• Post category:Asia

The Perfect 7-Day Japan Itinerary

Planning a vacation to Japan? You’ve come to the right spot! Japan is an amazing country, full of beautiful nature views, historic temples, and the excitement of big city life. It truly has it all! It can be overwhelming to plan your Japan itinerary, but hopefully with my tips it will make the planning process much easier! Keep reading to check out my Japan itinerary for 7 days well-spent in this unique country.

japan itinerary 7 days

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you book through my links, at no extra cost to you.

SEE ALSO: 2 Days in Shanghai | Weekend Shanghai Itinerary

7 Day Japan Itinerary Overview:

  • Day 1-2: Tokyo
  • Day 3-4: Hakone
  • Day 5-7: Kyoto
  • BONUS: Niseko itinerary (if you have more than 7 days in Japan and are visiting in winter!)

Japan Trip Overview

  • PTO/Vacation Days Needed: 7-9
  • Currency: Yen
  • Airport to Fly In To: HND or NRT
  • Cost: $$$

Best Time to Go to Japan

Japan is really a year-round destination, however I would advise to not go in the middle of summer (June-August) as it can be super hot and crowded. The best time to go to Japan would be in the Spring and Fall (March-May and September-October), when the temperatures are mild. The peak season is during Cherry Blossom season in mid-March, which is beautiful but also means prices will be higher!

If you want to go skiing/snowboarding while you are there (Japan is known to have some of the best powder in the world!) then I recommend going in January or February.

How to Get Around Japan – Japan Rail Pass

It’s fairly easy to get around the country of Japan due to their well-connected (and fast!) train system. My biggest piece of advice is to get the 7-day Japan Rail Pass (there is also a 14 and 21 day option if you want to extend your trip). With the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass), you get unlimited access to all of the trains on the JR Line (including the Shinkansen Bullet Trains).

It costs about $220 for the 7-day pass for adults. I did the math before my trip, and even though we only took 2 bullet trains (plus smaller trains and the monorail) during our 7 days in Japan, paying the $220 saved us money (buying single tickets for the trains in Japan is expensive!). Also, it makes the whole transportation process in Japan SO much simpler and smoother by having the JR Pass. You don’t have to waste time going to the ticket counter every time you go to the station.

There are two ticket options: “Ordinary” and “Green Car” (first class). It might be tempting to go for the first class ticket since it’s only about $70 more than the “Ordinary” car, but I recommend sticking with Ordinary. For the Green Car, you have to reserve your specific seat at the counter before you board the train, which adds extra time and logistics. With the Ordinary pass, you can just walk right on and sit wherever you’d like in that car.

It’s important to note that you have to buy the JR Pass BEFORE (at least 14 days before, to be exact) your trip to Japan. You can buy it here. Once you purchase it online, a voucher gets mailed to your house. You then bring that voucher with you to Japan and can exchange it at the airport for the JR Pass once you land.

7-Day Japan Itinerary

Day 1-2: Tokyo

7 day japan itinerary

Kick off your time in Japan by spending 2 days in the biggest city in the world – Tokyo! Given that you will be flying into Tokyo (either HND or NRT) it makes sense to either start or end your trip here.

Being in a city as big as Tokyo can be overwhelming. If you only have 2 days here, don’t stress about seeing & doing EVERYTHING, but rather pick a few highlights and then spend some time wandering around and getting a feel for the city.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

If it’s your first time in Tokyo, I recommend staying in the Shinjuku neighborhood. Shinjuku looks like what you expect Tokyo to look like – with big skyscrapers and bright-colored neon signs. It’s also where the famous “Golden Gai” bars are (more on that later).

Best Hotels in Tokyo

Luxury: Park Hyatt

The Park Hyatt hotel in Shinjuku is iconic – it was featured in the movie “Lost in Translation” and has the most epic rooftop lounge. It would be so cool to stay here!

Mid-Tier: Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

This hotel is conveniently-located in the heart of Shinjuku, and only a 9 minute walk to my favorite area to go out at night, called Golden Gai. It also has great reviews!

If you have a big group: Zukiya Shinjuku Vacation Home

Source: booking.com

This is where we stayed (there were 9 of us) and we found it affordable and in a perfect location. There’s three floors, 4 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. The host even left us a nice note and some matcha mochi ball treats upon our arrival!

How to Get Around Tokyo

Tokyo has an expansive train system to get you around between the different neighborhoods that you can use with your JR pass. It’s also super easy to get an Uber or Taxi!

