Japan, Kyoto - Daruma dolls

Our route

Tokyo - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka - Himeji - Hiroshima - Miyajima - Kanazawa - Hakone - Tokyo

Japan 2024 - map

 

Transportation

  • we use 14-day JR Pass for a train system
  • in Tokyo we use Metro system - with 1-, 2-, 3 day tickets and SUICA Travel Card
  • in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa we use Uber
  • get SUICA Travel Card on your iPhone - best for travel and small shopping
Japan, Tokyo - Senso-ji temple in Asakusa

Travel essentials

 

TIPS:

  • get QR code to make immigration process easier - on Visit Japan Web's website
  • useful travel information - www.japan-guide.com
  • all hotels have a great cosmetic selection - including toothbrushes, etc.
  • tap water is ok to drink
  • get SUICA Travel Card on your iPhone - best for travel and shopping; you can also get SUICA Card in Tokyo Train Station or airport
  • 7/11 is the best shop ever 🙂
  • carry your passport with you for Tax Free Shopping (for over 5000 Yen)
  • for internet we use eSim from Airlo - easy and efficient
  • for great bargain shopping - check Flea Markets in Japan, often called Open-air Antique Markets
Japan, Kyoto - Go-shuin stamp

Favourites

Tokyo

  • teamLab Planets - a museum where you walk through water, and a garden where you become one with the flowers
  • Tokyo Skytree - soars 634 meters high and gives the best panoramic views of the city
  • Traveler's Factory Store -  great notebooks and other stationery
  • Hanko Stamp -  is a carved stamp that can be used in any situation where an individual might otherwise use a signature or initials
  • Guru Free Walking Tour - Asakusa district 2-hour free walking tour
  • Eki Stamps - also known as station stamps; the fun and free collectible stamp available across Japan
  • Goshuinchō - the pages of a goshuincho keep a record of every shrine and temple visited

Kyoto

Kanazawa

  • Omicho Market - Kanazawa's largest fresh food market since the Edo Period

Our itinerary

 

Day 1 and 2 - 12/13.04.2024 - Tokyo

  • after over 24 hours of travel we arrived in Tokyo mid-day
  •  took in the nighttime energy in the famous Shinjuku District
  • walked around Kabukicho streets 
  • enjoyed Golden Gai and the famous Piss Alley at Omoide Yokocho 
  • found a giant Godzilla Head 

Day 3 - 14.04.2024 - Tokyo

  • early breakfast from 7/11 - best shop ever!
  • visited tallest building in Japan - Tokyo Sky Tree Tower - amazing views!!!
  • braved the crowds around Senso-ji Temple -the beautiful temple complex in the center of Tokyo 
  • enjoyed amazing Free Walking Tour learning about history, traditions and modern Japan - thank you Manabu  
  • chilled in Ueno Park while enjoying the Sakura - cherry blossom 

Day 4 - 15.04.2024 - Tokyo to Kyoto

  • rode our first Bullet Train to Kyoto
  • seen the amazing Mount Fuji from a train window as we speed by at over 300 k/hr
  • experienced amazing food at famous Nishi Market 
  • tried Takoyaki - octopus balls - delicious!!!
  • enjoyed traditional Japanese Sento - hot public bath - in the evening - very relaxing experience!

Day 5 - 16.04.2024 - Kyoto

  • visited the amazing Fushimi Inari Temple with it 10 000 Tori Gates
  • climbed to the top of Mt Fushimi
  • visited the Tofuku-ji Temple 
  • strolled the beautiful narrow streets of the Gion District 
  • enjoyed a delicious White Ramen meal
  • browsed through small vintage stores for second hand kimonos
  • relaxed in the Kyoto Gyoen National Garden 
  • visited the Wild Boar Shrine and the Go-o Shrine
  • enjoyed an evening Walking Tour in Geisha District where we witnessed Geishas leaving one of their houses

