Tokyo → Atami → Fuji → Okishima → Omihachiman → Kyoto → Amanohashidate → Ine → Okayama → Kurashiki → Naoshima → Teshima → Osaka

Futuristic architecture, contemporary art, onsen culture and hidden treasures!

Recommended period:

In the spring months (April-May) or autumn (October-November) 

This type of itinerary can be done at any time of the year, however, considering the summer and winter weather conditions in Japan, we suggest the spring and autumn months.

Recommended for:

Why Strange Japan ?

*We continue below by presenting the recommended itinerary with the mention that it can be modified and personalised according to your own desires.

Day 1 Home → Tokyo 

Nihon e yokoso!

  • We grab our bags, add a dash of emotion, excitement and adventurous spirit, and embark on the flight to Tokyo. Even though you’ll likely be alone, we’ll continue to be by your side with information and guidance at any moment. Have a smooth flight!
Day 2 Tokyo

Lively, cosmopolitan and vibrant Tokyo!

  • A day where you wander through Tokyo or explore it guided by our colleague. Your list of objectives in exploring the city with boundless energy begins with a “technical” stop at Shinjuku Station to exchange JR vouchers for passes and continues with: 
  • Shibuya – known for the world’s busiest intersection, where over a million people gather daily, home to the well-known Hachiko statue; you can shop at some of Japan’s most representative stores, Don Quijote or Daiso, and finally try pachinko, Japanese gambling games. Before moving on, don’t forget to view Tokyo from above at Shibuya SKY.
  • Harajuku – more precisely, Takeshita Street is known as the birthplace of Japan’s quirky fashion. Here you’ll find dozens of animal cafes, where you can also have lunch. Snakes, goats, pigs, owls or cats, you have the opportunity to interact with any of them. 
  • Kabukicho – the perfect place to celebrate your arrival in Japan. Kabukicho, the red-light district of the massive capital, is filled with bars and the atmosphere is one you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Accommodation Tokyo
Day 3 Tokyo

Tokyo, where the old blends with the new

  • Start your day with a visit to Ueno Park, a fascinating place regardless of the season.
  • Not far away is Ameyoko Street, shortened from “Ameya Yokocho” which means “candy store alley” famous precisely for this reason. Additionally, “ame” also comes from the word “America,” as American products were sold here secretly after the end of World War II. 
  • Yanaka is one of the few neighbourhoods in Tokyo where you can still feel the shitamachi atmosphere. Here you’ll also find the cemetery of the same name, the main attraction of the neighbourhood, which is cared for every day by locals, along with Tennoji Temple. It’s also where you’ll find the tomb of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of Japan. 
  • Odaiba – the futuristic artificial island near Tokyo is renowned for its numerous entertainment spaces: from shopping centres (Deck’s Tokyo Beach Shopping Center, Diver City Tokyo Plaza, Venus Fort Shopping Center), museums (TeamLab Planets Digital Art Museum, Museum of Future Science) and much more. 
  • Roppongi – is one of the most beloved but also controversial neighbourhoods of the metropolis. It houses the headquarters for companies such as Google, JTI, but at the same time, it is also the heart of nightlife for club enthusiasts.
  • Accommodation Tokyo
Day 4 Tokyo → Atami 

Onsen and hidden treasures

  • In the morning, you’ll depart for Atami by JR train. 
  • Your first stop here will be at the adults-only museum Atami Hikoukan, where you’ll discover the “hidden treasures,” as the name suggests and the history of sex in Japan. 
  • Not far away is the MoA Art Museum, located amidst nature, which will offer you new perspectives on contemporary art. 
  • Ryokan and onsen – after a demanding day in nature, the experience of a traditional Japanese ryokan with an onsen allows you to unwind and relax in the hot spring water, in an outdoor space while enjoying the surrounding panorama.
  • Accommodation Atami (ryokan) 
Day 5 Atami – Fuji (Hakone)

The relaxation continues!

