Hi everyone! Welcome to my Japan 10-day itinerary blog post! I traveled with my family to Japan about one year ago and I want to go back ASAP. In this post, I’ll provide a recap on what we did each day to make the most of our trip. Our itinerary included visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone. My family and I had a lot of fun and we immersed ourselves in the culture by exploring, eating, and enjoying all that Japan had to offer.
Traveled from LAX to Tokyo Haneda Airport! I kept myself entertained by watching a bunch of movies on the plane. Our hotel was in Sumida City which is located near the Tokyo Skytree. It was also located near a shopping mall where food was easily accessible.
We booked a bus tour for our first day to get a head start on optimizing our time in Japan. Our bus tour first took us to the Meiji Jingu shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. While we walked through the forest to the shrine, the walking trail provided a serene atmosphere. Before the shrine, there was a water basin to wash your hands and mouth. Our tour guide showed us the proper method on how to do this. The Meiji Jingu shrine is probably the most popular shrine in Tokyo, but it wasn’t too busy when we went. Admission is free, too!
Next up was visiting the Imperial Palace. Tourists were able to stand in the Kokyo Gaien National Garden to view the palace, and from our viewpoint, we could see a bridge to the entrance. It looked very nice from afar!
After, we stopped at Sensoji, a Buddhist temple with a market attached that was filled with tasty local snacks and drinks. At this temple, we paid some yen (Japanese money) to choose a stick with writing on it. Each stick had a number on it, and you would pick up a piece of paper with that number from the assigned box. The paper would tell you if you had bad luck, average luck, or good luck. Sadly, I had bad luck and had to clip my paper to a fence as to not bring bad luck back home with me.
In Odaiba, Tokyo, we visited the Statue of Liberty. That’s right, there’s a replica in Japan. Initially, I felt confused as to why Japan even had a replica. France brought it over to Tokyo to showcase the ties between the two countries.
Solomachi Mall was within walking distance from our hotel, so we ate some sushi and finished the night off with some yummy matcha ice cream!
With the help of Google Maps, the metro stations were easy to navigate. We got off at Akihabara Station, which is famous for its electronics and anime. My sister’s boyfriend and my boyfriend wanted some anime gear so we were definitely at the right place for it. This area was very colorful, and there were a bunch of touristy items that you could buy. Again, we ate dinner at the Solomachi mall, and we got boba from The Alley. I really enjoyed my Brown Sugar Tapioca Matcha Latte!
On Day 4, we traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto via the Shinkansen bullet train. Before we left, we found finding restaurants open for breakfast at 5 am pretty difficult, so we tried this place called MOS Burger. Yes, we did resort to having to eat burgers for breakfast. The bullet train was exciting to ride, and it sped (obviously) like a bullet. At the Kyoto train station, we finally tried a revolving sushi restaurant. It was cool to see all the tiny dishes on a conveyer belt, and the sushi was delicious!
Our hotel was tranquil, and it even had “onsens,” which are hot-spring baths. My sister, grandma, and mom tried the onsens, and in the locker rooms, we had to be 100% ~naked~ to use them. My mom opted out, but my sister, grandma, and I showered ourselves off before we got in the onsen and couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. It was very different from what we’re used to in the US, but I’m glad we experienced it together and now we are truly bonded (lol).
My favorite part of the entire trip was probably the Kinkaku-ji or the Gold Pavilion. The pictures I took don’t even look real! It was absolutely breathtaking.
We also visited the Nishiki Market, so I HAD to grab yet another matcha ice cream.
Nara Park was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to! Deer were roaming around everywhere, and you could feed them crackers. They were a little aggressive though, and one even bit my dad on the stomach! We walked through Nara Park and at the end stood the Todai-ji Temple with a huge Buddha statue.
Lastly, we hiked Fushimi Inara, famous for its red arches. There were tons of stairs that we had to climb, but it was such a cool photo opportunity!
My family and I traveled to Hakone for one day, but we lost a lot of time since we got off at the wrong bus stop… However, we were immersed in Japanese culture by staying in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn found near hot springs). Our room was very minimalist and my family and I were provided traditional yukata, which are like kimonos.
As our trip was coming to a close, we traveled back to Tokyo, but we stayed in Shinjuku City, which is like Tokyo’s version of Koreatown.
Additionally, we journeyed into Shibuya City and explored Takeshita Street, which was so colorful and fun! There were cute shops down the entire street and yummy snacks available everywhere.
Afterward, we spent our time watching and strolling through Shibuya Crossing, where everyone walks in different directions. It’s the biggest and craziest pedestrian crossing!
Finally, on our last full day in Japan, we enriched our knowledge of Japanese culture at the Tokyo National Museum. Located in Ueno Park, we admired its many artifacts and art installations.
The last day of our 10-day itinerary in Japan included traveling back to LA, but first, we made our way to a ramen restaurant. If you ever travel to Tokyo, you HAVE to try Ichiran Ramen. I 10/10 recommend this place. It was the BEST ramen I have ever had! The experience was really unique, too. The restaurant was pretty small, and each customer has an individual booth to eat their ramen. The back of the booth opens up to the restaurant workers if you have any requests or questions!
After our ramen stop, we booked it to the airport where we flew back home!
Thank you for all of the memories, Japan. Traveling with my family to Japan was so much fun! This was probably one of the best trips I’ve been on in my life and I can’t wait to go back in the future! 🙂
I hoped you enjoyed my family’s 10-day itinerary to Japan! Thanks for reading.
If you missed my last post, check out my thoughts after I graduated here.