Wondering how to spend 14 days in Japan? I have prepared a detailed Japan itinerary for 14 days that covers Japan’s Golden Route, which is perfect for first-time visitors.
Japan, also known as the Land of the Rising Sun, is a fascinating country in East Asia. It is known for its unique blend of ancient traditions and modern technology, stunning natural landscapes, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality.
Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, admiring the historic sites of Kyoto, or immersing yourself in the tranquility of rural Japan, the country offers a wide range of experiences that cater to various interests.
This 14 days Japan itinerary will help you unlock the best of Japan while exploring popular tourist destinations that blend perfectly with the hidden gems of Japan. I will add additional travel tips for Japan, like the best places to stay, the coolest restaurants, fun things to do, unique experiences and so much more.
This Japan travel guide will ensure that you make the most of your trip and cover Japan’s Golden Route in the most convenient way. Basically, everything that you need to know before visiting Japan, you will find here.
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Where to go in Japan for 14 days? (Itinerary overview)
Day 1 – 4: Tokyo
Day 4 – 6: Mt Fuji
Day 6 – 11: Kyoto (day trip Nara+Uji)
Day 11 – 13: Osaka (half-day trip Himeji)
Day 13 – 14: Hiroshima
Day 14: Departure
This is your itinerary for 14 days in Japan at a glance. I will share the best things to do, where to stay, and some restaurant recommendations together with cool experiences in Japan. And the best ways to reach each destination on this Japan itinerary.
Remember, you can follow this itinerary starting from Tokyo or Osaka (or in reverse) if it suits your needs. Or you can fly in Tokyo and fly out of Osaka – this way you will save some time on your last day.
Are you excited to discover Japan and plan an unforgettable trip to Japan for 14 days? Because I am, so keep on reading!
Is 14 days enough for Japan?
With a well-planned itinerary, 14 days in Japan provide ample time to experience the essence of this remarkable country. From iconic cities to delectable sushi and unforgettable adventures, you can make the most of your trip.
In this itinerary, we will cover how to spend 14 days in Japan and how to maximize your time in this amazing country. I will add some optional stops, so this itinerary suits different travelers and interests.
Keep in mind that for a comprehensive exploration of Japan, it is advisable to extend your stay to at least one month. Especially if you want to include some relaxing time during your trip and remote areas.
What is Japan’s Golden Route?
Japan’s Golden Route is a popular itinerary that allows travelers to experience the best of the country in 14 days. The route typically follows the Shinkansen (bullet train) line from Tokyo to the southern regions, encompassing a variety of iconic and historically significant destinations.
This well-established route ensures that you don’t miss out on the must-see attractions across the “Country of the Rising Sun.” From the bustling metropolis of Tokyo to the cultural treasure trove of Kyoto, and everything in between, the Golden Route promises a diverse and unforgettable journey through Japan.
And this 14-day Japan itinerary for first-timers will help you explore Japan’s Golden Route in the most convenient way.
How to move around Japan in 14 days?
Japan is renowned for its efficient and reliable train and public transport system, which makes getting around the country a breeze. The extensive network of trains, including the famous Shinkansen, connects major cities and regions, allowing travelers to navigate easily and swiftly.
In addition to trains, Japan’s public transport system, including buses and subways, is well-developed and user-friendly. With clear signage, helpful staff, and English language support in many areas, you can confidently explore Japan’s cities and towns using public transportation.
Despite the recent price rise for the JR pass, I still recommend you purchase it in order to get the best out of your 14 days in Japan itinerary. This convenience adds to the overall ease and enjoyment of your journey through this incredible country. Purchase 14 day JR pass here.
Renting a car in Japan is generally not necessary, especially if you plan to follow the Golden Route or explore major cities. It can be expensive, and the road signs and driving customs in Japan may be unfamiliar to visitors, making it a less favorable option for most travelers. Therefore, relying on Japan’s excellent public transport system is highly recommended for a hassle-free and enjoyable trip.
However, if you prefer to drive and explore some additional areas, find your rental here.
