Planning for a trip to Japan

Japan is one of Asia’s most fascinating destinations with its alluring mystique, tantalizing cuisine and eclectic culture. The thought of travelling to Japan to is super exciting, but travelling to Japan for some can also be overwhelming, as there is so much to see and do. 

We are planning a trip that we hope will be filled with a spread of exceptional experiences. It is said that Japan feels completely different from any other place in the world and is promising a lifetime of memories.

But what to do? Visit some temples, see a sumo match or experience the culture with a tea ceremony? The choices are many. 

We plan to visit two of Japan’s most exhilarating cities, Tokyo and Osaka, eat meticulously crafted food and experience the blend of modernity and tradition. In Osaka we will see why this city is dubbed the food capital of Japan, visit ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers. 

We relish the chance to immerse ourselves in the hustle and bustle of Shibuya, Tokyo’s famous 5 way scramble crossing where up to 1,000 people can cross at the same time.

During our time there we will discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers. We will hopefully get to see the contrast of quiet country landscapes, dotted with perfectly manicured gardens seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism.

The country’s unique cuisine is painstakingly prepared with attention to detail with a simple yet effective presentation. We hope to visit at least one of the adorable theme cafes like Kawaii or Cinnamoroll.

We hope to hit some of the must sees as well as hidden spots. In Tokyo we will visit the Meiji Shrine, one of the largest, most important Shinto shrines hosting many festivals and ceremonies in Japan. This peaceful oasis is in the heart of Tokyo surrounded by a huge forest. The shrine is entered through a huge Torii (gate) made of cypress. We would be really pleased if we could see a Shinto wedding procession while there. At the shrine there are rows of sake barrels as the sake is used in Shinto rituals. There are also wine barrels from France as the Emperor is said to have enjoyed wine.

Our plan is to visit the Kinkakuji Temple better known as the Golden Pavilion, originally a retirement village for the Shogun. It later became a Buddhist Temple and today is one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. We hope to avoid the crowds and wander around the peaceful leafy gardens and be impressed by the shimmering pavilion.

In the far east of Kyoto we plan to visit the shrine known for its thousand tori gates, the Fushimi Inari Shrine. I imagine it will be incredible walking through the bright orange gates through the forest and into the mountains.

If we had 3 days to spend in Kyoto to see some of the amazing shrines and temples, this would be the perfect itinerary. 

We believe our most unforgettable travel awaits. Renowned for modern skyscrapers and contrasts of old and new, modern and traditional, Japan beckons.

What are your top tips for planning a trip to Japan? Have you got any recommendations for things to do? 

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Japan is one of Asia’s most fascinating destinations with its alluring mystique, tantalizing cuisine and eclectic culture and there is so much to see and do

* Some photos were sourced by Pixabay, others were taken by a friend 


25 Responses

  1. Not going to lie. Japan is really high up on my bucket list. I would love to explore the orange gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine. But I would love also to see a wedding and drink sake at the Shinto Shrine. Plus that sushi in Osaka…i mean cmon that is too good looking. Ugh, need to start planning now
    Eric || The Bucket List Project recently posted…My Anti-Bucket List: Things I don’t want to do before I dieMy Profile

  2. This is very interesting and blogs nice post. Thanks for sharing this post.

  3. Wow!! amazing post. This is very nice and attractive post. Japan is an interesting place to visit. Thanks for sharing……

  4. A beautiful destination to go indeed. We would like to see the cherry blossoms, taste the food here and go to Oedo Onsen theme park in Tokyo!

  5. Panda says:

    Japan is indeed a fascinating place to visit. Iwould surely visit someday

  6. Kaira says:

    I never visited in Japan yet. I am planning an International trip during summer vocations with friends. We were confused which country would be best for us but this blog made our job easier. Delicious food attracts me the most. I would definitely plan a trip for Japan.

  7. Kathy Marris says:

    I did a whirlwind trip to Japan last year to Tohoku, Hokkaido and Tokyo. For a place that was never high on my bucket last, I was completely blown away by Japan’s natural beauty in the northern regions and like you say it is completely different to anywhere else in the world. I absolutely loved Japan and want to return again soon with my husband to show him around.

  8. Wow that is awesome these pics is really good japan is a good country for tourist there is lots of things to watch also the japan is good place for foody people they love food

  9. Japan has only recently made its way on my bucket list but after reading so many great posts and seeing so many amazing pictures of the country, I really want to visit now!

