Japan 15 Days Itinerary
Planning a route through Japan in 15 days is a great idea.
There are a lot of amazing places to see in Japan.
Perhaps in 15 days you will not be able to see them all, but it is enough time to get to know its essentials such as Tokyo, Kyoto or the beautiful island of Miyajima.
In this post we have prepared a route through Japan in 15 days so that you fall in love with the country.
How to move on this route through Japan in 15 days?
We advise you to get the JR Pass to link all the sites on this route through Japan.
There are several types: 7, 14 and 21 days.
In this case, we advise you to take the 14-day one.
You’re going to be 15 in total, so you shouldn’t activate it until the fourth day when you go to Kamakura.
From Narita airport to Tokyo it is better to pay for transportation separately, since you will spend the first few days in Tokyo and will not use the pass. The same is true if you land in Haneda.
The Hyperdia website or app is essential for this route through Japan.
It is a free tool to check train schedules in Japan.
The train is not the only way to move on this route through Japan, but thanks to its fast trains you will be able to make better use of the time in each city.
You can also move by bus.
In fact, it is much cheaper, although not as advisable to do this route through Japan in 15 days.
On the map you will find all the stops on our proposed route through Japan in 15 days.
Days 1-3: Tokyo
There is no better place to start this route through Japan in 15 days than Tokyo.
It is the capital of the country and the one with the most important airports.
So you will most likely land there.
Tokyo is the largest city in the world.
It does not have limits! Neither geographic nor activities to do in Tokyo.
In this case, we recommend dedicating 3 whole days to it, but not even for a week would you see everything that the city can offer.
The Shibuya crossing, the Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace, its shopping arcades full of shops, the Senso-ji temple …
Tokyo is a very interesting city.
And although it is huge, we did not find it chaotic at all.
So it is the perfect place to start adapting before starting this route through Japan.
We loved seeing the contrast between its skyscrapers, the ancient temples and the anime culture.
So you can’t miss it.
5 nights in Tokyo
Although you’ll only spend three full days in the city, you’ll be taking two excursions from Tokyo.
So in total you will spend 5 nights in the Japanese capital.
We stayed at the Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa.
And we recommend it for its great value for money, central and well connected.
Day 4: Kamakura tour from Tokyo
Tokyo is an amazing city.
But in its surroundings you can discover some of the most interesting places in Japan such as Kamakura.
Between 1192 and 1333, Kamakura was the capital of Japan.
And it still preserves part of its historical heritage.
The main attraction of Kamakura is the Great Buddha, the second largest in the country.
But above all, what we liked most about the city was its tranquility.
It is by the sea, surrounded by mountains and has many interesting temples and shrines.
If you like to walk, there are several trails that will captivate you completely.
To find out more about Kamakura: Top 25 things to do in Kamakura
Day 5: Excursion to Hakone from Tokyo
Choosing the best excursions from Tokyo is always complicated.
But we think that Kamakura and Hakone are the best two.
Climbing Fuji is complicated.
You can only go up in summer and it will take you a long time.
So if you have to do this route through Japan in 15 days, it’s almost better to settle for seeing it from afar.
And one of the best places for it (if not the best) is Hakone.
Apart from the views of Fuji, Hakone is known for its hot springs and volcanic valleys.
But don’t forget to take a boat trip on Lake Ashi or walk along one of its fantastic hiking trails.
Going from Tokyo to Hakone with just the JR Pass is not possible.
The trains included in the pass only go as far as Odawara.
Once in Odawara you will have to take the Hakone Tozan line to Hakone-Yumoto station.
The journey takes about 15 minutes and the ticket costs 310 yen (about €3).
Days 6-8: Kyoto
Kyoto seemed to us the most attractive city in the country.
So I could not miss this route through Japan in 15 days.
Getting from Tokyo to Kyoto by train is very easy and is included in the JR Pass.
Kyoto was the Japanese capital from 794 to 1868, just before power was transferred to Tokyo.
For this reason it has so many temples, palaces and gardens.
The most famous is the Golden Pavilion, although there are plenty of things to do in Kyoto.
Also, don’t forget to visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and its red torii or the spectacular Arashiyama bamboo forest, both located on the outskirts of Kyoto.
3 nights in Kyoto
After 5 nights in Tokyo, we recommend spending 3 nights in Kyoto.
We stayed at the M’s Plus Shijo Omiya Hotel. Quite central, cheap and recommendable.
If you want to see more options, we’ll tell you the best areas and hotels to stay in Kyoto .