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in 2 Days

Over your two days in Tokyo, you should definitely add the below to your itinerary:

Shibuya Crossing

It seems silly, but walking across this crosswalk in Shibuya City is one of the most iconic things to do in Tokyo because it’s known as the busiest crosswalk in the world!

japan itinerary 7 days
Shibuya Sky Observation Deck

One of the most popular things to do in Tokyo is to go up to the Shibuya Sky observation deck to get the most epic 360 degree view of the entire city. You’ve likely seen pictures of this famous escalator before. You have to book a ticket to go up (it’s about $13) for a specific time. Pro tip: book ahead of time so you can go during sunset! That time sells out the fastest.

Source: Creative Commons
Visit a Themed Cafe

Tokyo is known for their quirky, themed cafes scattered throughout the city. For instance, there’s an Owl Cafe where you can sip your coffee next to owls, a micro-pig cafe, etc. We opted for a cat cafe that we stumbled upon while walking around Shinjuku, and had a lovely time. The one we went to was called Cat Cafe Mocha. They charge you by every 10 minutes that you spend (so you pay at the end). We spent about 30 minutes there, and it came out to be $7 each. The cats there are beautiful and cuddly!

cat cafe tokyo japan
Wander Around Harajuku

The Harajuku neighborhood is known for their unique fashion culture (you probably recognize the name from Gwen Stefani songs). It’s a district of Shibuya where the streets are closed off to pedestrian traffic only, and there’s tons of cool shops and cafes. Start at Takeshita Street!

There’s also a lot of thrift stores in the area around Shibuya and Harajuku, so if you like thrifting – walk around and pop into some of these shops!

Go to a Tokyo Listening Bar

If you like music, you’ll love the experience of visiting a Tokyo Listening Bar. At these bars, they only play vinyl and you’re expected to not talk (or if you must, just whisper) so that you can sit back and appreciate the music that is playing as you sip your cocktail. Some good ones to try: Jazz Blues Soul Bar, Paper Moon, Bar Track, Bar Martha.

Eat

Tokyo is known for their food. They have the best sushi, ramen, udon, yakitori – there’s so much to try! There’s plenty of food blogs that detail all the best spots, but I’ll briefly share a few that I recommend:

  • Hakata Tenjin: Great authentic ramen spot in Shinjuku. Super tiny, hole in the wall
  • Mikore Sushi: has a super local feel, more casual than the other sushi spots that are omakase only. very affordable, and VERY good sushi!
  • Ichiran Ramen: This is the first ramen spot to get a Michelin star! We went to their location in Shinjuku late-night (around 5am) and only had to wait about 15 minutes. You order the type of ramen you want from a machine, and then get ushered in to a little cubicle/cubby to eat it. It’s so good!
  • Udon Shin: This is the most popular udon spot – so popular that we never got a chance to go! Get there right when it opens, put your name on the electronic list, and you get a QR code to scan to watch your place in line.
Park Hyatt Rooftop Bar

One thing you MUST do on your 7-day Japan itinerary is go to the top of the famous Park Hyatt hotel for a drink at sunset. This is the hotel bar that is featured in the movie “Lost in Translation”. The views up here are incredible, and the cocktails are divine.

Go to the Bars in Golden Gai

Golden Gai, located in the Shinjuku neighborhood, is definitely a highlight of my 7-day Japan itinerary. This little area of Tokyo features over 200 TINY bars across 6 small alleyways. The bars are so small that only 5-10 people can fit in each one! Each little bar is so unique and has its own vibe. It’s so fun to just wander around and pop into different bars. Most of them do charge a cover (which I found to be the norm for cocktail bars in Japan in general) of about 300-800 yen, which is about $2-5. You don’t pay the cover until the end when you get your bill to pay for your drinks.

Imperial Palace

Visiting the Imperial Palace is one of the most popular things to do in Tokyo. The Imperial Palace is set among a park-like area and is where the Emperor of Japan lives. You can get a free guided tour of the grounds. Also make sure to check out the Imperial Gardens nearby while you are in the area!

Source: Wikimeda
Watch Sumo Wrestling

Japan’s national sport is Sumo, so if you are able to catch either a tournament or a practice while you are in Tokyo, I think it would be such a cool experience! They hold sumo wrestling tournaments in Tokyo in January, May and September. If you are not visiting Tokyo during that time, you are also able to watch their morning practice. Unfortunately, I did’t get to do this when I was there in March as all the Sumo wrestlers were traveling elsewhere for a tournament. I’ll just have to go back!

