The Ultimate 10-Day Japan Tour Itinerary

10 day japan travel itinerary

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun? Japan is a country that seamlessly blends old-world traditions with cutting-edge technology, creating a unique and captivating experience for travelers. In this ultimate 10-day Japan tour itinerary, we will take you through the top destinations, introduce you to Japanese norms, and provide helpful tips for traveling around the country. Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and mouth-watering cuisine that Japan has to offer!

Norms in Japan

When visiting a new country, it’s always important to familiarize yourself with the local customs and norms. Japan has a rich cultural heritage and a set of social norms that may be different from what you’re used to. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Tipping is not expected in Japan, and it is rarely practiced. In fact, if you tip too much, the waiter may give the money back, thinking you made a mistake.
  • Japanese people are typically very respectful and often control the level of their voices. In public places, you will mostly hear whispers or complete silence. Public transport is also known for being very quiet and peaceful.
  • Pointing at someone or something is considered rude in Japan. It’s best to use gestures or words to indicate what you’re referring to. Additionally, always ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals.
  • When visiting someone’s house, it is customary to take off your shoes before entering. This is a sign of respect and cleanliness.
  • English translations may not be available in many establishments, despite many Japanese people having a good command of the language. It’s always helpful to have a basic understanding of Japanese phrases or carry a translation app.
  • Unlike other parts of the world, cash is still the preferred method of payment in Japan. Many places do not accept credit cards, so it’s essential to carry enough cash with you.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into Japanese traditions during your travels, we recommend checking out our fully-customizable 16-Day Shogun and Samurai Roads Tour.

Japan’s Top Destinations

Japan is a country of diverse beauty and charm, with countless must-visit destinations. While it’s impossible to visit them all in just ten days, we’ve curated a list of the top destinations that you should consider for your itinerary. These destinations offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich history, breathtaking natural landscapes, and iconic landmarks.

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are often referred to as the “big three” cities in Japan. These vibrant metropolises are bursting with energy, offering a perfect blend of tradition and modernity.

If you have an additional day or spare time in one of these cities, you can embark on day trips to explore nearby attractions such as Mount Fuji, Nara, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki. Each of these destinations has its own unique charm and is worth a visit if you have the time.

Unique Experiences for a Shorter Trip

If you don’t have a full ten days to spare but still want to make the most out of your time in Japan, we have curated some unique experiences that can be completed in a shorter period:

  • 7-Day Art-Focused Tour in Shikoku: Dive into the vibrant art scene of Shikoku, exploring contemporary galleries, traditional crafts, and immersive art experiences.
  • 6-Day Japan Honeymoon Trip: Are you getting married soon? Customize this romantic itinerary that combines cultural exploration, breathtaking landscapes, and luxurious accommodations for an unforgettable honeymoon experience.
  • 6-Day Nature Lovers Tour of Shikoku: If you’re a nature enthusiast, this tour is perfect for you. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Shikoku, hiking through picturesque landscapes, visiting tranquil gardens, and experiencing traditional onsen (hot springs).
  • 4-Day Samurai Craft Tour: Delve into Japan’s fascinating history with this tour that focuses on samurai culture and craftsmanship. Experience traditional sword making, pottery, and calligraphy workshops, and gain insight into the samurai way of life.

How to Travel in Japan: It’s All About Rail

travelling on your 10-day Japan tour

When it comes to traveling between cities in Japan, the most convenient option is by rail. The extensive and efficient railway system in Japan allows you to reach your desired destinations quickly and comfortably. To make the most of your journey, we recommend purchasing a Japan Rail Pass.

The Japan Rail Pass grants you unlimited access to any JR train, including the iconic high-speed Shinkansen bullet trains, for a specific number of days (7, 14, or 21). This pass should be purchased before your arrival in Japan and will be sent to you for easy travel. While it may be an initial expenditure, using the rail pass for just two trips between cities can save you money. Plus, it simplifies your travel experience by eliminating the need to book individual tickets for each train or transfer.

If you require assistance in organizing your rail pass as part of your itinerary, our local designers are here to help you plan the perfect trip.

Introducing The Ultimate 10-Day Japan Tour Itinerary

Now, let’s dive into the main highlight of this article—the ultimate 10-day Japan tour itinerary. We have carefully crafted a detailed schedule that covers some of the most iconic attractions and experiences in Japan. Get ready for an adventure-packed journey filled with cultural immersion, historical landmarks, and culinary delights.

Days 1-3: Tokyo

explore Tokyo on your 10-day Japan tour

The first destination on your 10-day Japan tour is the bustling capital city, Tokyo. Tokyo is a city that never sleeps, offering a perfect blend of modern skyscrapers, ancient temples, and serene parks. Here’s a breakdown of what you can explore during your time in Tokyo:

Visit Tsukiji Fish Market

Start your Tokyo adventure by visiting the renowned Tsukiji Fish Market. While the market has relocated to Toyosu, the outer market still retains its vibrant atmosphere and offers a glimpse into Tokyo’s culinary scene. Join a local guide who will help you navigate the market and select the freshest ingredients for your foodie adventures.

Buddhist Temple Senso-ji

Next, head to the iconic Senso-ji Temple, one of Tokyo’s oldest and most visited temples. As you enter through the Kaminarimon gate, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant shopping street called Nakamise, where locals sell traditional goods and souvenirs. Explore the temple grounds, admire the stunning five-story pagoda, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this sacred place.

Harajuku

Tokyo is a paradise for food lovers, and Harajuku is a must-visit destination for a culinary tour. Indulge in regional snacks, creative pastries, unique sweets, and mouth-watering meals. After satisfying your taste buds, take a leisurely stroll through Yoyogi Park, where you can relax by the ponds and enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature. For those who love cats, a stop at the Cat Cafe Mocha is a purrfect choice, where you can enjoy your meal while cuddling with adorable feline friends.

Tokyo National Museum

In the afternoon, explore the Tokyo National Museum, home to an extensive collection of over 110,000 artworks and ancient relics. Wander through the six buildings that house various exhibits and galleries, showcasing Japan’s rich cultural heritage. From delicate ceramics to exquisite paintings, this museum offers a comprehensive overview of Japanese art and history.

Robot Restaurant & Show

As evening approaches, immerse yourself in the dazzling and eccentric world of the Robot Restaurant & Show in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district. This unique experience features a spectacular performance with drummers, clowns, glow sticks, and of course, robots. Prepare to be entertained like never before as the vibrant lights and lively music create an unforgettable atmosphere.

Visit Nikko

For a day trip from Tokyo, venture north to the enchanting town of Nikko. Known for its stunning natural beauty and historical significance, Nikko offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Visit the magnificent Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site dedicated to the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Explore the national park, which boasts serene lakes, picturesque waterfalls, hiking trails, and hot springs. If you’re craving more nature-filled days, consider our 4-Day Nikko National Park Exploration Tour from Tokyo.

Try Karaoke

End your day in Tokyo by embracing a beloved Japanese pastime—karaoke. Sing your heart out at one of Tokyo’s many karaoke establishments, ranging from private booths to lively nightclubs with live music. Experience the thrill of performing like a superstar and create unforgettable memories with your travel companions.

Eat Sushi

No visit to Japan is complete without indulging in the country’s most famous cuisine—sushi. Tokyo offers an array of sushi options, from traditional sushi bars to innovative sushi rolls and fusion creations. Savor the freshness and delicate flavors of the exquisite sushi, and let your taste buds embark on a culinary journey.

This is just the beginning of your 10-day Japan tour! Stay tuned for the next part of our itinerary, where we will explore more captivating destinations and experiences that await you in this fascinating country.

To be continued…


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