Pickyourtrail Blog

7 Days in Japan – What can You do?

Samurai’s, Sushi and Sumo Wrestlers are some of the first things that come to mind when someone tells you “I just got back from Japan”. But there sure are a lot more things to do and see at this beautiful strip of islands. What if you had a weeks time to getaway from the busy life, and the Japanese Archipelago is the next to ✓ off your bucket list ? Check out all the exciting experiences and activities you can take back home as memories.

Like the sound of it? Chat us up, we have SO MUCH to talk about!

Day 1

Activities –  Sightseeing   |   Nature

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is home to the head of state, and is where the Imperial Family lives. It is also the former site of the Edo Castle and filled with gardens, ancient stone bridges, and museums. Visitors can view the Nijubashi (two ancient stone bridges) that lead to the inner palace grounds.

Image Credit : pichost
Image Credit : pichost

At 1,092 feet (333 meters) tall, Tokyo Tower is an impressive Japanese landmark that offers 360-degree views of the city. Housing an aquarium, two observation decks, a Shinto shrine, a wax museum, and the famous Foot-Town, Tokyo Tower is a great center for entertainment. In a way – this has been inspired by the Eiffel Tower and is the central feature of Tokyo, that lights up at night and creates a beautiful glow throughout the city.

Image Credit : halalnavi
Image Credit : halalnavi

The Asakusa Kanon Temple (Senso-ji) combines majestic architecture, centers of worship, elaborate Japanese gardens, and traditional markets to give you a modern-day look at the history and culture of Japan. What was once an old fishing village, this temple was dedicated to the goddess of mercy, Kanon in 645AD.

Image Credit : agenciaelviajero
Image Credit : agenciaelviajero

Stone-carved statues of Fujin (the Wind god) and Raijin (the Thunder god), guard the entrance of the temple and are known as Kaminarimon or Thunder Gate. Call it a night by passing through the Hozomon Gate that leads into the shopping streets of Nakamise.

Day 2

Activities –  Nature   |   Nightlife

Enhance your experience of Nikko National Park on this enriching day from Tokyo. Feast your eyes upon breathtaking countryside, sacred shrines and stunning temples as you explore the region. Visit Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site dedicated to Buddhist worship, and hear about the structure’s fascinating history. Absorb the natural splendor of Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls before heading back to Tokyo to hit the nightclubs and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Image Credit : traveljapanblog
Image Credit : traveljapanblog

 Day 3

Activities –  Sightseeing   |   Nature

Now this is a tricky decision to make. You have an option of feeding the nature / history loving side of you. Or you have the opportunity to visit the ever famous Japanese Macaque’s in their natural habitat.

Get a taste for the beautiful landscapes and serene religious monuments outside Tokyo as you visit the cities of Kamakura and Yokohama. Gaze at the city’s Great Buddha, historic Hasedera Temple and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine. Enjoy your sip of green tea while overlooking a rock garden and a traditional japanese lunch before heading to Yokohama. Explore the idyllic gardens of Sankeien and cross the city’s iconic cable-supported bridge, which will give you a panoramic view of the skyline.

Image Credit : mmphototours
Image Credit : mmphototours

Located 2,789 feet (850 meters) above sea level in the Valley of Yokoyu, Jigokudani Monkey Park stands out as one of Japan’s most popular and unique onsen (hot springs). The forests of the valley serve as the natural habitat of wild Japanese Macaques, or Snow Monkeys, who gather in large groups to bathe in the natural hot spring water.  Jigokundani Monkey Park features a manmade onsen where the natural hot water collects and the monkeys congregate. Since they’re quite accustomed to human observers, it’s possible to view them from close range.

Image Credit : Colin Barey
Image Credit : Colin Barey

Day 4

Activities –  Nature

Board an early morning bus from the Hamamatsucho Terminal in Tokyo and embark on this 2.5 hr journey down to Fuji. The natural beauty of the Japanese landscape will amaze you throughout this day.  Learn about the history and culture around the mountain and the Fuji Five Lakes. The second-floor observatory deck, which provides up-close views of the iconic mountain on a clear day is the perfect photo-stop.

Image Credit : viralspell
Image Credit : viralspell

With your appetite sated post lunch, drive to nearby Lake Ashi – a crater lake formed after a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago in what is now Hakone National Park. Embark on a 15-minute cruise over Lake Ashi, which provides postcard views of Mt Fuji, Mt Komagatake and other mountains from various angles.

Day 5

Activities –  Culture

Its time for a change in the scene. Your train down to Kyoto is probably the best experience you can take out of travelling in a high speed bullet train.

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Experience the traditional authentic temples of Kyoto with a resident monk (for an insider’s perspective), on checking into your accommodation. Explore the restricted areas of the To-ji Temple and get to hear all the history behind this World Heritage–listed site.

Image Credit : asiantour
Image Credit : asiantour

The Kondo and Kodo halls amid the Pagoda’s are not to be missed whilst you are here. The Buddhist calligraphy practice of ‘shakyo’ is sure to excite and fascinate you. This once-in-a-lifetime experience of getting a taste of pure Japanese culture will keep you up all night

Day 6

Activities –  Sightseeing   |   Nature

Start your day by walking through one of the iconic sights of Kyoto. Explore the stunning Fushimi Inari Shrine on passing through thousands of these torii’s. Given that Inari is the god of rice, you will find Foxes (regarded as messengers) in the shrines with a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths.

Image Credit : vagabondguide
Image Credit : vagabondguide

The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku-ji, is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, and a major highlight of any visit to the city. The three-story pagoda gleams with gold leaf, though it is a 1955 replica of the original 1397 temple, which was destroyed by fire in 1950. The beautiful temple hovers over a lake, surrounded by twisted pines and forests. The image of its reflection captured in the mirror-like water is a Kyoto symbol, and a must-have photo opportunity.

Image Credit : alphacoders
Image Credit : alphacoders

Stroll through dense bamboo groves to hidden mountain temples and discover centuries of Japanese heritage this evening. Explore the natural wilderness of the Sagano bamboo grove and visit the ancient Tenryu-ji Temple to learn of its 14th-century history. Wander across the Togetsukyō Bridge to take in beautiful valley views and walk along the forested path to reach the impressive pagoda on the Jojakko-ji Temple.

Image Credit : thousandwonders
Image Credit : thousandwonders

Day 7

Activities –  Sightseeing   |   Nature

Travel round-trip from Kyoto by high-speed bullet train to take in Hiroshima’s historic sites, including exhibits about the 1945 atomic bomb that devastated the city. Start your visit on a lighter note and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. The heartbreaking history and remarkable recovery of this bombed city will definitely leave you baffled.

Image Credit : wikimedia
Image Credit : wikimedia

Post a quick lunch in the city, head to the historic Shukkei-en japanese garden and explore the area that served as a villa to the Asano family back in the Meji period. This shrunken-scenery garden hold a miniature version of valleys, mountains and forests in the gardens landscape.

Image Credit : wikimedia
Image Credit : wikimedia

The evening calls for the highlight and the best end to this amazing trip. Visit the Itsukushima Shrine in beautiful Miyajima Island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been a symbol and holds religious significance throughout Japan.

Image Credit : travelpartnerssouthmorang
Image Credit : travelpartnerssouthmorang

Did this virtual trail excite your travel hormones? Are you looking to take the next step and pack your bags? You have come to the right place. We are just a Postcard away for you to experience this Oriental delight.