Discovering Japan —An Epic 2-Week Journey Through Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima

Two weeks in Japan? Yes, please!!

Japan is so unique – there’s just no place quite like it. Japan is where an ancient culture known for its honorable people and deep respect for nature meets cutting-edge cities of tomorrow. Where old meets new, here is a 2-week adventure spanning across Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Hiroshima.

There is always something to do for any age. If you’re planning a two-week trip to the land of the rising sun and don’t know where to start, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

This is what I personally did while I was in Japan — everyone has their own interests and must-dos….these were mine! Each and every trip to Japan is unique in its own way. Here is my outline of tips and recommendations to make your first trip to this marvelous land as smooth and stress-free as possible.

If you need a Beginner’s Guide to Tokyo, check out my blog post here

Train tickets in Japan can be expensive, especially if you’re traveling long distances. Luckily, Japan has a unique train pass available only to foreign visitors, which can make train travel much cheaper.

The Japan Rail Pass provides unlimited use of Japan’s extensive rail network and high-speed bullet trains and includes the Narita Airport Express (Nexpress) train.

You can really save a lot of money if you plan on using the high-speed rails. This pass is available for either 7, 14, or 21 days based on your specific itinerary.

The easiest and least expensive way to buy the Japan Rail Pass is online from an official JR Pass vendor before you leave for Japan (I use and recommend Klook!) – so keep this in mind when planning your trip.

I recommend buying this a month or more in advance to ensure it’s delivered to your home address in time for your flight!

You need one JR Pass per person and do not lose this ticket as it can’t be replaced.

I love the JR Pass as it makes it super easy to just hop on and off the trains in Japan, make seat reservations at the kiosks, and do rebookings quickly when your travel plans change.

Learn more about Japan Rail Passes and how to save $$$ on your trip


Day 0: Arrive at Narita International Airport, redeem our 14-day JR pass at the Narita Airport JR Ticket booth, and catch a NEXpress to Tokyo, and stay in Urayasu at the Henn Na Hotel Maihama. This hotel offers a unique experience with its robot dinosaur staff, making it a great start to your Japanese adventure. We didn’t explore a whole lot except grab something quick for dinner from the convenience store (there was a Lawson’s and 7-eleven in front of our hotel)

Day 1: Tokyo DisneySea. We grabbed some iced coffee and treats from Lawson’s for breakfast, walked to Maihama Station, and bought a train ticket for the monorail to the resorts (cash only). — be sure to withdraw cash before you get to this part…we wasted an hour trying to find an ATM that would work. Good thing we got there early. HINT: Red ATMS work great for cards from the US. Spend the whole day at this one-of-a-kind Disney theme park and enjoy the unique nautical and sea-themed attractions, live performances, immersive theming, and attention to detail. This is also a great romantic spot for couples — my fiance proposed here so it’s a special place for me! We ended our day at Ikspiari, which is a shopping mall and includes restaurants, near Maihama station. I still can’t get over how safe and quiet it is to walk the residential streets, even late at night.

Day 2: Stay in Shinjuku at the La’gent Hotel. Visit Harajuku station and Takeshita street, Yoyogi Park (for cherry blossoms!), Meiji Shrine, Tokyu Plaza during the day. In Shinjuku and Kabukicho, This bustling district is known for its nightlife, shopping, and dining options. Visit the mega Don Quijote and a local restaurant around the area.

Day 3: Stay at the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku. This hotel is famous for its Godzilla head that overlooks the city. Visit Happy Pancake for fluffy pancakes, Pokemon Center DX, Akihabara for Super Potato, Capsule Toys, Arcades, and Ramen. Finish the night with some Suntory Highball and Takoyaki.

Mt. Fuji (Lake Kawaguchi)

Day 4: Grab some McDonald’s for breakfast (most other places don’t open until 10 or 11 am!) and catch a train from Shinjuku station to Kawaguchiko. Visit Mount Fuji at Lake Kawaguchi and stay at the Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen Konansou. This beautiful onsen offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and a relaxing hot spring experience. Grab some matcha ice cream, take a paddleboat ride in Lake Kawaguchi in some swans, and then have a kaiseki dinner experience for a romantic night in.