7-Day Japan Itinerary: Part 2

Days 3-4: Hakone

japan itinerary 7 days

Hakone, a mountain town known for their natural hot springs and views of Mt Fuji, is a drastic change from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Visiting Hakone was one of my favorite parts of this 7-Day Japan itinerary (which should come as no surprise, since I love nature!) Many people visit Hakone as a day-trip from Tokyo, but I highly recommend spending 1 or 2 nights there.

Before You Go to Hakone…

Make sure to buy the Hakone Freepass! This will get you to Hakone and then also includes all transportation in Hakone once you are there, including a cable car (“Ropeway”) and a pirate ship cruise on the lake! It costs about $45 and is definitely worth it both for money savings and ease of use (similar to the JR pass, it saves you time not having to buy a ticket for each form of transportation along the way).

Also similar to the JR Pass, you can buy this online ahead of time and get a voucher, and then exchange your voucher for the actual pass at the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center in Shinjuku Station. The pass is good for either 2 or 3 days.

How to Get to Hakone from Tokyo

There are a few different ways you can get to Hakone from Tokyo (including a bullet train to Odawara Station). The quickest and most direct way is to take the Odakyu Line “Romance Car” from Shinjuku Station directly to Hakone-Yumoto station. The ride takes about 85 minutes. The base of the fare is included in your Hakone Free Pass, but you have to pay a little bit of an up-charge for taking the Romance Car (it was about $10 extra) which is worth it in my opinion, because time is money. You can pay for this up-charge when you pick up your Hakone Free Pass in Shinjuku Station before you leave!

The Best Place to Stay in Hakone

7 day japan itinerary
Our Ryokan – Yaeikan

During your 7-day Japan itinerary, I highly recommend staying at a “Ryokan” at least one or two nights to get an authentic Japanese experience. A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, where you normally sleep on the floor on the Japanese tatami mats, and you get a multiple course dinner served in your room. Also, most of the time these Ryokans will have “onsens” (natural hot springs) for guest use as well. It can be a bit pricey, but it does include the price of your meals and is an experience that I think is definitely worth it!

The town of Hakone is a relaxing, nature environment known for the views of Mt Fuji and the natural hot springs. Based on this, I think Hakone is the perfect place to stay in a Ryokan during your 7 days in Japan.

It can be overwhelming deciding which Ryokan to stay in (there are lots to choose from in Hakone!) but to help you narrow it down, I definitely recommend staying at the one I stayed at, called Yaeikan.

I chose this one because it was mid-tier in terms of price, it had great reviews, it is walking distance to the Hakone-Yumoto train station, and you can get a private onsen in your room!

Our stay was great – the multiple course dinner and breakfast was amazing and it was so relaxing having the private onsen in our room.

Best Things to Do in Hakone

Hakone is an absolutely beautiful, serene area of Japan. There are so many awesome things to do in Hakone during your stay there! I would definitely spend a lot of time relaxing in your Ryokan and getting that authentic Japanese spa-like experience. Once you’ve had your fill of that, it’s time to explore! The simple map below can help you get a visual on the different areas that make up the Hakone region, all conveniently-connected by different transportation options all covered by the Hakone Freepass.

1. Check out the Hakone Shrine

The Hakone Shrine is definitely a highlight of my 7-day Japan itinerary. It’s located right on the shores of Lake Ashi. To get there, take the Hazone Tozan Bus (line H) from Hakone Yumoto Station (about a 35 minute ride) to Moto-Hakone Boat Pier. From there, it’s about a 5-10 minute walk to the shrine.

best things to do in hakone japan
2. Pirate Ship Boat Cruise Across Lake Ashi
japan itinerary 7 days

One of the main reasons to travel to Hakone during your 7-day Japan itinerary is to see the iconic view of Mt Fuji, which is the tallest peak in all of Japan. You’ll get this first view of Mt Fuji from the boat cruise on Lake Ashi. After you visit the Hakone Shrine, walk over to the boat docks and board the pirate ship. The ticket for the pirate ship cruise is included with your Hakone Freepass. The cruise lasts about 30 minutes, taking you from that side of the lake to the other side. You’ll see the view of Mt Fuji just a few minutes after the ship leaves the port. Head up to the upper deck to get the best views!

