Japan Tour – compact route & tips for 10 days

A Japan tour with only 10 days? Definitely a tight schedule, but definitely enough for first glimpses of history and culture and to admire the world-famous sights of Japan. The land of the rising sun is a special travel destination. Seldom are tradition and high-tech so close together. Come on an exciting journey and see for yourself.

What do you learn in this article?

Route for 10 days Japan round trip – adventure between tradition and future

10 days in Japan: an overview of the route

Day 1 – Osaka
Day 2 – Koyasan
Day 3 – Koyasan / Hiroshima
Day 4 – Miyajima
Day 5 – Hiroshima / Kyoto
Day 6 – Kyoto
Day 7 – Kyoto / Hakone
Day 8 – Tokyo
Day 9 – Tokyo
Day 10 – Tokyo

 

 

Of course, you can also do the route in reverse order.

Before you start: Check here whether you need a visa for Japan with your passport.

What are the BIG5 highlights of this Japan route?

  • Marvel at the old castle in Osaka
  • Let yourself be inspired by the mysticism and tradition in Koyasan
  • Enjoy nature and views on a day trip to Miyajima Island
  • Experience the history of the old imperial city of Kyoto
  • Immerse yourself in the modern mega-metropolis Tokyo

 

 

How does the 10 day Japan tour go in detail?

Japan round trip day 1: Osaka (大阪 市)

It is best to book your flight so that you arrive in Osaka the evening before or in the morning to have as much time as possible. Jet lag certainly doesn’t make your discovery tour easier, but let’s make the best of it!

The tourist hotspot is without a doubt the castle of Osaka, a Japanese castle like a picture book.

Stroll through the busy streets, which gives a first impression of the colorful and noisy life in an Asian and especially Japanese metropolis.

Osaka is also known for its nightlife in neighborhoods like Dotonbori.

A special tip is an evening visit to the Umeda Sky Building with a great panoramic view of Osaka at night.

 

Japan tour day 2: Koyasan (高 野山)

A little insider tip that not everyone has on the plan.

Only about 2 1/2 hours away from Osaka, you can dive deep into the tradition and spirituality of Japan.
A cable car takes you to the 800 meter high mountain Koyasan.

Here you will visit the impressive temple complex and a huge cemetery, which is considered one of the most beautiful sights in Japan.
Go on a tour of discovery in the Okunoin cemetery and marvel at the graves of large shoguns and samurai as well as modern graves – let’s say monuments – by Japanese global corporations like Sony or Sharp.

Especially in the evening, a mystical atmosphere lays over the meadows and forests when the candlelight strolls the visitors.
In the temple complex Danjo Garan you will find many magnificent pagodas, temples and stone shrines.

As a special place for your overnight stay, I recommend an authentic Japanese ryokan (guest house) in Koyasan, where you can taste traditional meals in addition to local clothing. Bookings can be made conveniently via booking.com.

 

Day 3: Koyasan (高 野山) / Hiroshima (広 島 市)

Depending on the accommodation, you can have a traditional breakfast and take part in the morning prayer of the monks.

Then it’s back to the valley and the Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima, about 4 1/2 hours away.

The city achieved sadness through the first atomic bomb attack in 1945. Visit the Peace Museum and the associated park. The most famous photo motif in the city is certainly the “A-Bomb Dome“, a ruin whose walls have survived the attack.

Also worth seeing are the old samurai castle of Hiroshima, the Shukkeien Garden with countless koi carp, Hiroshima Downtown with a homemade delicious okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) at the end.

 

Japan tour day 4: Miyajima (宮 島)

From Hiroshima you take a day trip to the holy island of Miyajima.

Never heard? But you may have seen the giant floating Torii gate in photos. The ferry to the island is included in the Japan Rail Pass!

On Miyajima you can spend a great day with many highlights. There are sacred deer, magnificent temples such as Itsukushima Shrine or Daisho-in Temple.

Take a hike or cable car ride up the Misen, the highest mountain on the island with a great panoramic view. On the way through the forests and temples of the island you will encounter countless small monk statues, some of which are equipped with knitted hats – really impressive.

In the afternoon, the Torii Gate can also be reached on foot – the tide is low.

 

Day 5: Hiroshima (広 島 市) / Kyoto (京 都市)

It is just under 3 hours with the Shinkansen to Kyoto. In the old imperial city, you can no longer escape amazement

First, visit Nijo Castle in the middle of beautiful gardens. The former seat of the Shogun Tokugawa is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the huge complex offers many interesting facets: magnificent palaces and gates, luxurious interiors, the nightingale floors and enchanting gardens.

The Gion district is particularly known for the geishas. Particularly worth seeing are the evening shows, which give a good impression of the Japanese culture and the entertainment arts of the geishas.