Day 6 - 17.04.2024 - Nara and Osaka

  • took a early train from Kyoto to Nara
  • visited the Todai-hi Temple with its Giant Buddha
  • fed the deer on the Temple’s Parkland 
  • visited a traditional calligraphy shop and had our names written in Kanji
  • seen the Five-story Pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple
  • took the train from Nara to Osaka where we:
  • visited the stunning Osaka Castle
  • enjoyed the evening energy of Dotonburi Street 
  • enjoyed okonomiyaki 
  • caught a late train home to Kyoto

Day 7 - 18.04.2024 - Kyoto

  • enjoyed a early morning visit to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest 
  • following a quick taxi ride we visited Golden Pavilion
  • toured the famous Nijo Castle and Shosei-en Garden
  • participated in a traditional a tea ceremony where we dressed in traditional kimonos 
  • Davis passed on the tea and opted to visit the Samurai and Nija Museum
  • enjoyed a delicious White Ramen (again)
  • strolled the Geisha District at night

Day 8 - 19.04.2024 - Himeji 

  • enjoyed a very early morning stroll in the historic Gion District of Kyoto
  • took a Bullet Train to Himeji  
  • toured the famous Himeji Castle - one of Japan’s most iconic castles 
  • strolled an Edo-style Japanese Garden at Kokoen
  • tasted local Hyogo sake at a Nihonshu Bar
  • enjoyed a “bento box” lunch on the train back to Kyoto

Day 9 - 20.04.2024 - Kyoto to Hiroshima and then to Miyajima 

  • took a early morning “Bullet Train” from Kyoto to Hiroshima 
  • enjoyed a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus ride though the city 
  • visited the Hiroshima Castle - one of Japan’s most famous castles 
  • visited Genbaku Dome in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park - the remains of a structure that was almost completely destroyed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago
  • visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum dedicated to the victims of the bombing 
  • tried Hiroshima’s tradition treat - The momiji manju cookie 

Day 10 - 21.04.2024 - Miyajima 

  • took a early morning ferry to Miyajima island
  • strolled around town and visited the famous floating O-Tori Gate - one of most iconic places in Japan
  • watched beautiful wedding pictures being taken in Itsukushima Shrine
  • climbed to Daishoin Temple with 500 statues of disciples of Buddha
  • strolled Momijidani Park with its Japanese maple trees 
  • took and late evening ferry again to see Tori Gate at night - impressive!!

Day 11 - 22.04.2024 - Miyajima to Kanazawa 

  • arrived in Kanazawa after swift three leg “Bullet Train” journey 
  • went for a stroll in the Nagamachi District, where local Samurai used to live - more to explore tomorrow
  • braved a “Hole in the Wall” local ramen joint
  • walked some more - it is so tranquil here!
  • enjoyed Japan’s famous a gold leaf ice-cream
  • spend the evening relaxing in hotel Onsen - traditional hot baths

Day 12 - 23.04.2024 - Kanazawa 

  • explored the Nagamachi Samurai District and visited Nomura-ke Samurai House
  • enjoyed breakfast at Omicho market and explored over the 200 shops and restaurants selling fresh local produce and seafood 
  • visited the Kanazawa Castle which historically was the seat of the Maeda Clan, the second most powerful feudal Clan during Japan’s Edo period
  • relaxed at Kenroku-en Garden, a landscaped area that’s considered one of the three most beautiful Gardens in Japan
  • enjoyed a drink at a traditional a Tea House overlooking Gyokusen-Inmaru Garden
  • visited three different well-preserved geisha districts – Higashi Chayagai, Nishi Chayagai, and Kazue Machi Districts 

Day 13 - 24.04.2024 - Kanazawa 

  • due to the heavy rain we decided to explore ultimate Japanese experience -  MEGA Don Quijote Kanazawa
  • visited traditional Japanese umbrella workshop - creating a paper umbrella by hand takes two months!!! 
  • relaxed in traditional onsen for the rest of the evening

Day 14 - 25.04.2024 - Kanazawa to Hakone

  • following three train trips and we arrived in Odowara
  • visited Odowara Castle and Ninja Museum
  • took a unbelievably crowded and exciting bus trip on the very meandrous road from Odowara to Hakone
  • had an amazing lunch in a small local restaurant 
  • booked into our accommodation - a traditional Japanese ryokan with natural onsen - hot baths