Owakudani

After you hop off the pirate ship cruise on the other side of the lake at Togendai, take the Ropeway (or the bus if that portion of the ropeway isn’t running) to Owakudani. This area is a volcanic valley created from the eruption of Mount Hakone several hundred years ago. You can see steam rising all over the valley from the active sulphuric land. They sell their famous black hard boiled eggs in the gift shop here. Rumor has it – if you eat the hard boiled egg, you get 7 extra years added to your life! It tastes just like a normal hard boiled egg, but the shell is black because it was boiled in the sulphuric hot spring in the Owakudani valley.

Also, from the parking lot here you can see another great view of Mt Fuji!

Ride the Ropeway
japan itinerary 7 days

Next up, ride the Ropeway! This is what we refer to in the US as a cable car or a gondola. It’s one of the modes of transportation needed to get back to where you started at near Hakone Yumoto, but riding the ropeway in itself was one of my favorite parts of Hakone.

The views from the cable car are amazing! You can see the whole volcano valley below, as well as views of Mt Fuji in the background.

To get back to where you started at Hakone Yumoto station is fairly easy. They make the signage easy to follow for the Hakone day-trippers all doing this same route. After you get off the Ropeway, follow the signs for the cable car to Gora Station. Then get on the train headed towards Hakone-Yumoto.

Hakone Open-Air Museum

This is a popular thing to do in Hakone that I didn’t end up having time for unfortunately. It’s a cool outdoor museum with lots of abstract and modern art sculptures. You can easily get here on public transportation included in the Hakone Freepass

Wander Around Town

Around the Hakone Yumoto train station area there are several cool streets with shops and restaurants that are worth popping into! We stumbled upon a really good Soba restaurant here (I don’t know the name of it as it was all in Japanese!) and also a cool ice cream spot on the corner of two of the streets. There is a little hot spring right outside of the ice cream shop where you can eat your ice cream while you soak your feet!

7-Day Japan Itinerary: Part 3

Days 5-7: Kyoto

japan itinerary 7 days

Kyoto, the old capital of Japan, is simply amazing. This city is filled with traditional Japanese architecture – temples, shrines and imperial palaces basically everywhere you turn!

Best Place to Stay in Kyoto

For this 7-day Japan itinerary, If it’s your first time in Kyoto, I highly recommend staying in the Gion district. This area is the quintessential Kyoto – cobblestone streets, people walking around wearing kimonos, and plenty of shrines and temples just outside your doorstep. Staying here means you’re walking distance to many great restaurants and bars as well.

You could stay in a traditional Japanese house in the Gion area like this one:

source: VRBO

A zen garden in the bathroom!? Sign me up.

Best Things to Do in Kyoto

There are plenty of great things to do in Kyoto during the last 3 days of your 7-day Japan itinerary. You can probably technically do all the things I mention within 2 days, but on your last day in Japan you will need to account for time getting back to Tokyo and getting to the airport!

1. Walk around the Gion District
7 day japan itinerary kyoto gion district

One of the best things to do in Kyoto is to just wander through this area. If you need a landmark to start that brings you to the heart of Gion, start at the famous Yasaka Pagoda. You’ll see a lot of photographers around here at sunset! It’s beautiful. Wandering the streets around it you’ll stumble upon sweet street food desserts, people walking around in kimonos, and cute little souvenir shops.

Attend a Matcha Tea Ceremony

Joining a traditional Japanese tea ceremony was one of the highlights of my Japan itinerary! It is such a cool cultural experience. Even if you are more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, this tea ceremony is super interesting and worthwhile. The one I went to is called Camellia Flower Teahouse. It costs $25 per person, lasts 45 minutes, and is conveniently located right in the heart of the Gion district. The instructor will give you some brief history on the meaning behind a tea ceremony (when they do them in real life, they last about 4 hours long!) and then proceed to give a demonstration of the ceremony. Afterwards, you get to complete a few steps on your own, and make matcha & all drink it together.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
japan itinerary 7 days

One of the most iconic things to do in Kyoto is to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the Gion district (it’s super easy to get a taxi in Kyoto so don’t worry about that!). This spot is super popular, so if you want to avoid the crowds make sure to go before 9am!

Spend some time meandering through the famous red shrines, through the trail and up the hill. It’s so unique!

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji)
7 day japan itinerary

There are quite a few beautiful temples and shrines that are walking distance to the Gion area (more on that later). Although the Golden Pavilion is a 30-min taxi drive away, it’s so worth it! It’s situated in a park on a lake, and the top two floors of the temple are made from gold leaf. It’s beautiful! Spend some time walking along these trails, soaking in the nature and getting a view of the temple from all angles.

Yasaka Shrine
japan itinerary 7 days

This shrine is located in the Gion area, so just a quick walk away. It’s located on the edge of a busy street with modern buildings. The juxtaposition of this old red temple just across the street from modern architecture was so interesting!