14 Days in Japan: Japan Golden Route Itinerary For First Timers
Day 1 – 4: Tokyo
Tokyo, the legendary capital of Japan, has a population of 35 million, making it one of the most exciting megacities in the world. It is a city where the past meets the present and the present meets the future. On top of that, Tokyo is a city that never sleeps and that offers something for everyone.
When you spend 14 days in Japan, make sure to spend at least 4 days in the capital in order to explore Japanese culture. You can climb up to the tallest tower in the world, eat your way through Japanese cuisine, explore old temples, or dive into the anime and manga world.
Best things to do in Tokyo
Tokyo is a city of multiple personalities so here are some of the best things to do in Tokyo that you will want to add to your itinerary.
Asakusa is a must-visit destination in Tokyo for its rich cultural and historical significance. Here you can find Sanso-Ji which is the oldest temple in Tokyo. Senso-Ji is famous also for Nakamise-Dori, which is one of the oldest market streets in Japan.
Despite the huge population, Tokyo boasts some of the largest parks in the world. Ueno Park is one of the most popular spots where locals and tourists find a relaxing oasis in the busy capital. The district of Ueno must be included in your 14 days in Japan to pay a visit to the Tokyo National Museum and the local market.
Embrace your style and hunt for shopping in the quirky district of Harajuku, which is the fashion capital of Japan. Harajuku is also home to Yoyogi Park, another famous park in Tokyo. Inside Yoyogi Park, walk your way to Meiji Jingu, one of the most famous temples in Japan.
If you are into anime, manga, or video games passionate head to Akihabara where you will feel right at home. While Akihabara Electric Town is one of the best places to spend a night in Tokyo and dive into Japanese Pop Culture. Shinjuku is another fantastic place where to spend a crazy night at one of the million Karaoke, restaurants or clubs.
Ride the elevators of the Tokyo Skytree Tower, Roppongi Hills, or the iconic Tokyo Tower to see a different view of the capital. Here you can take your perfect postcard of the Japanese capital and have a great memory of your 2 weeks in Japan.
Unique experiences in Tokyo
There are so many unique experiences to do in Tokyo that cater to a wide range of interests. Here are a few examples of the diverse and exciting activities you can enjoy during your 14 days in Japan.
Where to eat in Tokyo
Tokyo is the city with the highest amount of Michelin restaurants in the world, and you’d need a lifetime to try them all, here is a little list of popular places to try in Tokyo.
Sushizanmai is one of the best restaurants in Tokyo and a real icon to try sushi in the capital of Japan. The quality of the fish is on top and the price is still very reasonable. Obviously, this makes it one of the busiest restaurants in the capital, so you need to be a bit patient to enjoy your delicious meal. There is the main branch and other 2 locations in Tokyo.
If you are a meat lover, Han No Daidokoro is the right place to be. This typical Japanese restaurant has a wide selection of local high-quality meat. The ambiance is lovely and the service is professional. All this comes with a cost since it’s a bit expensive, but once you will try their dishes you will understand why.
Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama is another legendary restaurant in Tokyo you can’t miss, especially if you are craving Tonkatsu. The meat is incredibly tender and the crumbs are delightfully crispy. Once again I recommend you get there early as this is another hot spot in Tokyo.
Ramen is another specialty you should try, so head to Nakiryu, which is one of the best ramen restaurants in Tokyo. The wait is totally worth it since the food is really outstanding. It is generously topped with a lot of high-quality ingredients including three different kinds of barbecued pork.
A trip to Japan comes with unique and fun experiences and ZAUO SHINJUKU is the perfect place to get a taste of it. Here you will see a pond with fish and you will have the chance to hook up your own fish and ask the cook to prepare it the way you like the most. This is a unique experience for an unforgettable meal.
Where to stay in Tokyo
If you are looking for a home away from home, make sure you check Mimaru Hotels. They have multiple properties available around Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo and they are one of the top-rated hotels in Japan.
Mimaru offers modern accommodations with a Japanese touch in the most strategic locations of the city, so it is suitable for any kind of traveler. It also stands out in terms of hospitality and amenities.
The accommodations at Mimaru are real flats providing all the amenities and comfort for short and long stays. It is a great hotel for families or bigger groups as well since most of the hotels offer connected rooms.
According to your preference and itinerary, you can choose the most convenient location. Here are my top 3 recommendations and the best places to stay in Tokyo.