Day 15 - 26.04.2024 - Hakone

  • had an amazing traditional Japanese breakfast in our ryokan
  • took a bus to Togendai
  • enjoyed boat excursion on Lake Ashi
  • visited Hakone Shrine and floating Heiwa no Tori Gate
  • took Hakone Ropeway all the way to Owakudani
  • enjoyed stunning views of Mt Fuji and unfortunately the sulfur smells of the Hakone volcano 
  • continued on the Ropeway to Gora and took a bus trip to Gotemba
  • visited viewing point on the tar-ace of City Hall of Gotemba - another stunning view of Fuji-San 
  • continued exploring the area for the best shoots of the sacred mountain 

Day 16 - 27.04.2024 - Hakone to Tokyo

  • enjoyed another amazing traditional Japanese breakfast at our ryokan - different fish this time!
  • after another crowded and meandering bus trip to Odowara we enjoyed our last Bullet Train journey 
  • left our luggage in the hotel and explored the Imperial Palace Grounds
  • visited the Shibuya district where we experienced the craziness of the famous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing Scramble 
  • visited the Hachiko Statue - honoring the most loyal dog Japanese history
  • enjoyed the areas night energy and 3D video presentations

Day 17 - 28.04.2024 - Tokyo

  • went to the the Oedo Antique Market - a marvelous outdoor Flea-market with stalls selling vintage, interesting, and unique Japanese items 
  • enjoyed window shopping in the famous Ginza district
  • enjoyed local Golden Week festivities at the Tokyo Tower 
  • went to Tokyo Station to see the fastest train in Japan - famous Hayabusa Shinkansen which can reach speeds of over 500 km/h

Day 18 - 29.04.2024 - Tokyo

  • explored Toyosu area 
  • enjoyed TeamLab Planet experience - amazing!! 
  • went to the Ginza District to experience the evening energy 
  • had an amazing sushi at Kura
  • visited Sensoji Temple by night

Day 19 - 30.04.2024 - Tokyo

  • visited the Meiji Shrine early in the morning - wonderful 
  • enjoyed Yoyogi Park - a beautiful and peaceful escape from the bustling city
  • visited the famous Transparent Toilets in Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park  - using the latest technology, the exterior glass turns opaque when locked
  • shopped until we dropped in Apple Japan Store 
  • enjoyed delicious sushi in Kura again! 

Day 20 - 01.05.2024 - Tokyo

  • walked in the heavy Tokyo rain all day
  • visited the Nezu Shrine - it’s set in lush greenery, with ponds of carp, pathways that are tunnels of small shrine arches, and elegant, beautifully colored, wooden structures that reflect Japanese culture in all its age and beauty
  • visited the frantic Akihabara Electric Town District, famous for anime, manga, game paraphernalia and geeky otaku culture
  • finally visited famous pachinko paroles 
  • said sayonara to the Hachiko statue in Shibuya - The statue pays homage to the faithful Akita dog who waited at Shibuya Station every day for his master, years after his death - The Hakiko movie is a must see for all dog lovers

Day 21 - 02.05.2024 - travel day

  • Tokyo to Beijing to Munich to Warsaw to Gdynia = 11 400 Km / 37 Hours in Transit