  10. Toni Broome says:

    So many top spots here Lyn I’m sure you are going to love it. It is one of our top spots in the world to travel to and I don’t think I will ever tired of going back, there is always something new to see and experience. We’ve done it a few times so any questions let us know. Do you have a season in mind for your visit?
    Toni Broome recently posted…Daigoji Temple and a Sakura FestivalMy Profile

  11. Japan is a fabulous destination! These tips are just awesome and very helpful!
    Agness of eTramping recently posted…If Money Was No Object – Where on Earth Would You Go?My Profile

  12. Kim says:

    I loved everything when I went to Japan and I seriously cannot wait to go back. You should see Oedo Onsen theme park in Tokyo – one of the hot spring recreation complex you can go to.
    Kim recently posted…I was granted a Turkish Visa as a Filipino Tourist.My Profile

  13. I so want to go to Japan. I think in America we naturally migrate to Europe or East (perhaps due to ancestral reasons) but I think we need to start exploring the vast Orient. So much of it has been around forever and the culture and character are to be explored.
    It is definitely on my bucket list to go and to also eat that Sushi you shared.
    Eric || The Bucket List Project recently posted…The Bucket List Guide to Cheap FlightsMy Profile

  14. Hi Great Post. I’ve just got back from Tokyo myself. I love the contrasts in country. Great photos by the way! I’m really impressed! We rented a car and got off the beaten track, which was fantastic! I’d really recommend Japanese Whiskey as well (if you’re into Whiskey)!
    William Maddicott recently posted…Hong Kong’s Lion Rock Hike from Tai Wai StationMy Profile

  15. Anda says:

    I’m sure you’ll have a blast in Japan, Lyn. From all I read, it is one of those fascinating countries that has something for everyone. Just looking at that delicious Sushi makes me want to hop on a plane and go there. I’d love to visit Japan someday, but for now I’ll have to hold off to it. In fall we’ll take our first trip ever to Asia, in China. I’m very curious how i’ll like it.
    Anda recently posted…The Weekly Postcard: A Day Trip to Maribor, Slovenia’s Wine Growing SymbolMy Profile

  16. budget jan says:

    Walking along the Philosophers Way in Kyoto and visiting some of the temples along the way is a great experience.The Silver Pagoda is on this route.

  17. Rhonda Albom says:

    I have not yet been to Japan but do hope to go someday. Hubby has been there twice (once business, once pleasure) but he too would like to return and see more. The food presentation shown in the photos are very cute.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Exploring the Old Jewish Quarter in Fes MoroccoMy Profile

  18. Jill says:

    Tokyo is pretty amazing! Meiji Shrine was my favorite. And I also enjoyed getting out of the city as well to Kamakura to see the Big Buddha and Narita to see the Temple there. Enjoy your trip – Japan is so unique!

  19. We have not been, but are just in the beginning stages of planning a trip. We cannot wait! Rest assured, we’ll be watching your progress and taking notes! Our biggest dilemma is when to go: Spring for Sakura, or autumn for Momijigari? I wonder if we can pull off both… 🙂
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted…Sailing on a Gypsy Breeze: A Cancun Day on the WaterMy Profile

  20. I’m so jealous!! I’ve been to Japan twice – once we just spent a week in Tokyo, but the second time we spent six weeks, and explored all the way from Hokkaido down to Kyushu – it was absolutely incredible!! I can’t wait to go back – you’ll have such an amazing experience. 🙂

  21. You’re going to have a fantastic trip! Japan is one of those places that just permeates your whole body. I can’t read a blog post or article about Japan without feeling a strong pull to return. Thanks for the travel inspiration! #wkendtravelinspiration
    Jim ~ Reflections Enroute recently posted…A Weekend Recharge in AlsaceMy Profile

  22. Richard says:

    We went in 2015 for 2 weeks and our trip consisted of these place in this order

    Tokyo, hakone, kyoto, toyama (only to do the alpine route) , tateyama kurobe alpine route, matsumoto, kamikochi and back to Tokyo.

    Here is our holiday video (good memories for us to look back on)

    I especially liked Tokyo and the kurobe alpine route which had spectacular views but its a little bit of a hassle to do.

    In hakone we stayed at la foret club in Gora which was really nice. We obviously took the ropeway to the lake and then the boat on the lake which was really nice. We eventually ended by going up 箱根園駅 cable cart (it isn’t too nice at the top, very dated) but we hiked all the way back to our hotel in Gora from there which we enjoyed.

    At the shibuya crossing we actually managed to get to the top of one of the hotels. This wasn’t easy because the lifts are controlled by your room key (which we didn’t have because we wasn’t staying at that hotel) , so we pressed the up button on the lift and stood in the lift and waited… Waited… For someone from a higher level to request the lift, then we got out on their floor, waited for them to go and did the same.. Eventually we managed to get to the very top level lol.

    I hope to return one way! Enjoy your trip.

  23. Liana Moore says:

    We went to Japan in 2007, pre kids. It was the trip of a lifetime. We did have the best tour guides ever. We went with our Japanese friends who planned the entire trip from hotels to ordering for us at restaurants. It was amazing. We went to Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hirakata (friend’s hometown) and Hakone (hot springs). Kyoto was my favorite. The temples and other sights were fantastic. Have fun!

  24. I went in 2013 to Tokyo not Kyoto though! Didn’t love the food but loved the people and sites! Did you see Fuji?
    Harmony,Momma To Go recently posted…Tips for Long Flights with KidsMy Profile

  1. January 1, 2018

    […] Preparing for our upcoming cruise had me writing about the difference in River Cruising and what it’s all about. As we were including Japan in our cruise I also wrote about Planning for a trip to Japan. […]

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