Japan Travel Guide for Beginners with Sample Itinerary

Are you looking for a Japan travel guide for beginners? Here’s my latest Japan travel tips with a sample itinerary. We had a 9-day journey in Japan exploring famous parts and tourist attractions in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hakone, and Mt. Fuji.

I’m going to share here some info about our trip and some tips you can follow to travel efficiently and conveniently as a beginner.

On this trip, we went for the Sakura Season (Cherry Blossom). You can also visit Shibuya Station, Tokyo Tower, Disneyland, Ueno Park, Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower, Universal Studios in Osaka with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Dotonbori, Bamboo Forest, and all the famous tourist spots listed in the itinerary below.

How to Travel Japan the Most Affordable Way?

To book the cheapest flights, you can find an airline promo at airlinepromo.net and search for your desired dates. That website will give you the most reasonable flight comparison.

I recommend booking as early as three months before your departure to avail the cheapest airfare. That’s one of the best tips I learned before traveling to any destination.

You can start your Japan travel at either Tokyo or Osaka; therefore, you can book for Tokyo (Narita Airport) or Osaka (Kansai Airport). Those are always the flights with the cheapest airfare compared to other airports.

Consider the weather before your travel to know what type of clothes you will need to pack.

When is the best time to go to Japan?

They say once you went to Japan, you’ll definitely come back because every season has a lot to offer. Every traveler cannot miss experiencing the particular season on each tourist attraction, whether winter in Hokkaido or Autumn in Kyoto.

The weather in Japan is very cold from December to February as it is their winter season. Spring starts from March until April, where the famous Sakura Season (Cherry Blossom) also occurs. Summer begins at June until August. Autumn starts at September to November.

japan travel guide
The famous Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan

Do you need a JR Pass to travel to Japan?

Yes, if you will be staying for seven days or more and you want to explore many tourist spots conveniently. This ticket will give you unlimited travel. JR Pass already includes train, bus, and ferry. Train is the fastest and cheapest mode of transportation in Japan.

I also recommend air travel for traveling from Tokyo to Osaka or some other parts of Japan that are far away to save time and money. Bullet train (Shinkansen) is costly in that case, but if you are really exploring more places, buying JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass) is recommended for you.

japan jr pass

Benefits of Using a JR Pass in Japan

Japan Rail Pass can be used on trains, buses, and ferries across the entire part of Japan.

It can also be used on all shinkansen trains (bullet trains) except Nozomi and Mizuho trains and covers all the fees involved.

JR Pass can be used for 7, 14, or 21 days. The price for 7-day usage starts at $287. JR Pass is beneficial if you are exploring Japan in a week or more.

harry potter japan
Do not miss exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside Universal Studios Osaka, Japan

Japan Travel Guide for Beginners

My adventures in Japan started in Tokyo. Besides the photos here, you can also watch the video I made, to sum up my recent travel to Japan.

We went on the first week of April, the weather is still cold, and it was raining every other day.

Weather in Japan every April has sunny and rainy days. I recommend visiting Shibuya Station, Ginza, Dotonbori at night as the lights are amazing. Fantastic to take photos.

You can use the itinerary below as your Japan travel guide. It’s straightforward to find the famous places and tourist spots in Japan as every train station will connect you to them.

Besides, every train station in Japan has kind and approachable staff. You can ask them in English any question about the place or route you are going.

onsen in japan
Onsen (Japanese Hot Spring) has therapeutic health benefits. Make sure you make time for one when you visit Japan

Do not miss experiencing the Onsen (Japanese hot spring).  Some 5-star hotels offer free Onsen for every accommodation.

We checked in at Merveille Club in Hakone on the way to our Mt. Fuji tour. Unfortunately, the weather in Mt. Fuji did not let us see the iconic volcano. On my next travel to Japan, I’ll definitely try some other hot springs.

japan travel tips
There are many shopping hubs like this in Japan

Japan Travel Video

Cheap Japan Travel Package:

There are some available travel packages for Japan tours, but I find them expensive, so I just made a Do-It-Yourself trip. I saved around $1,000 for our 9-day Japan travel.

I don’t use Airbnb these days because prices go up even when I clear out my browser’s cookies and cache. I like cheap deals from Booking.com for all my hotel accommodations these days. For my flights, of course, airlinepromo.net saves the day.

If you’re not traveling alone, you can save a lot of money for your food expenses since the typical restaurants where we dined offered big servings and unlimited rice.

Big servings of food for one person can be enjoyed by two. People in Japan are very generous. Just a reminder though, you can’t take out remaining foods from restaurants in Japan.

Sample Japan Itinerary for Beginners for a 9-Day Trip:

Here’s a sample itinerary for you. You can also use it in making your Schedule of Stay when applying for your Japan tourist visa.

December 4, 2021

Day 1

Arrival at Tokyo Narita International Airport

– See Shibuya Station at night

December 4, 2021
December 5, 2021

Day 2

Tokyo Disneyland Full Day Tour

December 5, 2021
December 6, 2021

Day 3

Rest and relaxation in Tokyo while waiting for your flight to Osaka

December 6, 2021
December 7, 2021

Day 4

Universal Studios Day Tour

December 7, 2021
December 8, 2021

Day 5

Explore the beautiful Kyoto and its charming places:

Arashiyama District
Ryoanji Temple
Kinkakuji Temple
Ginkakuji Temple
Philosopher’s Path
Gion District
Kiyomizudera Temple
Sanusangendo Temple
Nijo Castle
Fushimi Inari Shrine

December 8, 2021
December 9, 2021

Day 6

Experience Nara for a full day tour of the following:

Kohukuji Temple
Nara Park
Isuien Garden
Todaiji Temple
Nigatsudo and Sangatsudo
Wakakusa Mountain
Kasuga Taisha Shrine
Naramachi Walk

December 9, 2021
December 10, 2021

Day 7

Back to Tokyo

Mt. Fuji and Hakone Tour

December 10, 2021
December 11, 2021

Day 8

Tokyo City Tour

Imperial Garden Palace
Asakusa
Sensō-ji Temple
Tokyo Skytree
Diver City
Shibuya Station
Meguro River
Meiji Shrine
Yoyogi Park
Takedori Street
Harajuku

December 11, 2021
December 12, 2021

Day 9

Flight back home

Rest and buy souvenirs

December 12, 2021

Japan Travel Guides and Tips:

About Fehl Dungo

Licensed Career Service Professional, tech investor, founder of Philpad, and published author of a poetry book at Barnes&Noble.

6 thoughts on “Japan Travel Guide for Beginners with Sample Itinerary”

  1. Hi Fehl, I found this article of yours and I like your itineraries. You have covered almost all of the tourist spots. Do you like winter in Japan? Can you suggest winter itineraries?

    Reply

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