Our favourite local food

Japan, Tokyo - 7/11 Strawberry sandwich
Japan, Himeji - Bento box
Japan, Himeji - Bento box
Japan, Hakone - Breakfast
Japan, Kyoto - Ramen
Japan, Kanazawa - Matcha snacks
Japan, Kyoto - Sakura sake
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Breakfast
Japan, Hiroshima - Matcha sweet
Japan, Tokyo - Shinkansen coffee
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Gotemba - Matcha sweet with Mt. Fuji
Japan, Tokyo - Fuji sake
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Kanazawa - Ramen
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Snack
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Snacks
Japan, Tokyo - Beer at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Beer
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market beer
Japan, Osaka - Lunch
Japan, Osaka - Octopus balls
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Macha
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market
Japan, Kanazawa - Lunch
Japan, Kyoto - Takoyaki
Japan, Kyoto - Snack
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Japan, Tokyo - 7/11 breakfast
Japan, Kyoto - Maikoya Tea Ceremony
Japan, Kanazawa - Gold leaf ice-creams
Japan, Kanazawa - Matcha Pocky
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Lunch
Japan, Kanazawa - Beer
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market, omlet
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Green Tea
Japan, Himeji - Matcha cookie
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Wasabi
Japan, Tokyo - 7/11 fruit shakes
Japan, Kyoto - Matcha ice-creams
Japan, Tokyo - Matcha ice-creams
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market Burgers
Japan, Kanazawa - Takoyaki
Japan, Osaka - Octopus balls
Japan, Tokyo - Matcha latte
Japan, Hakone - Ryokan breakfast
Japan, Osaka - Ramen
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Sakura taste
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Japan, Kyoto - Ramen
Japan, Tokyo - Sake
Japan, Kyoto - Snack
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi
Japan, Kyoto - Ramen
Japan, Kanazawa - Lunch
Japan, Osaka - Strawberry sweets
Japan, Hiroshima - Hot coffee
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market
Japan, Osaka - Okonomiyaki
Japan, Tokyo - Steamed Cheesecake
Japan, Osaka - Dōtonbori
Japan, Kyoto - Sushi at Nishiki Market
Japan, Himeji - Sake Tasting in Nihonshu Bar Kokoromi
Japan, Hakone - Ryokan breakfast
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Japan, Osaka - Fruits
Japan, Tokyo - Sake
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market

Japan, Tokyo - 7/11 Strawberry sandwich
Japan, Himeji - Bento box
Japan, Himeji - Bento box
Japan, Hakone - Breakfast
Japan, Kyoto - Ramen
Japan, Kanazawa - Matcha snacks
Japan, Kyoto - Sakura sake
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Breakfast
Japan, Hiroshima - Matcha sweet
Japan, Tokyo - Shinkansen coffee
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Gotemba - Matcha sweet with Mt. Fuji
Japan, Tokyo - Fuji sake
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Kanazawa - Ramen
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Snack
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Snacks
Japan, Tokyo - Beer at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Tokyo - Beer
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market beer
Japan, Osaka - Lunch
Japan, Osaka - Octopus balls
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Macha
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market
Japan, Kanazawa - Lunch
Japan, Kyoto - Takoyaki
Japan, Kyoto - Snack
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Japan, Tokyo - 7/11 breakfast
Japan, Kyoto - Maikoya Tea Ceremony
Japan, Kanazawa - Gold leaf ice-creams
Japan, Kanazawa - Matcha Pocky
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi at Revolving Sushi Bar Kurasushi
Japan, Hakone - Lunch
Japan, Kanazawa - Beer
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market, omlet
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Green Tea
Japan, Himeji - Matcha cookie
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Wasabi
Japan, Tokyo - 7/11 fruit shakes
Japan, Kyoto - Matcha ice-creams
Japan, Tokyo - Matcha ice-creams
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market Burgers
Japan, Kanazawa - Takoyaki
Japan, Osaka - Octopus balls
Japan, Tokyo - Matcha latte
Japan, Hakone - Ryokan breakfast
Japan, Osaka - Ramen
Japan, Tokyo - KitKat, Sakura taste
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Japan, Kyoto - Ramen
Japan, Tokyo - Sake
Japan, Kyoto - Snack
Japan, Tokyo - Sushi
Japan, Kyoto - Ramen
Japan, Kanazawa - Lunch
Japan, Osaka - Strawberry sweets
Japan, Hiroshima - Hot coffee
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market
Japan, Kyoto - Nishiki Market
Japan, Osaka - Okonomiyaki
Japan, Tokyo - Steamed Cheesecake
Japan, Osaka - Dōtonbori
Japan, Kyoto - Sushi at Nishiki Market
Japan, Himeji - Sake Tasting in Nihonshu Bar Kokoromi
Japan, Hakone - Ryokan breakfast
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Japan, Osaka - Fruits
Japan, Tokyo - Sake
Japan, Kanazawa - Omicho Market