Strategically located near the station of Ueno, this is the perfect location to blend in an authentic and lively area and be connected with the rest of the city. The apartments are perfectly equipped for short and long stays, for couples and big groups. The hotel also boasts a unique Ninja Room.
Asakusa is one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo and this hotel lies exactly in the heart of it. The position and the high quality of the accommodations make this a perfect choice for a Tokyo vacation. If you want to spoil yourself, you can take an apartment with an epic river view.
Despite the fantastic location in the heart of Chuo, this is probably the most affordable Mimaru Hotel in Tokyo. Without giving up the high standards of Mimaru Hotels. It’s especially exciting that they offer a Pokemon-themed room. This would be a fantastic option for fans of the franchise, adding an extra touch of fun and nostalgia to their stay.
Day 4 – 6: Mt Fuji
Mount Fuji, or Mr. Fuji (Fujisan) as the Japanese call it, is probably the most iconic symbol of Japan. A perfect 14-day in Japan itinerary must include a stop to meet this famous volcano.
When visiting Mount Fuji, the Region of the Five Lakes (Fujigoko) is an excellent place to stay. This region offers stunning views of the mountain and is surrounded by five beautiful lakes: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Saiko, Lake Shoji, and Lake Motosu. Each lake has its own charm and attractions.
When planning your 14-day itinerary in Japan, consider allocating a few days to explore the Region of the Five Lakes and Mount Fuji. This will give you ample time to admire the mountain, engage in outdoor activities, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery of the area.
How to get from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji?
There are several ways to get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, so here is a quick summary that will help you find the most convenient way for your own travel style and budget.
Train: Take the JR Tokaido Line from Tokyo Station to Shin-Fuji Station or Fuji Station, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway Line to Mount Fuji Station. This route takes around 2.5 hours and costs about 3,800 yen. Purchase 14 day JR pass here, however, keep in mind that it doesn’t cover Fujikyu Railway Line.
Bus: Several bus companies operate daily services from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. The journey takes around 2.5 hours and costs around 2,000 yen. You can purchase tickets here.
Car: You can rent a car in Tokyo and drive to Mount Fuji. The journey takes around 2.5 hours, but please be aware that traffic can be heavy during peak travel periods. Find your rental here.
Tour: Many tour companies offer day trips from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, including transportation and a guide. This can be a convenient option for those who want to see the mountain but do not want to navigate public transportation. This is one of the best-selling tours to Mt Fuji.
Taking the train is the most convenient and popular way to get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. However, taking a tour may be the easiest way for those who do not want to navigate transportation on their own.
Best things to do in Mt Fuji
The town of Fujikawaguchiko is the perfect place to snap an iconic photo of Fujisan. Wake up early to take a photo with a reflection on the water, or frame the mountain with cherry blossoms or autumn colors.
Another iconic location that you find in every Japanese guide is the Pagoda Chureito. This spectacular pagoda offers a stunning view of Mount Fuji and it is the best of Japan in 14 days.
Visiting Iyashi no Sato village will give you the chance to discover a unique open-air museum. This village is now composed of more than 20 houses that have been converted into museums, restaurants, shops, and art galleries.
Hakone lies in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park less than a hundred kilometers from Tokyo and it’s a great place to have an iconic view of Mt Fuji. Hakone is also famous for its great number of hot springs and the Hakone Shrine.
If you are visiting Japan in 14 days with kids, or you like amusement parks, Fuji-Q Highland is one of the fun things to do at Mount Fuji. This is one of the most famous amusement parks in Japan and you will be able to join the attraction of the park with an epic view of Mount Fuji.
Also, Fuji Shibazakura Festival is a magic festival where the Region of Five Lakes blooms and is one of the best and most loved events nationwide. If you visit Japan in 14 days between April and May you simply can’t miss this fantastic event.
Where to eat in Mt Fuji
When visiting Mount Fuji and the Region of the Five Lakes, you’ll find a variety of dining options to suit different tastes and preferences. Here are some recommendations for places to eat in the area.
Hotou Fudou is the place to go to try the flavors of the region. Try a bowl of Hot noodles to warm up on a cold day. There is one near the Kawaguchiko station and one in Fujikawaguchiko.
