JAPAN ITINERARY - 7 DAY
Japan Itinerary - Seven Day - This Japan itinerary is a seven day tour of Tokyo covering central Tokyo and surrounds including Mt Fuji.
Most flights arrive in the late afternoon or evening into Narita Airport. After clearing customs head to the station at Narita Airport to catch the JR Narita Express to Shinjuku Station. We recommend staying in Shinjuku as it is centrally located, close to most of the highlights of Tokyo and has excellent transport links. From Shinjuku Station either walk or catch a cab to your hotel. The following are the suggested hotels for Shinjuku:
Day 1: Self Guided Tour of Shibuya
Shibuya is the trendy and fashionable shopping district of Tokyo. Ideally this tour should be on a Sunday as this is when you can see the best of the Harajuku fashion, which normally appears in the afternoon. You can continue to explore the shops, restaurants and cafes into the evening.
In the morning start you exploration of
Shibuya Station and work
your walk towards Harajuku.
There are many major shopping centre buildings and department stores
Shibuya Station area. Use
Shibuya Map to help plan your walk. Some of the key highlights not to
Shibuya 109 Building, Omotesando and Takeshita-Dori, Meiji Jingu shrine and the Harajuku fashion (mainly weekends, particularly Sunday afternoon) on the bridge across to Meiji Jingu shrine.
Meiji Jingu shrine is a popular and picturesque Japanese Shinto Shrine set in a forest of 120,000 evergreen trees which block out the noise of the city. If you are lucky you may see a traditional Japanese wedding, but you should at least see some of the Shrine maiden walking through the shrine complex.
Day 2: - Mt Fuji and Hakone Day Tour
Mt Fuji is very difficult to access via public transport and while there are locations such as Hakone that can be accessed easily via public transport the views of Mt Fuji will still be quite distant. The best option is take an organised tour such as Mt Fuji and Hakone Day Tour from Tokyo: Return By Bullet Train.
On this tour you'll enjoy lunch on Mt Fuji, cruise Lake Ashi and ride the aerial cableway at Mount Komagatake for sweeping views of the celebrated Hakone National Park. You will need to book this tour at least four days in advance.
Day 3: Self Guided Day Tour - Ueno Park
If you are in Tokyo in Cherry Blossom season (end of March through early April) then you will be delighted to visit Ueno Park. In other seasons it is still worth visiting, but you may choose to spend less time there. Ueno Park includes the following attractions:
Toshogu Shrine was built in 1617 is considered to be valuable for its historical architecture, Grand Oishi Torii Gate and bronze garden lanterns. It is open every day of the year.
Bentendo Hall Temple
Bentendo Hall Temple is a Benzaiten Temple on an island in the the middle of Shinobazu Pond.
Tokyo National Museum
National Museum of Western Art
Tokyo National Science Museum
In the evening you can stay on to enjoy the party atmosphere or head back to the bright lights and night life of Shinjuku or Roppongi.
Day 4: Nikko World Heritage Day Tour
This is an organised day tour to Nikko World Heritage, Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Kegon Waterfall.
Day 5 Shinjuku, Ginza and Akihabara
This self guided day tour takes in some of the key modern parts of central Tokyo.
First thing in the morning go to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which is the best observation deck in Tokyo. Going early in the morning gives you the best chance of seeing things in the distance including Mt Fuji. If you are staying in Shinjuku it may be easiest to walk to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, otherwise the closest station is normally Shinjuku Station.
If you have been staying in Shinjuku you may have already seen many of the highlights of Shinjuku, otherwise in Cherry Blossom season or if you like gardens head to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden via train. Get on at Shinjuku Station (Chuo Main Line) and get off at Sendagaya Station. While Shinjuku Gyoen may look close to Shinjuku Station, there are no entrances on that side and it will take a some time to walk around to the entrance. I would allow a minimum of one hour to walk around the key parts of the garden, but you could easily spend many more hours. It just depends on what your really want to get done in the day.
If you depart via the Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station (northern) side, then it is easy to take the train from there via the Marunouchi Line to Ginza. The key highlights of Ginza are all the buildings and shops along the two main intersecting streets, Chuo-dori and Harumi-dori. To walk the main parts of these streets would require around 60 to 90 minutes on foot. Allow more time then if you want to go into any of the stores or galleries; see Ginza Shopping for more details. Those who are particularly interested in fashion style shopping may prefer to finish their day in Ginza and then return to their hotel.