  • If the tranquillity of Atami suited you and you feel like you’d want more, Hakone should be the next stop. 
  • Before tonight’s onsen, however, there’s much to see here. We suggest a sightseeing route with several fun transportation options: from a tourist train to a funicular, cable car and boat ride, a route that will allow you to enjoy spectacular landscapes and if the sky is clear, the grandeur of Mount Fuji. At the end of the route, the Gora Art Museum awaits you to discover it.
  • Ryokan and onsen – after another demanding day in nature, the experience of a traditional Japanese ryokan with an onsen allows you to unwind and relax in the hot spring water, in an outdoor space, while enjoying the surrounding panorama. 
  • Accommodation Hakone (ryokan)
Day 6 Fuji (Hakone) – Kyoto

Islands and cats

  • You leave Hakone to head towards today’s final destination Kyoto, but the journey comes with many surprises. 
  • Okishima, the largest island in a lake in the world is your first stop. You can explore the narrow streets that wind among the homes of the 400 locals or take a hike through the forest. Don’t forget that Okishima is one of Japan’s famous cat islands. 
  • Omihachiman, the nearby city, has a lot to offer. Upon returning from the island, you can visit the central area, traversed by a small stream. In the vicinity, you’ll find the Kawara Museum (of tiles) or the No-Ma Contemporary Art Museum
  • Finally, you’ll head to Kyoto by shinkansen
  • Accommodation Kyoto
Day 7 Kyoto 

Tradition at its best

  • Start your day with a stroll through Nishiki Market. Experience some of the fresh delicacies here, some of which are even unusual items sold by the merchants. 
  • Then, visit the Sanjuusangen Temple. Measuring 120 metres, the temple corridor is Japan’s longest wooden structure. 
  • The Higashiyama area awaits you for a stroll, specifically in the Yasaka Chaya district, where you can do some shopping and even enjoy a coffee at the Starbucks here. The building housing the famous café is traditional, even featuring tatami rooms. 
  • The next stop, Eikan Temple, belongs to the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism and can be found in the northern part of the Nanzenji complex. It’s a sought-after attraction among tourists interested in gardens. 
  • Then take a stroll along the Philosopher’s Path, which over a century ago was the inspiration for the famous philosopher Nishida Kitarou. 
  • Finally, you can end the day with a stop at a Japanese pub. A perfect place for this is Pontocho.
  • Accommodation Kyoto 
Day 8 Kyoto → Amanohashidate → Ine → Kyoto 

Nature and its oddities

  • In the morning, you’ll depart for Amanohashidate by JR train. 
  • The Amanohashidate sandbar is a 3 kilometre-long path located in Miyazu Bay, in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture. The name Amanohashidate translates to “Bridge to Heaven,” and it is said that when viewed from above, it resembles a path connecting the earth and heaven. 
  • After the one-hour walk on the beach, filled with joy, you’ll take the bus to Ine. 
  • Ine, also known as the “Venice of Japan” is a town built on the water’s edge, where locals used to engage in fishing, so all the houses (funa-ya) have small boat garages at water level. 
  • On the way back, you can retrace your steps along the beach or take a ferryboat to the JR station. From there, you’ll take the train to Kyoto.
  • Accommodation Kyoto
Day 9 Kyoto → Kurashiki → Okayama

Authentic Japan

  • Today the destination will be Kurashiki, a city in Okayama Prefecture, whose old centre has been well preserved, serving as a good example of buildings from the Edo Period. The city once served as a rice distribution centre. Here you’ll make the first stop in the canal area. Since the city was a rice distribution hub, many canals were built throughout the city to provide easier access to rice storehouses. Moreover, around the main canal, you’ll find plenty of museums, such as the Momotaro Museum, Toy Museum, Museum of Folk Crafts, Ohara Western Art Museum and the Ohashi House
  • After a few visits and a hearty lunch, you can make a stop at the Achi Temple before returning to Okayama. 
  • A final stop today will be at Korakuen Garden, which alongside Kenrokuen in Kanazawa and Kairakuen in Mito, are the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.
  • Accommodation Okayama
Day 10 Okayama → Naoshima → Teshima 