のん兵 is an Izakaya restaurant offering simple and delicious food in a typical Japanese environment. It’s cheap, quick, and always a good idea.
Japanese cuisine Fumi of the village “Kokorogi” is a place where to experience a fine dining experience and find some fine spirit labels.
If you are dreaming to get back to the old Japanese spirit, don’t miss Sanrokuen. An unforgettable dining experience that will take you back in time with style.
For modern and delicious sushi, head to Shaw’s Sushi Bar & Dining. The lovely environment and the quality of the food justify a slightly higher price compared to other locations.
Where to stay in Mt Fuji
When choosing where to stay in the Mount Fuji area, consider your preferences, budget, and the attractions you plan to visit. It’s also worth noting that during peak seasons, such as cherry blossom or autumn foliage seasons, accommodations can fill up quickly, so it’s advisable to book in advance.
Here are some recommended places to stay in the Mt Fuji area.
Are you looking for the best accommodation with a view of Mount Fuji? Don’t look any further! Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso is a spectacular hotel built in Japanese style offering private Onsen with a jaw-dropping view of Mr. Fuji. It obviously comes with a price, but there is nothing better than Onsen Konanso to make your Golden Route Japan itinerary unforgettable.
If you are looking for a view of Mount Fuji at a more affordable price, this is your way to go! This hotel is modernly built in a traditional Japanese style and is conveniently located near the Kawaguchiko Train Station. The epic views of Mount Fuji are spectacular, especially from the Luxury suite.
If you don’t want to kill your finances, but still care about quality accommodations and warm hospitality this has to be your choice! It is located in a strategic position near Kawaguchiko station. Rooms are essential and exquisitely Japanese. Complimentary bread and coffee are served for breakfast.
Day 6 – 10: Kyoto (day trip Nara+Uji)
Kyoto is the old capital of Japan and a city of timeless charm, it is part of every Golden Route Japan itinerary. Visiting Kyoto means diving into the ancient Japanese culture at its best as it is the city where most of the old Japanese traditions start, like the famous tea ceremony.
In this Japan itinerary for 14 days, you will have to spend at least 4 nights seeing the essentials of Kyoto and visiting some surrounding areas like Nara and Uji.
How to get from Mt. Fuji to Kyoto?
To travel from Mount Fuji to Kyoto, you have several transportation options available. Here are a few common methods. Taking the train is the most convenient and popular way to get from Mount Fuji to Kyoto.
Train: Take the Fujikyu Railway Line from Mount Fuji Station to Mishima Station, then transfer to the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line to Kyoto Station. This route takes around 3.5 to 4 hours and costs about 12,000 yen. Purchase 14 day JR pass here, however, keep in mind that it doesn’t cover Fujikyu Railway Line.
Bus: Several bus companies operate daily services from Mount Fuji to Kyoto. The journey takes around 7 hours and costs around 7,000 yen, however, it is a long way and not the most convenient way. You can purchase tickets here.
Car: You can rent a car in Mount Fuji and drive to Kyoto. The journey takes around 4.5 hours, but please be aware that traffic can be heavy during peak travel periods. Find your rental here.
Best things to do in Kyoto
Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of shrines and temples, and exploring them is a highlight of any visit to the city. Fushimi Inari, with its famous torii gate pathway, Kiyomizu-dera overlooking the city, and the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) are all iconic sites that showcase the beauty of Kyoto’s religious architecture.
Nishiki Market is a must-visit for food lovers and those interested in traditional craftsmanship and shopping. The market offers a wide array of local and seasonal ingredients, street food, and unique local products. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in Japanese culinary traditions and explore the rich heritage of Kyoto’s craftsmanship.
Arashiyama, located on the outskirts of Kyoto, offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and architectural wonders. The Bamboo Forest is a mesmerizing pathway that leads you through towering bamboo groves, while the Sagano Romantic Train provides a scenic journey through picturesque landscapes.
When it comes to dining, Pontocho, and Gion are vibrant districts that offer a range of dining options, from traditional Japanese cuisine to modern interpretations. Pontocho is famous for its narrow alleys lined with restaurants, while Gion is renowned for its historical atmosphere and the possibility of spotting geishas.