Ryozen Kannon

Located right near the Koda-ji Temple (also in the Gion district so just a quick walk away) is the Ryozen Kannon Buddhist statue. It costs about $2 to go in. The statue is HUGE and worth seeing up close!

japan itinerary 7 days
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

This is another of the most popular things to do in Kyoto. Visiting the famous bamboo grove is a serene, meditative experience and takes about an hour or so to walk through. It’s a little further away, about a 40-min taxi ride from the Gion area.

Nishiki Market

Feeling hungry? Head over to Nishiki Market! It’s about a 20 minute walk from the Gion area. This market is full of different types of food stalls. You can find whatever you’re craving here!

Samurai Museum

The Samurai Museum is just down the road from Nishiki Market. I don’t normally enjoy going to museums on trips, but ended up going to this one and had such a great time! It’s about $25 per person, and the tour of the museum lasts about an hour. They take you through the history of Samurais and Ninjas, which is super interesting. At the end, you get to participate in a ninja star throwing contest!

Eat

There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Kyoto! Two that I went to that I definitely recommend:

Gion Kappa – a casual, lively, local spot serving all different kinds of food (the sushi and the skewers are delicious!). Everything on the menu is 390 yen and its great.

Gyoza Hohei – the best gyoza I have ever had in my life! Make sure you get here early. It’s a small restaurant with only two tables + bar seating, so there will likely be a wait. It’s worth the wait, though!

Nara

If you feel you have enough time in your 3 days in Kyoto to take a little side trip to Nara, I’ve heard it’s a super cool experience! You can get there in 45 minutes from Kyoto by taking the JR Nara Line express train. In Nara, you’ll find more temples and shrines. However, the most unique thing about Nara is the wild deer that are roaming in Nara Park! You can pay for some treats to feed them, and when you do feed them a treat, they bow to you.

The End of the 7-Day Japan Itinerary

After your time in Kyoto is over, you will have spent 7 epic days in Japan. To get back to Tokyo / HND airport from Kyoto, simply take the Shinkansen bullet train direct to Shinjuku Station and then hop on the Tokyo Monorail to HND (all covered by JR Pass).

Bonus Itinerary: Niseko in Winter

I know this is supposed to be a 7-day Japan itinerary. However, if you have more than 7 days to spend in Japan and are visiting in the winter, keep reading for my bonus content on visiting Niseko!

Japan Itinerary Part 4: Niseko

japan itinerary winter

If you are visiting Japan in the winter and you like to ski or snowboard, you would be remiss to not visit Niseko, located in the Hokkaido region of Japan. It’s known to have some of the best powder in the world!

I would aim to spend at least 3 or 4 days here if you are skiing and snowboarding.

How to Get to Niseko

The easiest way to get to Niseko is to take a quick 1-hour flight from Tokyo to New Chitose Airport (CTS). There are many cheap local airlines to choose from (and checking our skis and snowboards were free, too!). Pre-arrange a private transfer for when you land. The drive is about 2 hours from CTS airport to Niseko/Hirafu area.

Best Place to Stay in Niseko

For your first time in Niseko, I recommend staying in Hirafu. That way, you are walking distance to all the bars and restaurants, and are walking distance to one lift and one gondola.

Cecuko Apartments – this is where we stayed, and it was great! It’s conveniently-located right in the center of Hirafu, walking distance to bars and restaurants and to the lifts.

source: booking.com

Skiing/Snowboarding in Niseko

best things to do in niseko

If you’re going to Niseko in the winter, obviously you are there to ski or snowboard! Niseko is the largest ski resort in Japan, and is made up of 4 interconnected resorts. Niseko is on the Ikon Pass, so if you have that, you don’t have to buy lift tickets. If not, you’re still in luck because lift tickets here are way cheaper than they are at US ski resorts (about $60/day).

The 4 interconnected resorts are Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu and Hanazono. Grand Hirafu is the one you can walk to from the village area of Hirafu (where I recommended you stay).

The best time to ski Niseko is late December – mid February. The snow is so light and fluffy and powdery – it’s unreal.

The lodges on the mountain have great food (ramen, gyoza, tempura, the list goes on!) and drinks, at fairly normal prices. This was an unexpected pleasant surprise coming from ski resorts in the US that have mediocre (and super expensive) lodge food.

