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The Ideal 10-Day Japan Guide and itinerary

Embark on an unforgettable adventure as I take you on a 10-day journey through Japan's most iconic cities and cultural gems. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the tranquil temples of Kyoto, and from the friendly deer of Nara to the poignant history of Hiroshima, this itinerary promises to showcase the very best of Japan. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready to immerse yourself in a fusion of ancient traditions and modern marvels.

Important things to remember and purchase :

  • Buy and use JR wide pass for the first 3 days and a JR rail pass for the next 7 days. You can use these passes for riding the trains on the JR lines, Bullet trains (except Mizuho and Nozomi), Busses and a Few ferries, and pirate ships (These passes are only available for international tourists and it saves you a lot of money and expenditure)

  • You can purchase these passes online or you can purchase these passes at the airport terminal when you're arriving (Even if you purchased the passes online, you should collect them at the airport when you are arriving)

  • Buy a Suica card online or from the airport terminal. These cards allow you to carry your money virtually and can be used anywhere in Japan since Japan doesn't use credit and debit cards. (These cards are used may it be for buying drinks from the vending machine or for traveling in busses and subway trains)

  • Japan sim cards/Pocket wifi. These can be bought in the airport too and has several plans and packages

Other important things include :

  1. Visa Requirements: Check if you need a visa to enter Japan based on your nationality. Ensure you have a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity.

  2. Currency: The currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). Familiarize yourself with the current exchange rate and consider carrying some cash as many small establishments may not accept credit cards.

  3. Transportation: Japan has an efficient and extensive public transportation system. Familiarize yourself with train and subway routes, purchase a Japan Rail Pass if needed, and consider getting a prepaid transportation card like Suica or Pasmo for convenience.

  4. Etiquette and Customs: Japan has a rich culture with specific customs and etiquette. Familiarize yourself with basic Japanese etiquette, such as bowing, removing your shoes in certain places, and respecting personal space.

  5. Language: While English is spoken in some tourist areas, it's helpful to learn a few basic Japanese phrases and carry a pocket-sized phrasebook or use translation apps to communicate effectively.

  6. Tipping: Tipping is not a common practice in Japan and can even be considered rude. Service charges are usually included in the bill, so there is no need to leave extra money.

  7. Respect for Others: Japanese society places a strong emphasis on politeness and respect. Follow local customs, be mindful of noise levels in public spaces, and adhere to proper behavior in temples, shrines, and other cultural sites.

  8. Wi-Fi and Connectivity: Stay connected by renting a portable Wi-Fi device or purchasing a SIM card with data for your smartphone. Many hotels, restaurants, and train stations also offer free Wi-Fi.

  9. Safety: Japan is generally a safe country, but it's always wise to take precautions. Carry a photocopy of your passport, keep your valuables secure, and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

  10. Local Customs: Explore and experience traditional Japanese customs such as tea ceremonies, wearing a kimono, or visiting an onsen (hot spring). Research and follow the rules and customs specific to each activity to show respect.

  11. Eating Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with Japanese dining etiquette. Learn how to use chopsticks, avoid sticking them vertically in rice, and say "Itadakimasu" before starting a meal and "Gochisousama deshita" after finishing.

  12. Hygiene: Japan places great importance on cleanliness. Carry a small hand sanitizer, observe proper hygiene in public restrooms, and dispose of garbage in designated bins.

  13. Weather and Seasons: Check the weather forecast before your trip and pack appropriate clothing. Japan experiences four distinct seasons, so dress accordingly, especially if you plan to visit during spring or autumn.

  14. Respectful Photography: When taking photos, be mindful of signs indicating no photography, especially in temples and shrines. Also, be considerate of others and avoid taking photos that may invade someone's privacy.

  15. Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself against any unforeseen circumstances, such as medical emergencies or trip cancellations.

Remember to do thorough research about your specific destinations and attractions, and respect the local culture to ensure a memorable and enjoyable trip to Japan.

Some basic Japanese slang that you need to know :

  1. Arigatou (ありがとう) - Thank you.

  2. Sumimasen (すみません) - Excuse me, I'm sorry.

  3. Oishii (美味しい) - Delicious.

  4. Kawaii (かわいい) - Cute.

  5. Sugoi (すごい) - Amazing, great.

  6. Genki (元気) - Energetic, healthy.

  7. Yabai (やばい) - Cool, awesome, or can also mean "uh-oh" or "dangerous" depending on the context.

  8. Nani (何) - What?

  9. Wakaranai (わからない) - I don't understand.

  10. Gambatte (がんばって) - Good luck, do your best.

  11. Ohayou (おはよう) - Good morning.

  12. Konnichiwa (こんにちは) - Hello, good afternoon.

  13. Oyasumi (おやすみ) - Good night, sleep well.

  14. Chotto matte (ちょっと待って) - Wait a moment.

  15. Ii desu (いいです) - It's good, it's okay.

  16. Itadakimasu (いただきます) - Said before starting a meal, equivalent to "Let's eat" or "Bon appétit."

  17. Gochisousama deshita (ごちそうさまでした) - Said after finishing a meal, equivalent to "Thank you for the meal."

  18. Dekiru dake (できるだけ) - As much as possible.

  19. Ikura desu ka? (いくらですか?) - How much does it cost?

  20. Eigo ga wakarimasu ka? (英語がわかりますか?) - Do you understand English?

These slang expressions can help you communicate in a more casual and friendly manner while interacting with locals in Japan. However, it's important to note that using polite and formal language is still recommended in most situations, especially when interacting with older people or in formal settings.