Higashiyama-ku, located in eastern Kyoto, is a district where you can truly appreciate the exquisite beauty of Japanese feudal-era architecture. Its traditional streets, wooden machiya houses, and preserved temples and gardens transport you back in time, offering a glimpse of Kyoto’s rich history.
For a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and history, a visit to the Samurai Museum can be enlightening. It showcases the samurai’s role in shaping Japanese society and offers exhibits and interactive experiences to learn about their traditions and way of life.
Unique experiences in Kyoto
Kyoto is truly a treasure trove of Japanese culture and traditions. From its ancient temples and shrines to its preserved historical districts, the city offers a rich tapestry of experiences for those seeking to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. Here are some key highlights that make Kyoto an amusement park for culture enthusiasts.
Where to eat in Kyoto
Kyoto is a city with countless restaurants, and it’s essential to choose wisely where to eat in order to get the best of your Japan itinerary.
For delicious ramen head to Honke Daiichi-Asahi located near the Kyoto station. This place has been serving ramen since 1947 and still going strong. If you want to twist your ramen, check Fire Ramen, where a cascade of fire will spice up your bowl.
For the freshest sushi, head to Nishiki Market. Here you can find Kimura Fresh Fish serving delicious sushi and sashimi in an informal environment, or 錦 鮨しん for something classy and unforgettable.
Kichi Kichi Omurice and 🦆🍜 are two restaurants serving Omurice and duck noodles which became popular thanks to Instagram. But they stayed popular thanks to the high quality of food and they will be delicious experiences.
For a fine dining experience head to Enen and try one of the best wagyu of your life! The fancy environment and the fantastic service will complete the experience.
Where to stay in Kyoto?
By now you know that I am a big fan of Mimaru Hotels as they are known for providing a unique blend of traditional and modern Japanese elements, offering guests a home-away-from-home experience.
Whether it’s the cozy tatami mats, sliding doors, or the availability of kitchen facilities, staying at a Mimaru hotel can enhance your experience. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a more immersive and authentic accommodation option while exploring Japan.
Here is the list of the best hotels in Kyoto.
This was my choice during my time in Kyoto. Conveniently located a few steps away from the castle and the Sanjo shopping arcade, MIMARU Kyoto Nijo Castle is a perfect place to sightseeing and see an authentic side of Kyoto.
Outside the hotel, you will also find several bus lines connecting to the main attractions in Kyoto, including the Golden Temple.
Guests can also relax on the terrace on the last floor of the hotel, maybe while sipping a Nespresso Coffee available in the reception.
This is the most ideal location to explore other cities like Nara and Osaka, but also Kyoto itself, since there is a bus station just outside the hotel.
MIMARU Kyoto Station provides some unique accommodations like a room with a city view, where you can see the Shinkansen departing and arriving in the town. It also boasts a Pokemon room.
Due to the location and rooms, this is probably the best choice for a long stay in Kyoto. And it can accommodate up to 14 people in the Connecting Family apartment.
Conveniently located between the Nijo Castle and the Nishiki Market, this hotel lies in a very authentic yet comfortable area in Kyoto. This makes it perfect to have a relaxed stay in Kyoto, without giving up a strategic location.
Like the Mimaru station, MIMARU Kyoto Shinmachi Sanjo also boasts a unique Pokemon room. You can also find a connecting apartment of 80 m² that can accommodate up to 12 people.
MIMARU SUITES Kyoto Central is located between Kyoto Castle and Nishiki Market, with easy access to all the Kyoto heritage. This makes it perfect for visitors who have 3 days in Kyoto or less.
The Three-Bedroom Japanese Suite is a wonderful example of Japanese design and style and can accommodate up to 6 people.
MIMARU Kyoto Nishinotoin Takatsuj stands between the Nijo Castle and the Kyoto Station, in a lively area full of restaurants and bars. Despite not being in the heart of the city, the Kyoto Heritage is easily accessible. All the main attractions in the city are well connected to the hotel.
This makes it a great location to explore local traditional restaurants, without the crowd of most tourist places. Also, the MIMARU Kyoto Nishinotoin Takatsuj boasts a Pokemon room, that can accommodate up to 6 people.
