Japan, a land where tradition meets modernity, offers a unique adventure for young adults seeking an exhilarating travel experience. Planning a 14-day itinerary in this culturally rich country can seem daunting, but it’s crucial for making the most of your journey. This Japan itinerary 14 days guide is tailored to help you explore Japan’s vibrant cities, ancient temples, and picturesque landscapes, ensuring a memorable adventure.
An epic 14 days in Japan itinerary
Our handcrafted 14-day Japan travel itinerary, inspired by top tours from the best Japan tour companies, promises an unforgettable journey through Japan’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities, tailored for the ultimate adventure.
Days 1-3: Tokyo
Starting your 14 days in Japan itinerary in Tokyo is like stepping into a world where the future meets the past. Tokyo, the electrifying capital of Japan, is a city where you can witness the harmonious blend of cutting-edge modernity and revered traditions. The city’s skyline, dotted with neon-lit skyscrapers like those in Shibuya and Shinjuku, creates an almost surreal backdrop for your adventures. These bustling districts are not just about their towering buildings; they’re cultural hubs where fashion, technology, and entertainment come alive.
As you delve into Tokyo’s myriad offerings, the historic Asakusa district provides a stark contrast to the modern areas. Here, the ancient Sensō-ji Temple offers a tranquil retreat, allowing you to experience the spiritual side of Japan. It’s a place where you can get lost in time, surrounded by the incense-filled air and the sounds of traditional prayers.
No visit to Tokyo is complete without exploring the vibrant and quirky Harajuku, the epicenter of Japan’s unique youth culture and fashion. This area is a kaleidoscope of color and creativity, where you can find everything from the latest trends to vintage gems. Just a stone’s throw away is the serene Meiji Shrine, a verdant oasis offering peace and tranquility amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. This juxtaposition of the trendy and the timeless is what makes Tokyo so captivating.
As the sun sets, Tokyo transforms into a gastronomic paradise. The city’s izakayas (Japanese pubs) and sushi bars present an array of local flavors that are both exquisite and adventurous. From high-end Michelin-starred restaurants to cozy street food stalls, Tokyo’s culinary scene is a delight for the senses. Whether you’re sipping sake under the neon lights or enjoying a sushi breakfast at the famous Tsukiji Market, the food experiences in Tokyo are unparalleled.
The energy, diversity, and sheer scale of Tokyo make it a must-visit on your Japan itinerary 14 days. It’s a city that never fails to amaze, offering endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. From the moment you arrive, Tokyo sets the tone for an exciting and unforgettable 2 weeks in Japan, laying the groundwork for an adventure filled with contrasting experiences and rich cultural encounters.
Day 4: Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji, standing majestically as Japan’s highest peak, is an unmissable destination on your 14-day Japan itinerary. This iconic volcano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not just a stunning natural landmark but also a symbol of Japan’s cultural and spiritual heritage. The journey from Tokyo to Mount Fuji is a delightful adventure in itself, offering scenic vistas that promise to captivate you. Whether you opt for a relaxing bus ride or a swift train journey, getting there is straightforward and part of the experience.
As you approach Mount Fuji, the surrounding area, particularly the Five Lakes region, unfolds in a tapestry of natural beauty. The lakes, formed by previous eruptions, provide unparalleled views of the mountain, creating a perfect backdrop for photographers and nature lovers alike. Each lake offers its unique charm; for instance, Lake Kawaguchiko, the most accessible of the five, is a hub for activities and has numerous hot spring resorts. The region is not just a summer destination; in winter, it transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering breathtaking views against the crisp, clear skies.
For the adventurous souls, hiking Mount Fuji is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The climbing season, typically from early July to mid-September, sees the mountain trails come alive with hikers from around the world. There are routes for every level, but remember, it’s not just about reaching the summit; the journey itself is filled with awe-inspiring views and a sense of camaraderie among fellow trekkers. Even if climbing isn’t on your agenda, the area around Mount Fuji offers plenty of activities – from leisurely boat rides on the lakes to exploring the culturally rich Fujinomiya trail, known for its historical and spiritual sites.
A visit to Mount Fuji is more than just a tick on your travel list; it’s an encounter with Japan’s soul. Standing amidst its grandeur, you’ll understand why this mountain is a revered and beloved symbol of Japan. Its inclusion in your 2-weeks in Japan is not just about capturing its beauty but also about immersing yourself in an experience that embodies the essence of Japanese nature and spirituality. Whether you’re gazing at its snow-capped peak, wandering around the tranquil lakes, or ascending its slopes, Mount Fuji promises to be a highlight of your Japan tour.
