Zack and I put together a little video of our trip to Japan, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. The plan is to start doing this for all our trips – it’s a great way to do something creative together and a fun way to look back at the trip. I’m also sharing a breakdown of our daily itinerary as well.
10 DAY JAPAN ITINERARY
DAY 1 – TRAVEL DAY
TRAVEL DAY: Late morning flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT).
TIP: Try to book a direct flight if possible (or with as few connections as possible) to ensure less travel time and more exploring! There are plenty of “great deals” on flights, but they have 3-4 connections and are 30+ hours. In my opinion, I’d prefer to spend a little more moeny for shorter travel time.
DAY 2 – TOKYO
AFTERNOON: Arrive in Tokyo
We took the Skyliner (purchased tickets at the airport) from Narita to Keisei-Ueno Station and from there had about a 5 minute walk to our Airbnb.
Took the subway to Shibuya to check out Shibuya Crossing at night and explore before grabbing dinner nearby at Goryonsan.
DAY 3 – TOKYO
MORNING in Harajuku
• Fueled up on coffee at Reissue
• Brunch at Burnside Street Cafe
• Checked out the mirrored entrance of Tokyo Plaza
• Strolled down Takeshita-dōri.
• And of course, took some time to just wander around
• Visited Shibuya Crossing again (to see it during the day)
• Grabbed lunch nearby at Genki Sushi
• Took a nice, long walk from Shibuya to the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
• Visited the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower Observatory Deck
• Dinner at Ichiran Ramen
• Took the subway to Shinjuku, and headed to Golden Gai for drinks
DAY 4 – TOKYO + KYOTO
• EARLY morning wake up call (3:00 AM to be exact) for sushi breakfast at Sushi Dai
• Explored Tsukiji Fish Market
• Train from Tokyo to Kyoto (Shinkansen takes about 2.5 hours)
DAY 5 – KYOTO
• Walked to Fushimi Inari Shrine. We arrived around 8am to beat the crowds. Even earlier would be better, BUT the farther you walk down the path, the less crowded it becomes so keep that in mind!
• Breakfast at Vermillion Cafe
• Checked out Tofukuji Temple
• Explored the Higashiyama District including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Gion, the Hokan-ji Temple and pagoda, and the Yasui Konpira-gu shrine
• Late lunch at Ramen Muraji
LATE AFTERNOON / EVENING:
• Watched sunset in Gion (on Yasaka-dori street overlooking the Hokan-ji Temple and pagoda)
DAY 6 – KYOTO
• Took a taxi to the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama
TIP: Highly recommend arriving no later thatn 7:30 AM!)
• Hopped in another taxi to the Kikaku-ji Temple (aka the “Golden Pavilion”)
• Lunch at Hinode Udon
• Wandered along the Philosopher’s Path and checked out several temples and shrines including: Eikando Temple, Honen-in temple, and Ginkakuji (the “Silver Pavillion”)
• Took a long walk (about 3 miles) through Kyoto to the Nishiki Market (it was a great way to explore the city)
• Dinner at Gyozadokoro Takatsuji Sukemasa (again because it was so good)
DAY 7 – IWAKUNI
•Train from Kyoto to Shin-Iwakuni Station (total trip takes about 2 hours with 1 transfer)
NOTE: We kept our Kyoto Airbnb so we could leave all our luggage and bring only a bookbag each to Iwakuni. Highly recommend.
• Grabbed a taxi into town (another option is to rent a car which I would actually recommend)
• Breakfast at imm coffee&roastery
LATE MORNING / EARLY AFTERNOON:
• Checked out the sights: Kintai Bridge, Kintakiyo Caste and Ropeway, grabbed some soft serve ice-cream, and explored the town
• Early dinner at the Chicken Shack (we took a taxi but would recommend renting a car – more details on my Iwakuni Guide)
• Train to Maezora Station (near Miyajima Island)
• Checked into Airbnb for the night
DAY 8 – MIYAJIMA ISLAND + OSAKA
• Walked from our Airbnb to the JR Ferry for Miyajima Island
• Explored the island and saw the Itsukushima Shrine and many other temples and shrines on the island
• Took the ropeway up to Mount Misen Observatory
• Lunch at Miyajima Brewery
• Walked down Omotesando Street and sampled tons of foods and checked out the shops.
• Headed back on the ferry then walked to the nearby train station to head to Osaka
• Quick (unplanned) stop in Osaka; checked out Dotonbori Street for dinner
• Train back tp Kyoto for the night to grab the rest of our luggage before heading back to Tokyo the next day
DAY 9 – TOKYO
• Early train from Kyoto to Tokyo
• Checked into our hotel, MOXY Tokyo Kinshicho
• Late morning in Asakusa to see the Sensoji Temple
AFTERNOON in Akihabara
• Visited several arcades
• Lunch at Yarou Ramen
• It was pretty rainy out so we spent the evening relaxing at the hotel
DAY 10 – TOKYO / TRAVEL DAY
• Quick breakfast at Alfred Tea
• Skyliner to Narita Airport for flight home
For more details on all the sights and restaurants mentioned above, check out my detailed city and restaurant guides: