So, for the past month or so, I’ve had my big sister over to stay with me and experience Japan. While she was over, we spent about two weeks traveling around different parts of the country. Now, two weeks isn’t that much, but it is possible to see and do a lot in a short space of time if you put your mind to it. This is our two week travel itinerary.
I’m gonna share our experience with you, and then I’m going to give you some advice if you want to experience somewhere but only have a limited time to do so.
Our Japan Travels
Our journey starts from where we live (just outside Tokyo).
Me and my sis arrive in Osaka, at Osaka Station. We’re both feeling pretty hungover since we had some “goodbye” drinks the night before, so we’re struggling to get our heads in gear. We managed to find our hotel which had a really funky, retro jazz style on the inside.
After some hangover chilling, we headed out to explore the city. We headed to Namba. Namba is one of Osaka’s two major city centers. It’s the city’s main entertainment district and has limitless eating and shopping opportunities. It has some of Japan’s best street food including okonomiyaki. This helped with the hangover!
You may also like:
When night time came and all of the lights came on, the city became even more stunning. I felt like I was in Blade Runner or something!
My sister had to go and do some work related stuff to do, so I spent the day with my girlfriend.
I picked her up from the station, and after dropping her bags off at the hotel, we headed to check out Osaka Castle.
This was absolutely amazing! You get to explore both inside the castle and in the surrounding areas and gardens. I mean the castle itself is awesome on its own, but you also get to learn about the history of it and the battles that have taken place in the past.
All of this and it’s just 600 yen ($6) to get in! Find out more here.
After the castle we met back up with my sister and we went to some local arcades, which are very common and popular in Japan. Great way to cap off day 2!
This was my girlfriend’s birthday so we spent the day at Universal Studios.
Yes, in case you didn’t know, Osaka has a Universal Studios.
Some of the highlights have to include the Spider-man ride, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter World, just to name a few. If you’re interested in going yourself, find out more about it here.
Definitely a must-do when you come to Osaka!
We all arrive in Kyoto.
You may also like:
After dropping all our stuff at the hotel, first stop was the Fushimi Inari Shrine. This is most famous for its “Torii Gates”. It was a tough walk/hike but so worth it. Wanting to immerse ourselves further into the culture, we got some Kimonos to look the part!
Found a great spot for food, which we enjoyed next to a river. This was so peaceful and relaxing; just what we needed after all the walking!
Just did some more exploring. I felt like we’d gone back in time, walking through some of these streets and seeing some of these temples.
We saw some Geisha Girls as well which was stunning.
That was pretty much it for day 5. We then had to wait for our night bus to take us to Hiroshima.
We arrived at 5 in the morning, feeling terrible as we’d barely managed any sleep. On top of that, we hadn’t booked a place to stay yet so we had to get that sorted.
After finally finding a hotel, we dropped our stuff off and headed straight to the Peace Park.
Now, this is quite something. It’s hard to think that this was where the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6th, 1945. It really is a sight to behold, seeing how everything has been rebuilt. The Atomic Dome is also still standing and looks exactly as it did on that day. It’s quite a sight.
We also went to the museums and did everything there is to do in the Peace Park.
By the end we really needed a beer!
On this day, we headed just out of Hiroshima and hopped on a ferry to the island of Miyajima.
This island is home to one of the most famous shrines in all of Japan. This iconic shrine is situated in the sea and provides you with some special views and picture opportunities!
Another famous thing about this island is the fact that there are deer that just wander round. They don’t mind humans either and will likely come up to you. Be careful they don’t steal your food!
Last day in Hiroshima.
After two pretty full-on days, we decided to have more of a chill day and we headed to a beach, which was pretty awesome!
Back to Kyoto.
We headed to the top of a mountain, where there was a monkey park. This was really cool, getting up close to these monkeys. Just don’t get too close. I made this mistake and ended up getting attacked by one of them!
After that, we checked out the magical bamboo forest. It really is like a place from a movie or something and it’s amazing to just walk through it.
We got the train to Nara, and the first thing we noticed were more deer. Except these guys were bigger and meaner than the ones from Miyajima.
At this point, we couldn’t be bothered to walk, so we got taken on a tour through the streets on a rickshaw. In case you don’t know what this is, you basically sit in a littler carriage and get pulled along by a guy. He’s not even on a bike, this guy just runs! It’s super-impressive!
We stopped at an absolutely massive temple. It was over 1300 years old!
Headed back home.
So this wasn’t quite two weeks, so if you do have an extra few days, you could head into Tokyo. We didn’t do that because since we live right next to Tokyo, we’re there a lot anyway. That would be a good way to round out your travel itinerary.
One of the keys to making the most of the limited time you have is being careful about when you travel to different places. We used night buses mainly. These are great since they don’t waste any of your day and most are comfortable enough to sleep on.
Overall, I would definitely recommend doing this kind of trip. It can even serve as a kind of taster of a country. If you love it, you can plan a longer trip for another time where you can come back and experience the culture even further.
Latest posts by Joe Cussons (see all)
- How To Travel Around Japan: 14 Day Travel Itinerary - September 21, 2017