Days 5-6: Kyoto
Kyoto, often referred to as the cultural heart of Japan, is an unmissable stop on your 14-day Japan itinerary. As you step off the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, you’re transported into a world where ancient traditions and serene beauty blend seamlessly with the modern rhythm of life. Kyoto is a city where every street, temple, and garden tells the story of Japan’s rich cultural heritage.
In this city, history is alive and palpable. Wander through the enchanting streets of Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. Here, wooden machiya houses line the streets, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a geisha in her exquisite kimono. As you explore, the atmosphere of ancient Japan envelops you, making it a highlight in the best 2-week Japan itinerary.
The temples and shrines of Kyoto are nothing short of breathtaking. Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, glimmers in the sunlight, its reflection shimmering in the surrounding pond – a sight that’s both stunning and deeply calming. Equally mesmerising is Fushimi Inari-taisha, famed for its seemingly endless path of vibrant red torii gates winding through the forest. These iconic sights aren’t just beautiful; they’re emblematic of Japan’s spiritual and artistic prowess, making them some of the best things to see in Japan.
But Kyoto isn’t just about its historical and visual splendor. The city is also the birthplace of kaiseki, Japan’s haute cuisine. This culinary art form, focusing on seasonal ingredients and exquisite presentation, offers a dining experience that engages all senses. Partaking in a traditional tea ceremony is another cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed. The meticulous preparation and serene setting provide a deeper understanding of Japanese customs and aesthetics.
In essence, Kyoto encapsulates the essence of traditional Japan, making it an essential part of any Japan trip itinerary 14 days. It’s a city where the ancient and the modern coexist harmoniously, offering a rich, multi-layered experience to every traveller. Whether you’re seeking spiritual solace in its temples, a walk through its historical narratives, or a taste of its culinary excellence, Kyoto promises to be a memorable and enriching stop on your Japan tour.
Days 7-8: Nara
Nara, a jewel in Japan’s cultural crown, is more than just a city; it’s a gateway to Japan’s ancient heart. Just a short train ride from Kyoto, Nara is a city where history breathes in every corner, making it an unmissable stop in your 14 days in Japan itinerary. The city, once the capital of Japan, holds treasures that offer a glimpse into the country’s rich historical past.
The star attraction of Nara is undoubtedly Nara Park, home to hundreds of free-roaming deer, considered messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion. These friendly creatures have become a symbol of the city and interacting with them is a delight. You can feed them with special crackers sold around the park, but be prepared for their enthusiastic attention!
A short walk from the deer park brings you to the awe-inspiring Todai-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple houses a colossal bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japan as Daibutsu. Standing at over 15 meters tall, this statue is a breathtaking sight and represents a significant achievement in Japanese art and architecture. The temple complex itself, set against the backdrop of lush green hills, offers a serene and majestic environment that invites quiet reflection and admiration.
But Nara isn’t just about grand temples and deer. Take a stroll through the Isuien Garden, a beautifully landscaped garden that epitomises the Japanese art of garden design. With its carefully manicured plants, serene ponds, and the backdrop of the Wakakusa Hill, this garden is a haven of tranquility and beauty.
Nara also hosts several traditional festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Nara Tokae, a spectacular lantern festival in August, and the Omizutori in March, a Buddhist water-drawing festival with a history spanning over 1,000 years.
Incorporating Nara into your Japan tour is not just about adding another destination to your journey; it’s about experiencing the soul of traditional Japan. Its rich tapestry of cultural landmarks, combined with its unique, natural charm, makes Nara an essential and unforgettable part of any Japan itinerary 14 days. Whether you’re feeding the deer, marveling at the giant Buddha, or soaking in the tranquil atmosphere of its gardens, Nara promises experiences that stay with you long after your visit.
Days 9-10: Osaka
Osaka, a lively jewel in the heart of Japan, is a must-visit on your 14-day Japan itinerary. Known as the nation’s kitchen, this city is a paradise for food lovers and a hub of endless entertainment and cultural experiences. A short train ride from Nara will bring you into the bustling heart of Osaka, where the city’s vibrant energy is palpable in every street and alleyway.
The culinary scene in Osaka is second to none, and Dotonbori is the epicentre of this gastronomic wonderland. Here, neon lights illuminate a plethora of street food stalls and restaurants where you can indulge in Osaka’s famous Takoyaki (octopus balls) and Okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) – a true taste of the local flavors. For a more in-depth culinary experience, visit Kuromon Ichiba Market, often referred to as ‘Osaka’s Kitchen’, where fresh seafood, local produce, and street snacks abound.
