuromon Ichiba Market
  • Pose with Glico Man sign on iconic Dotonbori Canal
  • Take a river ride sightseeing aboard the Santa Maria
  • Explore futuristic Umeda Sky Building floating observatory
  • Time travel at Osaka Museum of Housing and Living recreated interiors

Related: Osaka 1 day Itinerary

Local Food and Drink in Osaka

Indulge nonstop in Kuidaore “eat until you drop” foodie heaven on:

  • Fluffy souffle jiggly pancakes
  • Batter bursting takoyaki octopus dumplings
  • Rainbow colored themed sweets
  • Fizzing fresh fruit sodas

Toast your epic eat-a-thon with local beer and sake!

Related: Top Osaka Street Food Tour

Extend Your 2 Week Japan Itinerary

While this guides outlines an incredible 2 week trip, you may crave more by the end. No worries – you can easily append extra days at the start or end!

With more time, spend longer in Tokyo before setting out. And/or chill out in Osaka and surroundings after completing the loop.

For three or even four week adventures and beyond, check out these resources:

However long you get to spend in Japan, you’re certain to savor a spectacular journey!

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Additional Planning and Travel Considerations for 14 days in Japan itinerary 

Follow these final Japan travel tips to make on the ground logistics smooth:

Luggage Storage – Travel light using a small wheeled carry on instead of large checked luggage if changing hotels often. Store unneeded bags in lockers or luggage delivery services easily found.

Related: Luagge transfer in Japan 

Cash Management – Withdraw Yen from ATMs at post offices or 7 Bank chains which waive fees. Carry some small bills and coins for vending machines, shops and temples that only accept cash.

Phone Service – Purchase local SIM card or global eSIM for Google Maps access plus on the go translation and research. Many lodgings offer complimentary pocket WiFis as well.

Dress Codes – Pack layers and weather appropriate clothing for the variable climate. Carry socks for temple visits requiring removing shoes indoors.

Following this comprehensive 2 week Japan itinerary sets you up to maximize your precious limited time in Japan. You’ll come home having experiences city highlights, Japanese traditions and natural beauty for an epic introduction to this amazing country that’s bound to leave you eagerly planning your next visit!

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3 Comments

  1. I LOVE a jam packed itinerary. Absolutely love the tips for avoiding crowds! Saving this exact itinerary for my next trip to Japan!

  2. This is such a detailed and helpful guide for exploring Japan as a first-timer. Thanks for all of your suggestions and tips!