Private Cat Skiing

japan itinerary 7 days

If you have the budget for it, I highly recommend doing a private cat skiing day while you are in Niseko. There are a few companies to choose from. We did our private cat skiing through Iwanai, and it was incredible!

They pick you up from where you are staying in Hirafu, and drive about an hour to their private abandoned ski resort overlooking the Sea of Japan. The cat that drives you up the mountain looks like a little greenhouse inside, with windows for walls! The snow was absolutely amazing. I’ve never snowboarded on anything like it. It felt like surfing on a cloud.

On this private snow cat tour, you get to do about epic 9 runs total. No one else is on the mountain besides the group of about 10 people on the cat skiing tour. You literally have the whole mountain to yourselves! There will be a lunch break in the middle of the day, and a happy hour at the end at their lodge. The whole experience was once-in-a-lifetime and something I will never forget!

Food in Niseko

Niseko, unlike other parts of Japan, is not known for its food. It definitely feels like a more “westernized” area of Japan. A lot of the people there are actually Australian! Also, one interesting thing to note is that in the Hirafu are you definitely need a reservation for most of the good dinner restaurants if you are there in peak season. A few of the spots I recommend:

7 day japan itinerary
Izakaya Koharuya
  • Izakaya Koharuya – small, cozy Izakaya restaurant with great chicken skewers
  • Niseko Sanroku Jingisukan – Japanese barbeque spot where you cook your own meats on the grill at your table. Right in the heart of Hirafu village. There’s also a Niseko cheese tart food truck next door if you want a little dessert after!
  • Rakuichi – an epic soba restaurant that only seats 12 people and is reservation-only. It was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show! You have to make a reservation a month or so in advance (I didn’t know that beforehand and wasn’t able to eat there. bummer!)

Bars in Niseko

There are a lot of great bar options in the Hirafu area of Niseko. A few of my favorites:

Bar Gyu

This is the famous “speakeasy” in Hirafu where you enter through what looks like a freezer door. The inside is super chill cocktail bar vibes, with an upstairs area that has a beautiful view! They have a cute little hand-drawn menu. The cocktails are superb. I love this place!

The Baddie’s

This is more of a casual bar with a fun crowd. The bartenders are super nice. On the weekends sometimes they have DJs, even though its a fairly small bar.

Other Things to Do in Niseko – Onsens

If you have extra time in Niseko or want to spend a day resting from skiing/snowboarding, check out one of the many public onsens (natural hot springs) in the area. There are no Ubers in the Niseko area, and I didn’t see many taxis (or maybe I just didn’t notice them), so finding a ride there is the biggest challenge. This is part of the reason why I didn’t end up going to an onsen while we were in Niseko, but I wish I had been able to!

Check out this guide to pick an onsen in the area.

Should I Bring My Skis/Snowboard or Rent?

japan itinerary 7 days

Either option is just fine! Half of our group decided to bring our boards/skis, and the other half rented. I opted to bring mine because I like my gear, my board is good in powder conditions, and it was free to check our oversized snowboard bag on every flight we were on.

We did Niseko the first part of our trip, and then when we flew back to Tokyo to explore Hakone, Kyoto and Tokyo, we dropped our snowboard gear off at a locker at HND airport so we didn’t have to carry it around.

My friends who rented gear in Niseko did so at Rhythm Niseko and had a good experience renting from there.

Other Unique Things to Note About Japan

  • It is the cleanest country I have ever visited! You won’t see any trash on the streets and the bathrooms are always immaculate.
  • There aren’t many trash cans on the streets. This is partly because in Japanese culture, no one eats while they are on the go, so they don’t have trash to throw away in public places.
  • Every toilet has a bidet and heated seats. The life of luxury!
  • The outlets are the same as in the US, so you don’t need an adapter
  • It is considered rude to talk/be loud on the metro trains
  • You HAVE to try the “egg sandwich” from Lawsons (which is similar to a 7/11). It’s a pre-packaged egg salad sandwich, but it is so good! Anthony Bourdain even featured it in his Japan write-up. I probably had at least 5 of them during my Japan trip.

Hopefully this Japan itinerary is helpful in planning your trip! It’s such an amazing country with so much to see and do.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Godefroid Kayombo jr

    Wow what a great trip tokyo look amazing the city, hotel and the food everything look fantastic and i want to go go with you someday in the future.

  2. Priya

    You do not mention how you traveled from Hakone to Kyoto – I am trying to figure out the easiest and fastest way. Rest of the itinerary looks great. Thanks!

    1. Lauren Wilson

      We took the bullet train direct from Hakone to Kyoto!

Leave a Reply