Contemporary art in the midst of nature

  • Today you’ll begin the day by travelling by train and ferry to Naoshima, an island where nature and art merge to form a unique space. You can explore the island either by bus, on foot or by renting bicycles. 
  • The first museum on the list is the Chichu Art Museum. It was built in 2004, following the same principle of creating a communion between art, people and nature. Most of the museum is built underground to preserve the green space. Here, works by great artists such as Claude Monet, James Turrell and Walter De Maria are exhibited, with the building designed by Tadao Ando. 
  • The Lee Ufan Art Museum was born through the collaboration of two great architects, Lee Ufan and Tadao Ando. It’s a space built halfway underground, maintaining the same idea of resonating with nature. 
  • Benesse House is a concept inaugurated in 1992, combining a museum and hotel based on the idea of unity among nature, art and architecture. 
  • From here, you’ll embark on a ferry journey to Teshima, another splendour where art reigns supreme.
  • Accommodation Teshima
Day 11 Teshima → Osaka 

Even more art!

  • In the morning you’ll embark on the exploration of the island and its famous art installations: Teshima Art Museum, Teshima Yokoo House, Les Archives du Coeur, La forêt des murmures, Needle factory, Storm House, Shima Kitchen, Noe Aoki and Pipilotti Rist
  • You’ll take the ferry and then the train to Osaka, the final destination of your journey. 
  • Umeda is the area beloved by locals for its pubs, restaurants and shopping. A stop here is the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon. 
  • And because you can’t leave Japan without experiencing karaoke, it’s the perfect opportunity to end the night in Namba, an equally popular area for entertainment.
  • Accommodation Osaka
Day 12 Osaka 

Osaka – the country’s kitchen!

  • In the morning, head to the Sumiyoshi Taisha, one of the oldest shrines in Japan, initially built in the 3rd century before the introduction of Buddhism. It’s one of the few places where you can see authentic Shinto architecture, with the only shrines in the country resembling it being Ise Jingu and Izumo Taisha. 
  • Kuromon Ichiba is a famous market for fresh seafood and recently a popular tourist destination. One of the reasons for the market’s success is that many vendors prepare, cook and serve food on the spot. In the market, you’ll find around 150 shops, about a quarter of which sell fresh fish and seafood. 
  • Because the time to leave is approaching, today you can do some last-minute shopping in Amerika Mura and Orenji Street. Especially if you’re a fan of vintage shops, you can’t miss these two areas. 
  • Shinsekai is a district that developed before the war and was neglected over the years. Its central attraction is the Tsutenkaku Tower, which was built in 1912 modelled after the Eiffel Tower. Although the tower was affected by World War II, it was rebuilt in 1956. Shinsekai district is also where you can find the city’s specialty, kushikatsu. 
  • Finally, the observatory of the Abeno Harukas building will offer you a comprehensive view of the entire city from the 60th floor. 
  • Accommodation Osaka
Day 13 Osaka → Home 

Sayonara, Nihon!

Today you will bid farewell to Japan and head to the airport for the flight home. Have a safe flight!

For this itinerary, you can choose one of our consultancy and services packages!

Ideal for a journey you’ll remember as the most spectacular, well-organized and balanced, we recommend the JBM PREMIUM package, which includes:

Dedicated consultation meetings for crafting the program down to the smallest detail.

All tourist services: flight tickets, accommodation, travel passes, transfers, local guides, restaurant reservations, portable WiFi device.

A personalised travel guidebook with information to guide you throughout the entire experience.

A WhatsApp group where we communicate daily and send you audio information about the next day to ensure you have a smooth journey without any unpleasant events and make the most of your time and the Japanese experience.

A customised itinerary based on your interests and passions.

24/7 consultancy at the destination.