10 Days in Japan: Top 3 Recommendations

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Planning your vacation and trying to decide how long to stay in Japan? 10 days in Japan is an adequate duration to discover the country. From Tokyo to Kyoto, explore the country on your own or join a tour to discover the best local delicacies, temples, and cultural experiences the country has to offer. Our suggestions for 9 days in Japan and 11 days in Japan below should be helpful. No matter what kind of traveler you are, the itineraries below will allow you to explore Japan.

1. Cultural Hotspots: 9 days in Japan

Nara park in Japan is home to 1000 freely roaming deer.
The deer in Nara are considered messengers of God and are a symbol of Nara
A visit to Tokyo is a must if you're planning to spend 10 days in Japan.
Enjoy panoramic views of neon-lit buildings and historic temples in Tokyo
Day 1 Welcome to Tokyo!
Day 2 Spend the day getting to know Tokyo on your own. Make sure to visit the Skytree.
Day 3 Day trip to the seaside spiritual hub Kamakura, home to over 80 ancient temples and shrines.
Day 4 Head to Osaka, where you can enjoy some of the country’s best food and friendliest locals.
Day 5 Take a train to Japan’s old capital city, Kyoto.
Day 6 Explore Kyoto’s gorgeous old streets, where you’ll find scenic temples, beautiful pottery and maybe a geisha!
Day 7 Enjoy a day trip to Nara where you can feed the park’s famously friendly deer.
Day 8 Return to Tokyo and celebrate your last evening in style.
Day 9 Say goodbye to Japan and depart.

Just shy of a 10 days in Japan, this 9-day self-guided itinerary is perfect for an independent traveler who wants to see Japan’s essential sites without worrying about transportation or lodging. It frees you up to explore Kyoto’s geisha districts and Osaka’s bustling markets without tying you down to a rigid daily schedule. Take on Japan’s best-known cities at your own pace! See tours

2. Express Japan: 9 Days in Japan

Kyoto is one of the most well preserved places in Asia.
Visiting Kyoto in Japan is like diving head first into ancient Japan.
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo
Day 2 Go on sightseeing tour of Tokyo
Day 3 Explore Tokyo’s Tsukiji Outer Market and Akihabara
Day 4 Travel to Nikko and see its highlights
Day 5 Go hiking around Nikko
Day 6 Board shinkansen to Kyoto and see Fushimi Inari Taisha
Day 7 Spend a free day in Kyoto
Day 8 Explore Kyoto on your own
Day 9 End your Japan tour in Kyoto

Japan offers the most striking contrast between tradition and modernity, something that you will discover during this 9-day trip. Get under the skin of Tokyo, the world’s largest city where high rises extend to the horizon. Then you are off to experience tranquility and solitude in Nikko, a city of shrines and museums. Call it an end on reaching Kyoto, a bastion of Japanese culture on whose quite alleyways whisper the swish of geishas’ footstep. Describe your ideal 9-day itinerary with our customized trips to Japan.

3. Budget Tour of Japan: 11 days in Japan

Nara park in Nara is home to hundreds of freely traveling deer
Visit Nara park and feed the freely roaming deer throughout the park.
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo and enjoy views from the top of Tokyo Skytree
Day 2 Attend a cooking class and visit imperial palace gardens
Day 3 Tour a sake brewery, visit the futuristic Odaiba
Day 4 Travel to the base of Mount Fuji
Day 5 Take train to Nagoya and see its ancient robots
Day 6 Visit Ise Jingu shrine
Day 7 Wander through Kanazawa’s samurai district
Day 8 See Gokayama’s gassho-style houses
Day 9 Explore Kyoto on bicycle
Day 10 Encounter friendly deer in Nara
Day 11 Learn zen meditation and travel back home

Overflowing with must-see sights, Japan is a haven for the backpacker as much as it is for the bon vivant. Sample the sights and sounds of Tokyo and delve into its anime and manga culture. Then you are off to see the iconic Mount Fuji, immortalized in a print series by Hokusai. Travel back in time to the Edo period in Kanazawa’s samurai district and sample Japan’s rural life amid the slanted, thatch-roof houses of Gokayama. In Kyoto you have the chance to pedal through its quiet cobbled alleys and clear your minds with practicing Buddhist monks. See tours

Japan is such a unique country with its own distinct cultural flair — whether you’re exploring temples, geisha districts, or trying the local liquor - and it’s the perfect place to take a holiday if you want to experience something new. Want to relax in some hot springs? Hike? You can! Want to feed deer or see a Buddha the size of a house? We’ve got you covered! 10 days in Japan is the perfect amount of time to see all of the country’s highlights, with a few off-the-beaten-track sites along the way.

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  • Alan Williams
    Alan Williams
    Travel Expert in Japan
  • Jeff Aasgaard
    Jeff Aasgaard
    Travel Expert in Japan
  • Katrina Cao
    Katrina Cao
    Travel Expert in South Korea & Japan
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