THE 10-Day Japan Itinerary :

Here's the 10-day itinerary for your trip to Japan, including Tokyo, Nara, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Yokohama:

A beautiful tree at the famous Ueno Park

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

  • Arrive in Tokyo and settle into your accommodation.

  • Explore the vibrant neighborhood of Shibuya, known for its famous crossing and shopping district.

  • Visit the Meiji Shrine and take a walk through the beautiful Meiji Jingu Gyoen Park.

Akihabara anime and electronic shopping street

Day 2: Tokyo

  • Spend the day exploring the diverse neighborhoods of Tokyo.

  • Visit the historic Asakusa district and explore Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street.

  • Experience modern Tokyo by visiting the Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower for panoramic views of the city.

  • Visit Akihabara mainly if you are into anime and technology.

  • Enjoy the nightlife in Shinjuku or Roppongi.

The Nara 5 story pagoda

Day 3: Nara Day Trip

  • Take a day trip to Nara from Tokyo.

  • Visit Nara Park, home to friendly wild deer, and Todaiji Temple, which houses the Great Buddha.

  • Explore the quaint streets of Naramachi and visit the traditional houses and shops.

The Osaka Castle - Biggest Castle in Japan

Day 4: Osaka

  • Travel from Tokyo to Osaka (approximately 2.5 hours by bullet train).

  • Visit Osaka Castle and enjoy the views from its observation deck.

  • Explore Dotonbori, a vibrant street filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

  • Try Osaka's famous street food, such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki.

Arashiyama Bamboo Groove

Day 5: Kyoto

  • Take a day trip from Osaka to Kyoto (approximately 30 minutes by train).

  • Explore the historic district of Higashiyama and visit iconic temples such as Kiyomizu-Dera and Yasaka Pagoda.

  • Experience the serene atmosphere of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and visit the beautiful Tenryu-ji Temple.

  • Enjoy the traditional geisha district of Gion in the evening.

Itsukushima floating Torii gate

Day 6: Hiroshima

  • Travel from Osaka to Hiroshima (approximately 2 hours by bullet train).

  • Visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum to learn about Hiroshima's history.

  • Please note that the museum is very gloomy and dark (Kids and light-hearted people may get scared or be down contemplating for the next few hours)

  • Take a ferry to Miyajima Island and see the famous Itsukushima Shrine and the iconic floating Torii gate.

Yokohama Chinatown Entrance

Day 7: Hiroshima and Yokohama

  • Spend the morning in Hiroshima exploring any sights you may have missed.

  • Travel from Hiroshima to Yokohama (approximately 4 hours by bullet train).

  • Visit the futuristic Minato Mirai area and enjoy the views from the Landmark Tower.

  • Explore the historic Yokohama Chinatown and try some delicious Chinese cuisine.

Famous suspension bridge at the Jogasaki Coast

Day 8: Izukyu Kogen and Atami

  • Spend the morning in the coastal region of Japan by walking through the famous Jogasaki coast.

  • Go to Mt.Omuro and take a cable car to go to the top and enjoy the scenery!

  • If you have enough time, head to Atami to see the Atami Castle and head back to Tokyo

Pirate ship used to go around lake ashi

Day 9: Hakone and Tokyo

  • Go to Hakone and eat the famous black egg (which is said to increase your lifespan by 7 years!) while enjoying watching the volcanic fumes.

  • Ride the JR pirate ship and enjoy the sceneries while going to the Hakone shrine. (Beware! The line for taking pictures of the Torii gate is very long!!)

  • Head back to Tokyo for the night and enjoy the nightlife in Akihabara or Roppongi

Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

Day 10: Departure

  • Spend your last day in Tokyo exploring any remaining sights or doing some souvenir shopping.

  • You can buy souvenirs if you want from the airport at Akihabara airport shop.

  • Depart from Tokyo according to your flight schedule.

View of Mt.Fuji from lake Kawaguchiko

Optional Day: Mt.Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko

(If you find one of the above days uninteresting or if you have a day in hand, try going to Lake Kawaguchiko, where you can see Mt.Fuji from a reasonably close distance)

Please note that this itinerary can be customized based on your preferences and the specific attractions you want to visit in each city. Additionally, make sure to check the opening hours and any travel restrictions before your trip.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you still have any doubts or need clarification on anything. Thank you!


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