From the bustling cities to quiet mountain villages, there are many distinct experiences awaiting you on an adventure to Japan. The country is truly timeless – where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
If you’re planning a holiday to this great Eastern country, we’ve put together an itinerary that can be completed comfortably in 10 days.
Japan’s capital, Tokyo is like a whole new world. It’s a city where the past and future come together, all while dazzling visitors with its traditional culture and passion for everything new. The most populous city in the world, there’s plenty of experiences in Tokyo that will leave you enchanted.
The perfect start to your Tokyo visit – Meiji Shrine is a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest.
Asakusa Kannon Temple
One of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples, Asakusa Kannon Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa.
Nakamise Shopping Arcade
Located at Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise is a traditional shopping street, where visitors can enjoy Tokyo’s street food.
Five Lakes Region
South of Tokyo is the beautiful Five Lakes region. Take a cable-car ride for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and the spectacular Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain.
Here, you’ll also have a spectacular view of Mount Fuji from Chureito Pagoda, part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine which was built as a peace memorial in 1963.
Three hours west of Tokyo is Matsumoto – the gateway to the Japanese Alps.
One of the most complete and beautiful among Japan’s original castles; it’s easy to see why Matsumoto Castle is so popular.
Takayama is a city located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. To differentiate from other places named Takayama, the city is commonly referred to as Hida-Takayama and retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities.
Start your day with a visit to the morning market, where farmers display locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Visit Takayama Jinya, a former government office during the Edo Period from 1692 – 1868. This well-preserved building is a national historic site and the only remaining building of its kind in Japan.
Venture to the San-Machi Suji historic district, which is famous for lacquerware shops and sake breweries. Be sure to stop by one of the breweries for a sake tasting.
Drive through the mountainous Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa. This remote region of Japan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the unique Gassho-Zukuri style (joined hands) thatched houses that can only be found here.
Situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan – once the country’s richest region, there’s much to enjoy in Kanazawa. Visit one of Japan’s greatest gardens, Kenroku-en, the ‘Garden of Six Qualities’, dating from the 1670s.
Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 to 1868. It’s one of Japan’s 10 largest cities and has a population of 1.5 million.
Visit Sanjusangendo Temple, famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Flanking the main statue are 1000 more life-sized statues, covered in gold leaf, with 40 arms said to have the power to save 25 worlds.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly coloured Torii Gates.
Continue to the Higashiyama District to visit the Kiyomizu Temple, the ‘Pure Water Temple’, with stunning views over Kyoto.
Temple of the Gold Pavilion
Head to northern Kyoto to visit the Temple of the Golden Pavilion; a Zen temple completely covered in gold leaf.
Learn how to make some Japanese favourites, such as miso soup, teriyaki chicken and makizushi (sushi) at a special Japanese cooking class, run by a local chef.
Yuzen Handmade Corner
Visit the Yuzen Handmade Corner to learn about the Yuzen dyeing technique used to decorate kimonos by painting dye directly on the cloth.
Visit Japan’s oldest capital, Nara. Here, you can see two separate UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First, at Nara Park, is Todaiji Temple, built in 752AD and one of Japan’s most significant temples. Rebuilt after a fire in 1692, the temple is only two-thirds of its original size, yet remains the world’s largest wooden building.
The Daibutsu (Giant Buddha) inside the main hall is made of copper and bronze, and is the largest in all of Japan, weighing 250 tonnes and standing some 15 metres tall!
Nearby is Kasuga Shrine, known for its 3000 stone and bronze lanterns.
Ready to experience the holiday of a lifetime? Check out the Globus ‘Discover Japan’ 10-day tour today.