 

Japan round trip day 6: Kyoto (京 都市)

Another day of sightseeing in Kyoto: Visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine and walk through the famous red Torii gates. Marvel at the magnificent temples such as the Byodo-in (Uji) and the Kiyomizu-dera, the red shrine Heian-jingu and above all the golden temple Kinkaku-ji.

I find the Yasaka-jinja shrine particularly impressive with its countless lanterns – especially in the dark. Relax in a zen garden (e.g. in the Ryoan-ji temple)

Visit the famous bamboo forests with a subsequent walk along the river. Here you can also see many locals, domestic and foreign tourists in traditional Japanese kimonos – a wonderful sight.

Do you still have time for shopping? Then Teramachi Street is the place for you!

Kyoto is also known for its nightlife – as is usual in Japan with a happy karaoke session!

 

Day 7: Kyoto (京 都市) / Hakone (箱根 町)

Take a boat trip on Ashino-ko Lake, where you have a great view of Mount Fuii in good weather.

The region is famous for its natural hot springs. For overnight stays, you should therefore definitely choose a ryokan accommodation where you can enjoy traditional dishes and relax in the springs (Onsen) after long days of sightseeing.

 

Japan tour day 8: Tokyo (東京)

The mega-metropolis Tokyo is extremely multifaceted, you will find everything from history to modernity to the future.

Drive to the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest building in Japan at 634 meters with a magnificent panoramic view of the city and, if the weather is clear, also Mount Fuji.
In Tokyo you can visit other temples like the Senso-ji or green oases like the Meiji Shrine.

It depends on your personal preferences: Do you like crazy experiences like driving a kart through the streets? Hip neighborhoods? Anime and manga comics? Museums? Excessive shopping? Toyko really has everything to offer and two days suddenly appear very, very short!

Japan has another special form of accommodation to offer: the capsule hotel! Typical Japan: Pack lots of benefits in a confined space.

 

Japan tour day 9: Tokyo (東京)

Another day in huge Tokyo! Have you already got an overview and know what you are going to do today? Come on, don’t waste time!

An impressive spectacle takes place at the Shibuya crossing when all the pedestrian traffic lights turn green and an incredible crowd of people pours onto the street.

Otherwise, you have time today for everything you didn’t manage yesterday in this huge city! Particularly recommended are the free (!) viewing platform of the town hall, the historic district of Asakusa with its old town, the magnificent gardens around the Imperial Palace – formerly the center of power.

 

Japan tour day 10: Tokyo (東京)

Visit Toyosu Fish Market early in the morning – the largest fish market in the world.

Depending on when you have planned your return flight, you still have the rest of the day for further discovery tours through the mega-metropolis Tokyo. I am certain that you will not get bored there!

10 days are like flying – or rather like a Shinkansen trip. Unfortunately it is time to start the journey home.

Conclusion for a 10 day tour of Japan

As you can see, 10 days is a very sporty program, but not everyone is equipped with a lavish vacation and time budget. 10 days full of highlights in an extremely impressive country.

 

What are the costs for 10 days in Japan?

Japan is often said to be an expensive travel destination. Compared to other Asian travel destinations, this is not an accident. Here is the cost estimate for your trip to Japan:

Japan Rail Pass

You can buy the Japan Rail Pass at the earliest 3 months before your trip.

You buy a voucher in advance, which you can exchange in Japan at an “exchange office”. Since 2018, however, it has also been possible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass directly in Japan.

A 7-day Rail pass is required for this 10-day route proposal (currently around 240 euros)

Local transportation

This route proposal includes local trains, metro, mountain railway and ferry. You should expect at least 50 euros.

Accommodations

Expect an average of around 50 euros per night

Catering

You should plan around 30 euros per day for meals and meals.

Entrance fees for sights

That depends on your personal preference, 10 euros per day is a good average

Internet

Good SIM cards are available for around 20 euros / week

Shopping & souvenirs

… are of course completely in your hands. There are many exotic and special ones

Conclusion: total cost 10 days Japan tour

With the average costs you have to expect a total of around 1,200 euros for the 10-day tour in Japan, excluding the flight.

The prices for transport, internet etc. change quickly, so that I can only give a rough indication here, but the effort is too great to keep every price up to date. Be lenient with me 🙂

Alternative routes for 10 days Japan tour

Would you like to suggest your own route here? Please write to me at japa[email protected] or in the comments.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Gabriele

    Amazing journey! I’ve been in Japan once but never saw Hiroshima, i think i’ll give it a try next time!

    Reply
    • Phil

      Thank you! Yes, I highly recommend visiting Hiroshima & nearby Miyajima!

      Reply

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