MIMARU SUITES KYOTO SHIJO lies between the Nishiki Market and the Kyoto station, and it’s served by a subway line and several bus lines. That makes it perfect for sightseeing and exploring the Kansai region since the station is very close.
The apartments here are very spacious and can accommodate big groups of up to 6 people.
Day trip to Nara and Uji
When you spend 2 weeks in Japan, you want to add a day trip from Kyoto to Nara and Uji. You can either visit both of these towns on separate day trips or combine them together, which is a great option if you are on the clock and don’t have a lot of time to explore the surroundings of Kyoto.
Nara is known for its friendly and freely roaming deer as well as its historical significance as the first capital of Japan. It has well-connected public transport, which makes it one of the best day trips from Kyoto.
Spend the day exploring Nara Park, where you can encounter the friendly deer that roam freely. Visit iconic attractions like Todai-ji Temple, home to the Great Buddha, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine with its beautiful lanterns.
While Uji is a beautiful city located just south of Kyoto, known for its rich history of tea cultivation and its association with matcha.
Take a day trip from Kyoto to Uji, which is easily accessible by train from Kyoto Station. Upon arriving in Uji, make your way to Byodo-In Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its stunning architecture and serene surroundings. Explore the temple grounds and learn about its historical significance.
After visiting Byodo-In Temple, take the opportunity to experience Uji’s tea culture. Visit traditional tea houses and sample locally produced matcha, which is known for its high quality. You can also participate in a tea ceremony to gain a deeper understanding of the art of tea preparation.
Day 11 – 13: Osaka (half-day trip Himeji)
Osaka is known as the “Nation’s Kitchen” due to its vibrant food culture and delicious cuisine. However, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the city beyond eating. At the top of the list is Osaka Castle, which is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan and a must-visit attraction in Osaka.
Dotonbori and Shinsekai are not just food havens but also vibrant areas for shopping and entertainment. Visiting Osaka means also taking a glimpse at modern Japan, and appreciating the modern architecture of Umeda Skybuilldng. This is also the best place to catch a sunset over the city.
Osaka keeps also an intimate historical side after the castle that sometimes tourist miss. Sumiyoshi Taisha shrine and Nakazakichō area are perfect examples to find historical Japanese architecture.
And a day trip to Himeji is a popular highlight when visiting Osaka. Himeji is a city located in Hyogo Prefecture, just a short distance away from Osaka. The main attraction in Himeji is Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Japan’s most beautiful and well-preserved castles.
How to get from Kyoto to Osaka?
Getting from Kyoto to Osaka is convenient and straightforward. There are several transportation options available.
Train: Take the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line from Kyoto Station to Osaka Station. This route takes around 30 minutes and costs around 560 yen. Shinkansen is also a solution and it takes only 14 minutes. Purchase 14 day JR pass here.
Subway: Take the Karasuma Line from Kyoto Station to Shijo Station, then transfer to the Hankyu Kyoto Line to Umeda Station in Osaka. This route takes around 45 minutes and costs around 410 yen.
Bus: Several bus companies operate daily services from Kyoto to Osaka. The journey takes around 1 hour and costs around 2,000 yen. You can purchase tickets here.
Taxi: You can take a taxi from Kyoto to Osaka, but it can be quite expensive, costing around 30,000 yen. If you want to book your transfer in advance, you can do it here.
Taking the train or subway is the most convenient and popular way to get from Kyoto to Osaka. Buses can be a good alternative if you want to save money, while taxis are best reserved for those who prefer a more comfortable and direct mode of transportation.
Best things to do in Osaka
The Castle of Osaka (Osaka Castle) holds great significance as a symbol of the city and is one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors to Osaka Castle can explore the picturesque gardens and the castle’s main keep, which houses a museum.
Eat until you are broke! Osaka is the nation’s kitchen and you would need a lifetime to try all the restaurants and food stalls in the city. But still, food hopping is one of the best things to do in Japan in 14 days and there is no better place than Osaka for this.
And there is no better place than Umeda Sky Building to catch a sunset over Osaka. Here you can take your postcards of Osaka in one of the most iconic skyscrapers of the city.