When you have finished in Ginza take the Ginza Line (subway) to Suehirocho Station which is located in Akihabara. There are two key aspects to Akihabara; high technology shopping and maid cafe (also called maido cafe). I suggest you read our Akihabara shopping to guide you on what is worth buying in Japan. If you walk around to Akihabara Station you will find several maid's standing there promoting their cafe. Pick up some of their flyers and go to the one(s) you like the best. This is a really fun part of modern Japanese culture.
Alternative Day 3 or 4: Kamakura and Yokohama
You can substitute this day trip for one of the tours from Day 3 or 4.
This is a self guided one day tour. From Shinjuku Station take the Shonan-Shinjuku line to Ofuna Station, change to the Yokosuka line to Kamakura Station, change to Enoshima Dentetsu line to Hase Station. This trip takes about 77 minutes and one way is 1080 Yen. From the Hase Station it is about a 500m walk to Kotokuin Temple.
The Kotokuin Temple is renowned for the Great Buddha (大仏, daibutsu), a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha which is one of the most famous icons of Japan. The statue stands at 13.35 meters high and weighs approximately 93 tons.
Kaikozan Hase-dera - Hase Kannon Temple
Head back towards Hase Station, half way along the path to on the right hand side is the path and entrance to Kaikozan Hase-dera (also known as the Hase Kannon Temple). Kaikozan Hase-dera is one of the great Buddhist temples in the city of Kamakura, famous for housing a massive wooden statue of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy). The temple is the fourth of the 33 stations of the Bandō Sanjūsankasho pilgrimage circuit dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Then return to Hase Station and catch the train back to Kamakura Station. From there head to the western side of Kamakura Station, pass the bus station, to the Komachi Shopping Street. Here you can either stop for lunch or head along the street heading north west to the entrance of the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is the most significant shrine in Kamakura
Now head back to Kamakura Station and take the Rapid Airport Narita train to Yokohama Station, then change to the Minatomirai Line and get off at the Minatomirai station. From there you will be able to see the Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama Museum of Art and the Ferris Wheel at Yokohama Cosmo World. As you walk closer to the Yokohama Landmark Tower you will also see the Nippon Maru - Sail training Ship and the Yokohama Maritime Museum.
Yokohama Landmark Tower
Yokohama Landmark Tower is the tallest building in Japan. On the 69th floor there is an observatory, Sky Garden, from which one can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city, and on clear days Mt Fuji. From here it is about a 400m walk to Bashamichi (subway) Station along the way you will get to view and photograph the buildings and ships from a different angle. From Bashamichi Station take the Minatomirai Line two stops to Motoachichukagai Station.
Yokohama China Town
Yokohama Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in Japan and one of the largest in the world featuring over 200 Chinese restaurants. You can choose to eat dinner here or at the next stop. Return to Bashamichi (subway) Station, take the the Minatomirai Line back to Yokohama Station. Change to the Yokohama City Blue line and get off at Shin-Yokohama Station. From there walk NW 300m then turn right into the side street and you will find the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum.
Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum
Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum is a ramen theme park devoted to Japanese ramen noodle soup. The museum/theme park is devoted to the Japanese ramen noodle soup and features a large recreation of Tokyo in 1958, the year instant noodles were invented. Within the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum are branches of famous ramen restaurants from Kyushu to Hokkaido.
Return to Shinjuku
From Shin-Yokohama Station take the Yokohama line to Kikuna Station change to the Tokyu-Toyoko Line (Commuter Limited Express) to Shibuya Station, change to the Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station.
Alternative Day 3
or 4: Kyoto
You can substitute this day trip for one of the tours from Day 3 or 4.
Kyoto Highlights Day Tour
This organised tour allows you to see some of Kyoto's most popular attractions in one day. You take the bullet train to Kyoto and then return via the bullet train in the evening. Detailed information on each of the attractions:
Kinkakuji - Golden Pavilion, The most famous temple in Kyoto and probably Japan. The temple is literally covered in gold!
Heian Jingu Shine, reflecting the elegance of daily life in the ancient Japanese court
Kiyomizu-dera Temple, with sweeping views of Kyoto from its lofty 13m high veranda and pure water fall.
Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho), the residence of the Imperial family until the capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868
Sanjusangendo Hall, a long wooden hall housing 1,001 statues dating back to the 13th century
Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogun