japan 15 days 2

Japan is really too big and has too many places to go. Each place has different of cultural features, region characteristics and beautiful scenery. With a 15-day trip (Japan 15 day itinerary, Japan 15 day itinerary, Japan travel itinerary 15 days), which can be called long because of the visa expiration, I visited almost all the famous cities, destinations, and also discovered many other interesting points. So, what to do in Japan for 15 days? Let’s check out my 15 days in Japan itinerary on how to spend 15 days in Japan on a budget (15 days in japan budget) to find out the answer!

Cherry blossoms at Kiyomizu-dera-Temple, Kyoto
Meguro River-Naka Meguro-Best Places to View Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo1
Cherry blossoms along Meguro River, Tokyo

Normally, air tickets from Vietnam to Osaka are still slightly cheaper than Tokyo. The ticket I booked after obtaining a visa to avoid the risk of failure. My first stop in Osaka was in Central of Japan, then traveling to nearby destinations such as: Kobe, Kyoto, then going to the north to Tokyo, Mount Fuji and back to Osaka.

Couple in kimono at Arashiyama bamboo grove, Kyoto
A couple in kimono at Arashiyama bamboo forests, Kyoto
Sumiyoshi taisha osaka
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Osaka
osaka cuisine osaka blog osaka travel blog osaka blog 2018 osaka travel guide blog
Osaka street food
kyoto kaiseki cuisine
Kyoto Kaiseki Cuisine
15 days in japan itinerary map
The map of 15 days in Japan itinerary.

Japan 15 day itinerary — Day 0: Hanoi – Osaka

Fly from Hanoi to Osaka, departing from Hanoi at midnight and arriving in Osaka early next morning.

Haruka Express_ Osaka & Kyoto airport transfer with the JR Pass
Haruka Express: Osaka & Kyoto airport transfer with the JR Pass

This trip was mostly scheduled, and only hotel rooms were reserved. Moving has no specific plan. The public transport system in Japan is extremely developed, compared to South Korea or Taiwan is somewhat more. So with only a 2 week JR Pass, I confidently to go anywhere in Japan.

Kansai-Hiroshima JR Pass
Kansai-Hiroshima JR Pass

15 days in Japan — Day 1: Osaka – Kobe

  • 07:50 AM: Arrive at the airport, change Exchange order to JR Pass and use the Japanese 4G Sim that bought in Vietnam.
  • 09:30 AM: Take the train to Osaka to check in and send my luggage at Hostel First Cabin Hanshin Nishi Umeda from $25/night. (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
  • 11:00 AM: Getting to Kobe, enjoy Kobe beef here and walking around Kobe streets. Visiting spots in Kobe such as European old town, Kobe port, ..
  • 18:00 AM: Return to Osaka. Eat and drink in the area near Umeda Station, there are many pubs here.
Steak Land Kobe
Kobe beef teppanyaki
Umeda district

15 days in Japan budget — Day 2: Kobe – Kyoto

Kyoto Station2
Kyoto Station
  • 07:00 AM: Have breakfast, check out, take the train to go to Kyoto
  • 09:00 AM: Arrive in Kyoto, check in and send my luggage at Hostel. Lunch in the underground area under the central Kyoto station.
  • 12:00 AM: Take the train from Kyoto Central Station to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. It will take an almost day to visit the bamboo forest.
  • 15:00 PM: Take a bus from bamboo forest to Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as Golden Pavilion Temple.
  • 17:00 PM: Visit Nishiki Market (錦 市場, Nishiki Ichiba) also known as the Kitchen of Japan, Traditional Food Market In the Heart of Kyoto
  • 8:00 PM: Dinner at Pontocho Alley (先 斗 町) right on the banks of the Kamogawa River
Arashiyama, Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan
kinkakuji temple kyoto golden pavillion kyoto travel blog kyoto blog (1)
Kinkaku-Ji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
Kyoto cityscape in Higashiyama historic district
Nishiki Market Kyoto's Traditional Kitchen
Nishiki Market Kyoto’s Traditional Kitchen

Nishiki-Market-Street-kyoto-things to do in nishiki market kyoto (1)

15 days in Japan itinerary — Day 3: Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Shrine - One of most famous shrine in Japan (14)
Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • 08:00 AM: Have breakfast and take a rest then go to Fushimi Inari Taisha, also known as the 1000 Torii Gates Shrine.
  • 12:00 AM: Go to Yasaka temple and Kiyomizu-dera: Famous temple, a must visit temple in Kyoto. Then spend the whole afternoon wandering around the alleys and slopes in Gion District (祇 園) to watch the Geisha & Traditional Japanese Arts begin at work when night falls.
  • 08:00 PM: Continue dining at Pontocho eating alley (先 斗 町).
Kaguraden at Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto
Kaguraden at Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto | 15 days in japan itinerary
Kiyomizu Dera Temple, Kyoto
Kiyomizu Dera Temple, Kyoto
Pontocho Alley
Pontocho Alley, Kyoto

Japan 15 day itinerary — Day 4: Kyoto – Takayama

  • 07:00 AM: Check out hostel and go to Kyoto Station at 7:45AM; 8:05 AM take the Shinkansen to Nagoya and change line to Takayama.
  • 11:00 AM: Arrive in Takayama, check in hotel, lunch with ramen noodles and stewed beef rice.
  • 13:00 AM: Wandering in Takayama old town, Nakabashi red painted bridge.
  • 19:00 AM: Back to the hotel to rest, have dinner.
1winter Takayama honshu japan.1
Takayama Old Town
takayama sake brewery (1)
Takayama sake brewery | 15 days in japan itinerary
1winter Takayama honshu japan.1
Takayama in spring | 15 days in japan budget
1winter Takayama honshu japan.1
Nakabashi Bridge | 15 days in japan itinerary

Japan 15 day itinerary — Day 5: Takayama – ShirakawagoKanazawa

Credit: things to do in Shirakawa go blog.
Shirakawa-go Village

08:00 AM: Have breakfast, check out the hostel, take the bus to Shirakawa-go (asked the hotel in Takayama to book tickets in advance). It takes 1 hour to reach Shirakawago, send luggage for 500 yen, walk up to the observatory for a panoramic view and then wander in the village of Shirakawago.
3:00 PM: Take a bus from Shirakawago to Kanazawa
16:30 PM: Arrive at Kanazawa station, walk 10 minutes to check-in airbnb location. Then have to walk 20 minutes to the guesthouse.
18:00 PM: Wander the nearby Geisha street, quite deserted, dine at the shop in the old town.

A farmer walking along rice
A farmer walking along rice fields | 15 days in japan budget
Shirakawa-go food1
Shirakawa-go food
kimono kanazawa travel blog (1)
Nagamachi Samurai District,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Nagamachi Samurai District, Kanazawa | 15 days in japan budget
Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Tsuzumi-mon Gate At night at Kanazawa station

Japan travel itinerary 15 days — Day 6: Kanazawa

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)
Kanazawa Castle
  • 09:00 AM: Go back to Geisha street right next to the guesthouse to wandering in the morning
  • 11:00 AM: Visit Kenroku–en Garden, one of the largest royal gardens in Japan – Admission fee 300 yen
  • 12:00 AM: Visit Kanazawa Castle right next to Kenroku–en garden.
  • 13:00 PM: Lunch at Omicho Market
  • 3:00 PM: Visit Samurai District and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Ninja Temple.
  • 7:00 PM: Visit the Nagamachi Neighborhood – The most vibrant amusement venue in Kanazawa with lots of crowded bars and restaurants.
geisha street kanzawa
Geisha street
Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Kenroku-en Garden
Nagamachi Samurai District,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Nagamachi Samurai District
Myoryuji (Ninja Temple),kanazawa travel blog (1)
Myoryuji (Ninja Temple)
Omicho Market,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Yamasan Sushi at Omicho Market

Read more: Kanazawa travel blog — The fullest Kanazawa travel guide for a great trip for the first-timers.

Japan travel itinerary 15 days — Day 7: Kanazawa – Tokyo – 3 day itinerary Tokyo

Tokyo Skytree1
Tokyo Skytree
  • 08:00 AM: Have breakfast, check out hostel, take the Shinkansen to Tokyo
  • 11:00 AM: Arrive at Tokyo, check in hostel Nine Hours Takebashi from $17/night (Agoda.com or Booking.com), buy a Subway Day ticket to visit Tokyo.
  • 12:00 AM: Go to Ginza, the most modern and bustling neighborhood in Tokyo, no less than Shinjuku or Shibuya. Stroll and experience the high floor cafe in Ginza.
  • 2:00 PM: Visit Tsukiji Market – the famous morning fish market but now closed and move to new Toyosu market. At noon, you can still come here to enjoy seafood at the shops outside.
  • 4:00 PM: Go to Senso–ji Temple and Skytree Tower. I didn’t want to go to the observatory of the tower, so I just stood by the river and watched the tower lights up at night.
  • 7:00 PM: Back to Ginza for dinner and walking around.
best shopping malls in tokyo tokyo shopping guide tokyo shopping center shopping area in tokyo (1)
Ginza district
sushi, Tsukiji, tokyo, japan
A row of stores selling sushi at the Tsukiji fish market. | 15 days in japan
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

15 days in Japan budget — Day 8: Tokyo

Ueno Koen Park, Tokyo
Ueno Koen Park, Tokyo | japan 15 day itinerary

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