 

What to do

Tokyo 

  • explore Akihabara Electric Town
  • immerse yourself in Sensō-ji Temple
  • get your “Omikuji” fortune
  • go shopping on Nakamise Shopping Street
  • find the perfect thing you never knew existed at Don Quijote
  • bring home some traditional Japanese knife
  • visit Tokyo Station
  • go to the top of Tokyo Skytree
  • see Meiji Jingu
  • take a selfie with Hachiko
  • cross the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world
  • see Shibuya at night
  • see the Eiffel Tower-esque Tokyo Tower
  • visit Ueno Park
  • visit the Yanaka Ginza Night Market
  • see Zōjō-ji Temple
  • view the Imperial Palace
  • go Shopping in Roppongi
  • walk down Piss Alley

Kyoto

  • hike through 1000 Torii Gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • wander around Gion and Southern Higashiyama
  • enjoy the view from Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • stroll The Philosopher’s Path
  • explore Nanzen-ji Temple
  • see the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji Temple
  • start a day in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
  • visit Kodai-ji Temple
  • shop at Nishiki Market
  • drink Matcha in a teahouse
  • stroll down the Sannenzaka Street

Hiroshima

  • visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
  • see the Atomic Bomb Dome
  • stroll down Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
  • admire Shukkei-en Garden
  • explore Hiroshima Castle

Miyajima

  • admire The Floating Torii Gate
  • visit Itsukushima Shrine
  • be impressed by Hokoku Shrine (Senjokaku)
  • admire the 5-Storied Pagoda
  • walk among deer
  • enjoy breathtaking views from Mt Misen
  • visit Daisho-In Temple
  • go shopping in Omotesando Street

Kanazawa

  • be impressed by the Tsuzumi-mon Gate at the train station
  • visit a Geisha District - Higashi Chayagai
  • enjoy delicious gold leaf soft ice cream
  • explore Nagamachi Samurai District
  • visit Nakamura House residence
  • relax on a Bench at Kenroku-en
  • visit Kanazawa Castle
  • sit and contemplate at D.T. Suzuki Museum
  • eat seafood at Omicho Market

Some prices

At the time of our travel:

100 Yen (Japanese Yen -  (¥) - JPY) = 0,58 euro = 2,71 zł (PLN)

  • eSim from Airlo 20GB for 1 month - 26 USD
  • JR Pass for 14 days - 513 euro

Tokyo

  • teamLab Planet ticket - 4200 (¥)
  • Tokyo Sky Tree - 80 zl
  • Kura sushi - 1 plate - 150 (¥)

Kyoto

  • Kimono Tea Ceremony Gion Kiyomizu - 6930 (¥)
  • Samurai Ninja Museum - 2970 (¥)
  • bus ride - 230 (¥)
  • octopus balls - 500 (¥)
  • sento visit - 490 (¥)
  • stamps in the Fushimi Inari temple - 300 (¥)
  • dolls in Fushimi Inari temple - 550 (¥)
  • matcha latte - 750 (¥)
  • coffee - 180 (¥)
  • ramen - 990 (¥)
  • Golden Temple ticket - 500 (¥)
  • matcha ice-creams - 300 (¥)
  • Nijo Castle ticket - 1300 (¥)
  • beer - 800 (¥)

Nara

  • deer wafels - 200 (¥)

Kanazawa

  • loundry - 600 (¥)
  • gold leaf ice-cream - 790 (¥)
  • Nomura-ke Samurai Residence - 550 (¥)
  • Kenroku-en Garden ticket - 320 (¥)

Himeji

  • bento box for the train - 1180 (¥)
  • castle ticket - 1050 (¥)
  • sake shoot - 150 (¥)

Hiroshima

  • castle ticket - 370 (¥)
  • Peace Memorial Museum ticket - 200 (¥)
  • audioguide at the museum - 400 (¥)
  • lunch for two - 4350 (¥)

Miyajima

  • boat tax - 100 (¥)
  • Itsukushima Jinja temple ticket - 300 (¥)

Hakone

  • boat ride - 3700 (¥)