But Osaka isn’t just about food. The city is steeped in history, and Osaka Castle stands as a testament to its rich past. This iconic landmark, surrounded by moats and parkland, offers not just a history lesson but also panoramic views of the city from its observatory. For a dose of modernity, head to the Umeda Sky Building, where the Floating Garden Observatory presents a stunning 360-degree view of the cityscape.
As night falls, Osaka’s streets come alive with a different kind of energy. The city’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse, from the lively bars in the Amerikamura district to the stylish clubs in Namba. The friendly locals add to the city’s charm, making visitors feel right at home. The combination of its dynamic food scene, historical significance, and lively urban culture makes Osaka an exhilarating and indispensable stop in your Japan trip itinerary 14 days. It’s a city that captures the essence of modern Japan while still holding onto its historical roots, offering an experience that is as enriching as it is exciting.
Days 11-12: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island
Visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima Island is an integral part of your 14-day Japan itinerary, offering a blend of historical significance and breathtaking natural beauty. Hiroshima, a city that has risen phoenix-like from the ashes of its past, presents a poignant yet inspiring chapter in your Japanese journey. The city is easily accessible via a bullet train from Osaka, providing a comfortable and swift journey.
In Hiroshima, the Peace Memorial Park and Museum stand as powerful symbols of peace and resilience. Walking through this area, you’re not just learning about the past; you’re witnessing the city’s commitment to peace and understanding. The Atomic Bomb Dome, preserved in its post-bombing state, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit. It’s a solemn reminder of the tragedies of war but also a beacon of hope and peace. The Children’s Peace Monument and the various memorials within the park contribute to a reflective experience, making Hiroshima a city that stays with you long after you leave.
Just a short ferry ride from Hiroshima lies the enchanting Miyajima Island, known for the iconic Itsukushima Shrine with its famous floating torii gate. This gate, seemingly floating on water at high tide, offers one of the most picturesque scenes in Japan. Miyajima is more than just its torii gate; the island is a serene escape with lush forests and gentle deer roaming freely. Take the time to explore the island’s hiking trails, leading you to stunning viewpoints and the impressive Daisho-in Temple. The island’s quaint streets are lined with shops and cafes, perfect for enjoying local delicacies like Momiji Manju (maple leaf-shaped cakes).
The contrast between Hiroshima’s historical depth and Miyajima’s natural beauty exemplifies the diverse experiences Japan offers. The visit here adds a layer of historical depth and natural tranquility to your 2 weeks in Japan. These destinations are not just stops on a tour; they’re profound experiences that offer insights into Japan’s past and present, its resilience, and its unparalleled natural beauty, making them essential to your Japan trip itinerary 14 days.
Days 13-14: Hokkaido
The final chapter of your best 2-week Japan itinerary unfolds in the majestic Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island, renowned for its striking natural beauty. This part of your journey requires an internal flight from Hiroshima, but the transition is well worth it as you’re transported to a land that feels almost like a different country within Japan. Hokkaido, with its untamed wilderness, offers a stark contrast to Japan’s more urban destinations, making it an essential inclusion in your Japan trip itinerary 14 days.
In the summer months, Hokkaido transforms into a verdant paradise, with landscapes ranging from rolling hills to flower-laden fields. Places like Furano become a kaleidoscope of colours with their famous lavender fields, creating picturesque scenes straight out of a postcard. Summer also brings milder temperatures, perfect for exploring the island’s numerous national parks, where you can hike through lush forests and relax in natural hot springs. This vibrant season in Hokkaido adds a refreshing touch to your 14 days in Japan itinerary.
As winter descends, Hokkaido becomes a snowy haven, attracting skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts from around the globe. Niseko, renowned for its powder snow, offers some of the best winter sports experiences in Asia. The island’s winter highlight, however, is the Sapporo Snow Festival, where you can witness incredible ice sculptures and enjoy a lively atmosphere filled with food, music, and local culture. This winter wonderland experience is a must-see for anyone on a Japan tour during the colder months.
Besides its natural allure, Hokkaido is also celebrated for its culinary scene. The capital city, Sapporo, is a gastronomic delight, especially known for its fresh seafood and dairy products. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous Sapporo ramen, characterised by its rich and flavourful broth. And, of course, a visit to the Sapporo Brewery is a must for beer enthusiasts, where you can learn about the brewing process and sample some of the freshest beer you’ll ever taste.
