10 day itinerary for Japan

Shinjuku Goyen Cherry blossoms 3

10 day itinerary for Japan with family

10 day itinerary for Japan

Anubhav and I travelled to Japan with my parents, his parents and our two kids. We planned our 10 day trip during the Cherry Blossom season. This is was our second trip to Japan and we wanted our parents and kids to experience this fascinating country. 

We started our trip in Tokyo and ended in Tokyo because Tokyo has many direct flights to Delhi from Air India, JAL and Air Nippon. 

Here is how we planned our time

Itinerary for Japan

 

Day 1 Tokyo
Took the day flight, got in and visited the Tokyo Palace
Day 2 Tokyo Sunday
Being Sunday we went to Yoyogi-Goyen and Takashita Dori to see Cosplay and shop. Evening in Shibuya
Day 3 Head to Kyoto
See Arashimaya, Tenryu-ji
Day 4 Kyoto and back to Tokyo
Day tour of Kyoto and Ginkakuji Temple
Day 5 Trip to Nikko
Head to Nikko and back
Day 6 Kanazawa
Itinerary Content
Day 8 Kanazawa
See the Kenrokuen garden
Day 9 Tokyo
See the new Tokyo Tower, Asakusa and Shinjuku Goyen
Day 10 Head out from Tokyo
Catch your flight out of Tokyo
 

How to get around Japan

We bought the 7 day 2nd class JR pass from jrpass.com. It was great value for money. Unlimited travel at $265/adults and $120/children. They shipped the passes to us before we left India. It took them 4 days after the order to deliver, so plan this early.

Where to stay in Tokyo

We stayed at an Airbnb in Shinagawa. It was really close to Shinagawa station, which is on the JR Yamanote line. This circular line covers a lot of the common sights in Japan and it was really convenient for us even though it was a little bit tight for all of us. The only complaint was it got loud in at night because it was next to an Izakaya.

https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/4917781

What to see in Tokyo

Here are our top things to see in Tokyo.

Day 1 in Tokyo

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Eat at T's Tan Tan Veggie Ramen at Tokyo Station. We are there 3 times.

This was a short day since we arrived in the afternoon. It took about 2 hours to get to the hotel using the Friendly Bus from Tokyo Airport.

We also used this tour to get acquainted with the city

East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Day 2 in Tokyo

Get up early to see Tsukiji fish market to understand Japanese fascination with sea food

Tsukiji
Tsukiji Tuna
Tsukiji Fishmongers
Tsukiji Fishmongers
Tsukiji Picking octopus
Tsukiji Picking octopus
Tsukiji Octopus
Tsukiji Octopus

Next, see Takeshita-dori on a Sunday.

Takeshita-dori
Takeshita-dori

Go to the Harajuku station on JR line and walk down Takeshita street and then onto Omotesando.

See Kiddy land and buy a bunch of toys for the kids. Eat at Shakey's Pizza right next door

Before heading off to Takeshita-dori consider seeing the Meiji Jingu shrine in Yoyogi park is great. We saw a wedding ceremony there.

yoyogi park wedding 3
yoyogi park wedding 3
yoyogi park wedding
yoyogi park wedding
yoyogi park wedding procession
yoyogi park wedding procession

Spend the night at Shibuya - shopping and eating and Seeing Hachiko.

Shibuya with family
Shibuya with family
Anya at Shibuya
Anya at Shibuya

Head to Kyoto the next day.

What to see in Kyoto

Here is what we saw:

Day 3 in Kyoto

  1. Arashimaya Bamboo forest
  2. Tenryu-ji
  3. Ginkakuji Temple
  4. Hishashimaya Geisha Village with wooden houses
  5. Kiy0misu-dera temple with a nice balcony over looking Kyoto

We took the Last Samurai tour of Kyoto. It was entertaining.

Here are some pictures of Kyoto from our trip to help you get a sense of the place. We start at Arashimaya and then move onto Tenryu-ji temple before moving on to Ginkakuji.

We found this detailed Guide to Kyoto by Japanesquest really useful to plan our trip to Kyoto

We headed back to Tokyo after two days here.

What to see in Nikko

We decided to spend a day in Nikko to see Toshogu - Japan's most decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa-Ieyasu. Both these sights were good to see and the day trip was fun.

Here are a few pictures from Nikko

Here is a detailed Guide to Nikko that we found helpful: 

https://www.tsunagujapan.com/17-things-to-do-in-nikko-a-town-with-world-heritage-sites-surrounded-by-gorgeous-natural-sceneries/

What to see in Kanazawa

During the Edo Period, Kanazawa was the capital of the Maeda Clan. It was the second most powerful clan after the Tokugawa in terms of rice production and size of the kingdom. Kanazawa grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivaling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo). You must see three things in Kanazawa:

  1. Kenroku-en National park: It is supposed to be one of the three great gardens of Japan. We went there because my father loves garderns.
  2. Kanazawa Castle
  3. Nagamachi - The old Samurai district
  4. Higashi chaya district: District with tea houses where Geisha's perform

We took a day tour through Kanazawa to see its sights. Our guide was super helpful.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Kanazawa sky. It had good breakfast and was convenient to sights.

Here are some photos of kenrokuen

Here are some Kanazawa city photos

Kanazawa samurai district photos

What to see in Tokyo before heading out

On Day 3 in Tokyo, we saw

  1. Shinjuku Goyen to see the Cherry blossoms
  2. Afternoon shopping in Shinjuku
  3. Senso-ji temple and shops in Asakusa
  4. Tokyo Sky tree Tower - shopping and dinner
  5. Spend 3 hours at Oedo-onsen in Tokyo. It was really refreshing and easy to get to.

In the end we just ran out of time. There is way too much to see in Japan. I've been there 8 times and I still look forward to going there.

Photos of Shinjuku goyen during cherry blossom season

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