If you are passionate about Japanese pop culture, you will love Shinsekai! This vibrant district is home to the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower, one of the most photographed landmarks in Japan. The neon signs and the thousands of restaurants and shops will make you have one of the best times during your 2 weeks in Japan.
A few minutes away from Shinsekai, find Dotombori, another iconic location in Japan. Yes, Dotonbori can be a bit overwhelming considering the number of people in the district, but it’s one of the most colorful and lively districts in Japan. Here you will find plenty of shops and boutiques to satisfy your need for shopping and even more iconic restaurants and food stalls.
Unique experiences in Osaka
Taking a food tour in Osaka is a fantastic way to fully immerse yourself in the culinary delights the city has to offer. A food tour will allow you to sample a variety of local dishes, explore hidden gems, and learn about the history and culture behind Osaka’s food scene.
Where to eat in Osaka
While it’s impossible to cover all the great places to eat in Osaka, here are some popular and highly recommended dining spots that can make your 14 days in Japan delicious.
Sushi Hayata is the ultimate experience to try some unforgettable sushi while visiting Japan. Delicious fish, beautiful and traditional environment, great hospitality, and awesome presentation. Don’t miss it.
Katsudon Chiyomatsu is a place that became popular through social media and they are specialized in Tonkatsu. I am not a big fan of pork meat but I have to admit that the Tonkatsu was ridiculously tasty. It was hands down the best pork meat of my life.
Rikuro’s Namba Main Branch is home to the most famous cheesecake in Japan. The giggly cheesecake is a real must-try when you visit Osaka.
Set in the folkloristic Shinsekai, Okonomiyaki Usagiya is your way to go to try some delicious okonomiyaki. The place is exquisitely Japanese and the prices are very affordable. Alternatively, you can try Okonomiyaki Chitose.
Where to stay in Osaka?
Osaka is another destination where you can find Mimaru hotels located in the most strategic locations. So here is a quick summary of the best hotels in Osaka.
These are just a few examples of the Mimaru hotels in Osaka, each with its own unique features and benefits. Regardless of which one you choose, you can expect comfortable accommodations and convenient access to Osaka’s attractions and amenities.
This was my choice during my time in Osaka. MIMARU OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI WEST is perfect to experience the authentic side of Osaka as the hotel is located on a quiet street full of restaurants. The shopping streets are just 5 minutes away.
MIMARU OSAKA NAMBA North is set 70 m from Orange Street and 500 m from Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade. It’s a great choice for those who want to experience the liveliest side of Osaka for shopping and food. Dotonbori is just a few steps away.
This hotel also boasts a unique and popular Pokemon room. If you are a fan this is simply a must for you.
MIMARU Osaka Shinsaibashi North is located 500 m from TKP Shinsaibashi Ekimae Conference Center and 600 m from Shinsaibashi Station. This is the Mimaru Hotel which is the closest to Osaka Castle.
What makes this hotel very special are the themed apartments like Ninja Room, so it is a great choice if you are looking for unique experiences in Osaka.
MIMARU OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI EAST is located 5 minutes away from MIMARU Osaka Shinsaibashi North, closer to the Dotonbori area.
If you are passionate about Japanese drinks like sake this is your place to go. The staff will take good care of you to make you experience a taste of Japan.
MIMARU Osaka Namba Station stands a few steps away from the infamous Kuromon Street Market and the train station. This is a perfect spot if you are planning to explore the surrounding of Osaka and the city. Many attractions are within walking distance.
The hotel boasts some unique accommodations like Board Game Rooms. Some are perfect for families, others for groups of friends.
Half-day trip to Himeji
Himeji is located within close proximity to Osaka, making it an easily achievable day trip. It is famous for its picturesque castle, which will be one of the highlights of your 14-day Japan itinerary.
Be sure to check the train schedules for your return trip and allow for some flexibility in your plans. A day trip to Himeji from Osaka allows you to explore the beautiful castle and experience the historical charm of this city, making for a memorable day of sightseeing.