Day 5-7: Wake up early to take the local bus to Shimoyoshida station and walk to Chureito Pagoda for breathtaking views of Mt Fuji. Grab breakfast at the hotel buffet and check out. Grab a reserved bus to Mishima station and travel to Kyoto via bullet train. Stay at the Hotel Tavinos for three nights. Kyoto is famous for its traditional temples, shrines, and beautiful gardens. Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Monkey Park, and try some fresh matcha and Japanese snacks. Visit shops and food vendors. Take a ride on the Sagano Romantic Train. Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, stop for some traditional matcha tea, and walk around the Gion district. End the night with delicious Ramen and gyoza at Ramen Miyako Gion Honten. When you have time, definitely explore Kyoto Station (there is so much to do there!)


Day 8-9: Travel to Osaka and stay at the Meitetsu in Shin-Osaka for three nights. Osaka is known for its vibrant food scene, nightlife, and shopping. The first night we grabbed a Rikuro jiggly cheesecake from Shin-Osaka station and took a short nap. Took the Osaka metro to the TeamLAB Botanical Garden outdoor exhibit and ended our night in Dotonbori with drinks and local street food. Go to Universal Studios Japan for the second day in Osaka — Experience Nintendo World, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and much more. Grab a late-night dinner at Tonkatsu MatsunoYa / MyCurry Shokudo.


Day 10: Last day in Osaka, we booked the Hello Kitty Shinkansen to Hiroshima. Grabbed some eki-bens (bento box lunch) for our trip there. Travel to Hiroshima and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Try local Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki. Can’t forget about trying Momiji-Manju while you’re there! We Visited the Pokemon Store and had some coffee at Starbucks on our way back to the station. Explored Hiroshima Station before our next shinkansen departed and grabbed some food and souvenirs on our way back to Osaka.

Day 11: Check out of the hotel, go to Nara — That was the plan anyways! We ended up dropping our luggage off at the station at a rental locker and explored the shopping mall which included the Nintendo Store and Pokemon Store for Osaka. Grabbed some Yakitori at a restaurant there. We finally made our way to Nara and got to visit a couple of shrines and feed some deer! We ate at local food stands and then head back to Shin-Osaka to grab our bags and catch the Shinkansen to Tokyo.


Day 12-14: Stay in Tokyo in Akasaka at JR West Group Via Inn Prime Akasaka. We stayed near the Akasaka station so we had coffee and breakfast at Tully’s Coffee, and grabbed a reservation for the Harry Potter store later that night. We strolled through Shibuya and all the vintage shops and had Domino’s pizza for dinner. The next day we got to visit Sunshine City. We enjoyed the bustling city and its many attractions, including the iconic Shibuya Crossing from up above at Shibuya Sky, had Ichiran Ramen for lunch, and got to visit Tokyo Tower and Zojo-ji Temple. On our last day, we visited Tokyo Station and explored the area to grab last-minute souvenirs, udon, and headed to the airport to catch our 11-hour flight back to Dallas, Texas!

Japan has so much to offer, and this itinerary gives you a taste of its diverse culture, history, and natural beauty. With so many unique experiences and places to visit, two weeks may not be enough, but it’s a great start to an unforgettable trip to Japan! You’ll want to go back as soon as you land back home.



  1. Josy A says:

    Love it! It sounds like you had a brilliant time! I always love seeing where people travel on their Japan trips, there are just sooo many options that it’s always different. I’m glad you included Nara (even if it wasn’t for long!)

    I live in Japan for a few years so this made me miss it. 🙂

    • Sierra ONeal says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Josy — I already want to go back! That’s amazing you lived there!

      There is so much to do that it can seem overwhelming, but just takes a little bit of research. Nara was one of our easy days, away from the hustle and bustle! I definitely enjoyed it!

  2. Kelly says:

    Japan is one of my favourite places to explore! Loved reading about how you spent 2 weeks in Japan! If I ever go back I’ll have to take you up on some of your recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mayi says:

    Wow, what a fab trip you had! Japan is my ultimate favourite country to visit. Even though I have visited several times, there are still places I want to visit. I want to book a trip now.

  4. Holly Giordani says:

    So many awesome things to do! Thanks!

  5. Michelle says:

    I’d love to visit Japan one day and visit all of the places on your itinerary. There are so many things to do and places to see that I would need the full 14 days you mapped out.

  6. Amanda says:

    This looks and sounds absolutely amazing! It’s a bucket list goal to go visit Japan – and this itinerary looks absolutely perfect to copy and paste!

  7. Jaqueline says:

    Japan is on my bucket list! I didn’t know you could see so much in the time being.. Mt. Fuji looks absolutely stunning. I’ll save this for later 🙂

  8. Kat says:

    This is a fantastic itinerary! Sounds like you’re a Japan expert now 🙂

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