Budgeting for a 14 day trip to Japan
When planning a 14-day trip to Japan, understanding the costs involved is crucial for a stress-free experience. Japan, known for its remarkable blend of ancient culture and cutting-edge modernity, can indeed be an expensive destination, particularly in major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. Accommodation often constitutes a significant portion of travel expenses, with prices varying widely depending on the type and location of lodging. So, how much should you budget for your Japan itinerary 14 days cost?
For 2 weeks in Japan, a reasonable budget could range from £2,500 to £3,500, depending on your travel style. This estimate includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and entry fees to various attractions. However, 14 days travelling in Japan cost can fluctuate based on your choices – dining at upscale restaurants, opting for faster bullet trains, or indulging in unique experiences can add to your budget.
Given the costs, you might wonder, Is 14 days enough to see Japan? While it’s challenging to explore the entire country in two weeks, a well-planned itinerary can certainly cover many of Japan’s highlights, offering a fulfilling experience. To manage expenses effectively, consider how much money you should have for 2 weeks in Japan and plan accordingly. Budgeting for Japan requires balancing between must-see attractions and everyday expenses.
Group tours can be a cost-effective alternative. Opting for an organised group tour, especially for young adults, can significantly reduce costs. Such tours often include accommodation, some meals, and transportation at a more affordable rate compared to solo travel. The social aspect of group travel – meeting new people and sharing experiences – adds another layer of enjoyment to the adventure.
Among the group tours, One Life Adventures stands out, particularly for their Japan tours. These tours are top-rated on platforms like TourRadar, offering a perfect blend of cultural immersion, adventure, and value for money. Their 14-day Japan tours are tailored for young adults, ensuring you hit all the major highlights while keeping costs in check. Opting for such tours can be a wise decision, ensuring you enjoy the richness of Japanese culture and food without the stress of overstepping your budget.
Best Japan tour companies
Each of these tour companies offers unique experiences catering to different preferences, but they all share a commitment to providing memorable and enriching travels in Japan. Whether you’re a solo traveller looking to join a group, a young adult seeking adventure, or someone interested in a deep cultural immersion, these companies offer some of the best options for a comprehensive and enjoyable exploration of Japan.
One Life Adventures
One Life Adventures specialises in best small group tours to Japan, providing an intimate and immersive experience. Their 14 days Japan itinerary tour is particularly notable for its comprehensive coverage and unique experiences. This tour takes you through the heart of Japanese culture, from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the tranquil temples of Kyoto, ensuring a well-rounded journey.
The One Life Adventures package is perfect for those who seek an itinerary that balances iconic sights with off-the-beaten-path adventures. Their focus on small groups ensures personalised attention and an opportunity to form lasting connections with fellow travellers, making it one of the best Japan tour packages available.
G Adventures offers a range of tours in Japan, known for their responsible travel ethics and focus on sustainable tourism. Their Discover Japan itinerary 14 days tour is designed to provide an authentic experience of Japanese culture and lifestyle.
With G Adventures, you can expect well-planned tours that include both the must-see landmarks and hidden gems. Their approach to small group travel allows for a more personalised experience, making them a top choice for those looking for the best Japan tour packages. Their commitment to supporting local communities while providing an unforgettable travel experience aligns with the needs of the modern, conscientious traveller.
Topdeck is renowned for its vibrant and youthful approach to travel. Catering to a younger demographic, Topdeck’s Japan tours offer a unique blend of cultural exploration and fun. Their itineraries are crafted to include both the iconic sights and the vibrant nightlife of Japan, perfect for those who want to experience the energetic side of Japanese cities.
With Topdeck Travel, travellers get to explore Japan’s diverse landscapes, from the neon lights of Tokyo to the historic streets of Kyoto, all while enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded young adults. Their focus on group dynamics and social interaction makes them one of the best options for young travellers looking for an adventurous and social travel experience in Japan.
Contiki is another excellent choice for young adults, offering some of the best Japan tour packages focused on creating memorable group travel experiences. Known for their high-energy trips and a strong emphasis on social interaction, Contiki’s tours are perfect for those looking to meet new people while exploring Japan.
Their itineraries are thoughtfully designed to cover key Japanese attractions, along with providing unique local experiences, such as sushi-making classes or samurai sword lessons. Contiki’s tours are a great blend of cultural immersion, adventure, and socialising, making them ideal for young travellers eager to explore Japan with a group of new friends.