Day 13 – 14: Hiroshima
Despite the tragedy that hit the city in WW2, Hiroshima is one of the most lively cities in Japan. If your 14 days in Japan itinerary allows you to spend an extra night here, I highly recommend you give Hiroshima and Miyajima Island a chance.
Traveling from Osaka to Hiroshima on a day trip is a popular option due to the efficient transportation system in Japan. The Shinkansen is a convenient and fast way to reach Hiroshima from Osaka. However, spending a night is certainly a better option.
How to get from Osaka to Hiroshima?
To travel from Osaka to Hiroshima, you have several transportation options available. Here are the most common methods.
Train: The Shinkansen is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between Hiroshima and Osaka. Take the Sanyo Shinkansen line from Shin-Osaka Station to Hiroshima. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the type of train you choose. Purchase 14 day JR pass here.
Local Trains: If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can take local trains. From Osaka, take the JR Sanyo Line to Hiroshima. The journey can take around 3 to 4 hours, depending on the train and transfers. This option is suitable if you have more time and want to enjoy the scenic route.
Choose the option that best suits your preferences in terms of budget, time, and comfort. The Shinkansen is generally the most recommended option due to its speed and convenience.
Best things to do in Hiroshima
Visit the island of Miyajima, which is a small island famous for its iconic red tori in the water which is ranked as one of Japan’s three best views. Miyajima Island is also a peaceful and romantic place where the surrounding nature is absolutely stunning. Here you can also find hiking trails and temples such as Itsukushima.
There are thousands of shopping streets that are way less touristy than Kyoto or Tokyo and full of boutiques, cafes, and traditional restaurants, so it could be a great plan for some last-minute shopping before your departure.
Despite the tragic history, Hiroshima is a city where you can learn how to appreciate peace more than anywhere else in the world. Visit some iconic places like the Arch of Peace, the Museum of Peace, and the Atomic Bomb Dome. Pay your respect at Children’s Peace Monument and learn the heartbreaking story of Sadako Sasaki.
Hiroshima boasts a castle located on the water. This castle was reconstructed s the original one was destroyed but it’s rebuilt in the exact same style as the original.
Just like other cities in Japan, Hiroshima takes pride in some local food specialties. Onomichi ramen is probably the most famous, but don’t miss the famous Hiroshima Oysters to make Japan’s itinerary special. Some other foods you don’t want to miss are the sweets Momiji Manju and the Okonomiyaki in the Hiroshima way.
Cars lovers can’t miss the Mazda Museum. Mazda was established in Hiroshima in 1920 and it has played a key role in the economy of the city. If you want to visit the museum don’t forget to make your reservation online!
Where to stay in Hiroshima
When choosing a place to stay in Hiroshima, you have several options depending on your preferences and budget. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodation or a more budget-friendly option, Hiroshima has a range of choices to suit different needs and preferences.
Here are some of the best hotels in Hiroshima.
This wonderful hotel lies 500 meters away from Peace Park. It offers stunning accommodations where the traditional Japanese style blends perfectly with a bright and modern design. A real treat for your 14 days in Japan itinerary if you are staying one night in Hiroshima.
This is the perfect choice to stay in a wonderful modern hotel without killing your budget. The hotel is located in a central position and offers all the comfort you might need in a stylish environment. Some apartments can accommodate up to 6 people.
If you are looking for affordable accommodation in Hiroshima this is the way to go. It boasts an excellent score on booking and it offers basic but clean and comfortable accommodations. You won’t find anything better for the price.
Day 14: Departure
Depending on your flight, you can either go from Hiroshima to Osaka or all the way back to Tokyo. Make sure you check the flight time and plan it accordingly to catch your flight back home.
How to get from Hiroshima to Tokyo/Osaka?
The fastest and most convenient way to travel between Hiroshima and Tokyo is by taking the Shinkansen. The Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen line connects the two cities. Night buses and planes are also available but I don’t recommend these options.
To travel from Hiroshima to Osaka, you have Shinkansen and a Local Train, so just follow the same steps as you arrived in Hiroshima.
Further reading for 14 days in Japan
Other useful tips for visiting Japan
🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Japan? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo
This is the end of your 14 days in Japan itinerary and I am sure that you are impatient to hit the road. Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip to visit the most beautiful places in Japan and beyond.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.