Day 9: Hiroshima
On this route through Japan in 15 days you cannot miss a visit to Hiroshima.
The city is known worldwide for having lived through the tragic atomic bombing in August 1945. But life gives us an opportunity to see history in the first person and learn from the past.
In Hiroshima you can visit several memorials that remember the victims and ensure peace in the world.
In addition, you will also be able to see some of the damage suffered by the city, which was completely devastated.
It is probably not the most beautiful city to see on this route through Japan, but it is one of the most interesting.
Top 25 things to do in Hiroshima
2 nights in Hiroshima. We stayed at the APA Hotel Hiroshima: Ekimae Ohaishi. Very handy, right next to the main station and very well priced. Recommendable!
Day 10: Excursion to Miyajima from Hiroshima
Apart from its memorials, Hiroshima is so touristy because very close to it is the attractive island of Miyajima.
It is one of the most famous sites to see on any route through Japan.
So we couldn’t ignore it.
Its main attraction is the large torii at the Itsukushima Shrine.
It is spectacular! When we arrived by boat and saw it from a distance we were amazed.
The island itself is super picturesque.
Maybe the sanctuary part is a bit overwhelming, but you have to go deep into the island and visit several of its temples.
The idea is to go and return on the same day, sleeping in Hiroshima to leave for the next destination the next day.
Days 11-12: Osaka
Osaka is another of the cities that you cannot miss on your route through Japan in 15 days.
It is a super interesting destination.
Especially the Dotonbori area .
Although the comparisons are odious, it comes to be the Times Square of Osaka.
Although it is much more picturesque! A river even runs through it.
Apart from its Dotonbori, there are plenty of things to do in Osaka.
For example, visit its castle, one of the most attractive in Japan, or stroll through the Shinsekai neighborhood .
3 nights in Osaka
We stayed at the WBF Yodoyabashi Minami Hotel. A simple hotel close to everything. Highly recommend!
If you want to see other options, we’ll tell you the best areas and hotels to stay in Osaka.
To find out more about Osaka, I suggest to read this article: Top 30 things to do in Osaka
Day 13: Excursion to Nara from Osaka
You can’t leave Japan without playing with the famous deer in Nara Park.
They are beautiful! The touristy city of Nara is located an hour south of Osaka and is a very popular day trip.
So no need to sleep there.
Apart from the deer, there are other attractions.
A city that in its day was also the capital of Japan and that hides several temples that are World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Do not miss it!
Day 14: Himeji and Kobe Tour from Osaka
The last full day of this route through Japan in 15 days should be used well.
You will have the opportunity to visit the largest castle in Japan and one of its most interesting cities.
Osaka has a privileged location and allows you to do a lot of attractive excursions.
Morning in Himeji
In the morning we recommend going to visit Himeji Castle, the largest in Japan.
It is spectacular! It can be reached very easily from Osaka.
It will only take you 45 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station taking a Shinkansen on the Tokaido-Sanyo line.
Once in Himeji, the castle is a 20-minute walk from the station.
Afternoon in Kobe to taste its famous beef
And in the afternoon, we recommend visiting Kobe, one of the most interesting cities on this route through Japan in 15 days.
Perhaps dedicating an afternoon to it is not enough, but we believe that it is worth knowing it.
And try the Kobe beef! Basically we recommend walking through the port area and having dinner at one of its restaurants to try the meat.
De Himeji a Kobe hay apenas 1 horita tomando el Shinkansen de la línea Tokaido-Sanyo.
And to go back to Osaka, it is also very easy.
It will hardly take you 45 more minutes with the train on the same line.
In any case, we always recommend checking the details and schedules of the route on HyperDia.
Don’t forget your travel insurance!
It is very important that you travel insured.
Food poisoning can cost you thousands of yen between the transfer, IV, overnight in the hospital and medical attention.
In addition, the language is a great border.
That is why we believe that it is essential to take out travel insurance to travel to Japan.
Day 15: Tokyo and Back Home
And finally, to finish this route through Japan in 15 days, it’s time to return to Tokyo.
The journey from Osaka to the airport will take approximately 4 hours.
Keep in mind that you will have to change in the capital.
We recommend you go with plenty of time to avoid any unforeseen events.
Normally Japanese trains are punctual and work perfectly, but it is not worth risking it when taking the return flight.
Are you going to Japan? Read Also:
- Top 25 Things to Do in Hiroshima
- Top 40 Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan
- Top 25 Things to Do in Kamakura, Japan