Intrepid Travel stands out for its commitment to sustainable and responsible travel. They offer a range of Japan tours that focus on providing authentic and immersive experiences. With Intrepid, travellers get to delve deep into Japanese culture, exploring local communities and enjoying traditional accommodations like ryokans (Japanese inns).
Their small group sizes ensure a more intimate travel experience, allowing for deeper cultural exchange and personal growth. Intrepid Travel’s dedication to responsible tourism practices, combined with their diverse itineraries, makes them one of the best options for travellers looking for a meaningful and sustainable way to discover Japan.
INTRO Travel offers meticulously crafted Japan tours that are both affordable and comprehensive. Their tours are designed to cater to a wide range of interests, ensuring that each traveller gets the most out of their Japan experience. Whether it’s exploring the historic landmarks, indulging in Japanese cuisine, or experiencing the natural beauty of the countryside, INTRO Travel covers it all. Their emphasis on group experiences and cultural immersion makes them a great choice for travellers who wish to explore Japan in a supportive and fun group setting.
The balance of structured activities and free time in their itineraries allows travellers the flexibility to explore at their own pace while still benefiting from the expertise and organisation of the tour guides. This approach makes INTRO Travel stand out as one of the best options for those seeking an inclusive and well-rounded Japan tour experience.
TruTravels is known for creating tours that are not just trips but unique experiences. Their Japan tours are designed with a focus on adventure, culture, and social interaction, appealing especially to younger travellers. TruTravels excels in creating an informal and relaxed atmosphere, where travellers can feel at ease while exploring the wonders of Japan.
Their itineraries often include a mix of famous landmarks and hidden local spots, providing a comprehensive view of Japan’s diverse attractions. With TruTravels, you’re not just signing up for a tour; you’re joining a community of like-minded individuals keen to explore, learn, and have fun, making them a superb choice for those looking to fully immerse themselves in the vibrancy of Japan.
Japan itinerary 14 days vs 10 days
When it comes to exploring the Land of the Rising Sun, the duration of your stay can significantly shape your experience. On TourRadar, a popular platform for finding and booking group tours, there’s a diverse range of Japan tour packages to choose from. Among these, you’ll find 21 different options that range between 10 to 14 days in duration. Specifically, there are 3 carefully curated 10-day Japan tours and 2 immersive 14-day Japan tours available.
For young adult travellers, the majority of group tours in Japan tend to be 10 days or less. These tours are compact, fast-paced, and cover many of the major highlights in a relatively short time. They are perfect for those who have limited time but still want a taste of Japan’s rich culture, bustling cities, and scenic landscapes. These 10-day itineraries are ideal for getting a snapshot of Japan, offering a mix of traditional and modern experiences.
However, if you’re yearning for a more in-depth exploration of Japan, a 14 days in Japan itinerary is undoubtedly the better choice. These longer itineraries allow for a more relaxed pace, giving you the time to delve deeper into the places you visit. A 14-day tour not only includes the major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka but also offers opportunities to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. You’ll have more time to soak in the natural beauty of rural Japan, experience local life, and engage in unique cultural activities that might not fit into a shorter itinerary.
Choosing a 14-day tour also means you can spend more time at each location, getting to know the local food, traditions, and people, which is often the essence of a truly memorable travel experience. It’s an ideal way to ensure you don’t just see Japan, but you experience it fully. So, for those who can spare the extra days, the 14-day Japan itinerary promises a more comprehensive and fulfilling journey through this fascinating country.
Top Japan tours for young adults
Book an unforgettable journey with our selection of the top Japan tours for young adults, all available through TourRadar. Fancy seeing more? Click here to explore additional tours.
Your 14 days in Japan itinerary takes you through a journey of contrasts—from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene beauty of Hokkaido. Each destination unveils a different facet of Japan, from its rich cultural heritage to its modern urban landscapes and natural wonders. This itinerary is not just a travel plan; it’s a path to unforgettable experiences, making it ideal for young adult travellers seeking adventure, culture, and a deep dive into what makes Japan so unique.
As you explore these destinations, you’ll understand why this is considered the best 2 week Japan itinerary and why group tours can offer a richer, more connected travel experience.
We suggest visiting Tokyo first when planning your trip to Japan, and here’s why:
Tokyo, Japan’s vibrant capital, offers a fantastic introduction to the country’s rich culture, history, and modern lifestyle. Starting your journey here allows you to ease into the Japanese experience while enjoying a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary attractions.