A Week in Japan: Tokyo & Kyoto
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo
It will be best to have you arrive into Haneda International Airport, but depending on the exact days you wish to depart, we can also have you arrive into Narita International Airport. We will have you fly on a nonstop flight to make your travel days simpler.
Day 2: Tokyo: Modern Tokyo
On your first full day in Tokyo, you’ll explore the modern west side of the city. Head up to Harajuku to view the lovely forest surrounding Meiji-jingu Shrine. Walk along Omotesando for high-end shopping. Stop by the Nezu Museum for Japanese and Asian premodern art. Cross the famous Shibuya Crossing and explore the big department stores and boutiques of Shibuya before having lunch there. Arrive in Roppongi and head up to the 52nd floor Tokyo City View observation deck of the Mori Tower to see the city. Have dinner and drinks in the Roppongi district.
Day 3: Tokyo: Traditional Tokyo
On your second full day in Tokyo, you’ll explore the traditional east side of the city. Start your day in Asakusa, the spiritual heart of Tokyo and a good place to start your day. Visit Senso-ji Temple and nearby Asakusa-jinja Shrine. Head to Ueno. To view the Ueno-koen Park and walk north across the park to the Tokyo National Museum. Next, head to Tokyo Station for lunch. Walk over to the Imperial Palace East Garden and take a stroll or head over to Ginza and do some late afternoon shopping.
Day 4: Travel to Kyoto, Explore Downtown Kyoto
Take the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto. The journey takes around 2.5 hours. We recommend checking out the downtown area on this day.
Day 5: Kyoto: Southern Higashiyama
On your first full day in Kyoto, you’ll explore the temple-packed Southern Higashiyama area. See Kiyomizu-dera Temple, walk down Matsubara-dori Street (lined with shops) to reach the lovely preserved district of Sannen-zaka Hill, explore Maruyama-koen Park, see the Chion-in Temple and Shoren-in Temple, visit Nishiki Market, and the Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine.
Day 6: Kyoto: Arashiyama
On your second full day in Kyoto, travel west to the Arashiyama district, which is home to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Have lunch in Arashiyama, and afterward head over to Kinkaku-ji Temple, the famed “Golden Pavilion” in Northwest Kyoto.
Day 7: Kyoto: Kurama and Northern Higashiyama
On your last full day in Kyoto, consider a trip to Kurama and then explore the lovely Northern Higashiyama area. Another option on this day would be a day or half-day trip to Nara.
Day 8: Travel from Kyoto back to Tokyo
Take the shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo. You can enjoy some last-minute shopping or sightseeing in the afternoon on your last day.
Day 9: Leave Japan
Return to Narita or Haneda airport and fly home.
When To Go:
March to May, Sept to Nov