Saturday, December 6, 2014

Japan Multi-City Itinerary: Jam-packed but worth it!

Japan is certainly one of the most diverse places that we've visited. This is where you can experience culture, nature, theme parks, shopping, and urban city life all at the same time.

Our visit to Japan included trips to 4 cities (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara which was impromptu, and Tokyo) and had to complete everything within 5 days. 

Here's how we did it:
1. Osaka - our itinerary in Osaka were "fillers" which means that it was not a priority and we went to these places only when we had time left after Kyoto and Nara. There is not much to do in Osaka and the tourist spots are situated near each other so you can visit all of these in half a day. But if you plan to visit Universal Studios (which we did not do), then you'll probably need 1 and 1/2 day in Osaka.

2. Kyoto - a lot of people recommended to stay in Kyoto for 2-3 days. We originally intended to stay in Kyoto for 2 days but we challenged ourselves to try it in 1 day during the first day and see if we can free up time to visit other places. We spent whole day in Kyoto and we were literally able to go around the entire city through the 1 day unlimited bus ride. All the tourist spots in Kyoto closes at around 5pm so you need to start your day very early (in our case we went there 6am). There is also a lot of walking (even uphill!) in the temples so if you want to complete everything in 1 day, you need to skip the trek going up to the  top of the mountains for each temple. We only stayed for around 30 mins in each venue as we went around the place, took pictures, and left. However, if you really want to spend time to relax in each temple, you need at least 2 days to go around the entire city.

3. Nara - Nara was not part of our itinerary but given that we were able to finish Kyoto in 1 day, we were able to free up enough time to visit Nara and it was one of the best decisions that we made! Nara has a huge park and it will take you half a day to go around the entire park and feed all the deer there. You don't need to spend 1 whole day there as there is nothing  else you can do aside from playing with the deer and taking a lot of pictures.

4. Tokyo - if you like shopping, cosplays, or the night life, then you'll need to allot more time in Tokyo than the rest of the cities. Two days will be enough if you want to go around all the famous places in Tokyo as these places are situated a bit far from each other and there are more things to do in Tokyo compared to the other cities we went to. However, if you want to add Disneyland to your Tokyo trip, then add 1 more day. If it's Disneyland plus DisneySea which are next to each other, then you'll need 2 additional days. 

5. Mt. Fuji - we did not go to Mt. Fuji as people advised us that it takes a few hours for you to go to the mountain and it's also risky given that you may end up not seeing anything at all due to the surrounding fog. Although people say it's worth the travel going there, we did not wanted to risk a full day to end up not seeing anything as we had to visit 4 cities in 5 days.

How to Create your Itinerary:

Creating your itinerary in Japan will depend on the experiences that you want the most...

1. If you enjoy cultural and nature stuff more, then spend more time visiting Kyoto (2-3 days).

2. If you want to shop and immerse yourself in the busy and fast paced life in Japan, then stay longer in Tokyo. 

3. If you want to tick-off all the theme parks, then spend less on other places and more on these theme parks.

4. If you want to try all of what I've mentioned, then you probably need at least 10-12 days in Japan and more if you decide to get a JR Pass and visit many other cities.

5.If you just want a glimpse of everything, then follow our itinerary. You'll accomplish a lot in Japan if you follow our itinerary and you'll have the time of your life. However, the only way to do this is by researching prior to your trip, having a strict schedule, and walking/traveling non-stop. 


  1. AWWW, Japan! Sayang you didn't go to Kobe and Hakone! But, you definitely got A LOT done ha, nakakabilib!

    1. Hi Sara! oo nga e I just found out maganda din sa Kobe and Hakone daw! grrr next time!! :) Dun ba place niyo in Japan??

    2. No eh, I live in Tokyo mismo. I grew up in the area where Komagome station is (5 stations from Ikebukuro via JR Yamanote) and my dad eventually moved to Adachi-ku area after. BUT, we spend a lot of time kasi sa Kobe, Hakone and Nikko because may parang timeshare si daddy dun :)

  2. Hi Miss Tin, thank you for your informative blog. How did you travel to diff. cities of Japan? Did you take the Shinkansen or just the unlimited bus ride? Or any other mode of transportation you may recommend? We also have only 5-6 days to travel the country. Thanks so much!

  3. Hi. Do you have the contact number nung agency na nagprocess ng visa mo? Thanks.

  4. nice blog..tanong lang, ano po sinakyan niyo mula kansai airport to osaka station at tokyo station to narita airport

  5. Hi! We are planning to go to Japan on April. We will arrive in Tokyo on our 1st day then after 2-3 days punta na ng Osaka. Dun na rin ang exit namin going back to Manila. Approx mga magkano kaya magagastos sa pagtour sa Tokyo, Osaka and nearby cities excluded na yung air fare.

  6. wow! awesome blog! i find your blog so informative, i am just starting to research for my trip with my friends to japan this coming year. i will follow your itinerary... i wanna maximize the trip to as much as possible and of course budgeted! thank you!

  7. Hi Tin,

    I will be following your itinerary but we will be staying there for 13 days. So we'll be adding a day each for Disney Sea and Univarsal Studios Osaka. Aside from those two, any other suggestion?

    We didn't book fly in to Osaka and flyout to Tokyo. We will fly in and fly out in Osaka.


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