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The best Japan 5 day itinerary suggestions for first-timers

Here you can find several Japan 5-day itinerary suggestions.

5 days in Japan is not much but if that is all the time you have to spend in this magnificent country, don’t look any further. We will share several options on how to maximize your sparse time and see many impressive sights. 

Our Japan 5-day itineraries will set you up for the perfect Japan short trip. 

We don’t want to keep you in suspense for too long but before we start the Japan itinerary we just want to quickly share a couple of useful Japan travel tips. 

There is a really good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are deeply grateful) at no extra cost to you.

View on Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko
5 days in Japan is enough to see the iconic Mount Fuji

Japan travel tips 

Let us start this post by answering some general questions you may have.

Are 5 days in Japan enough?

You may already have guessed that 5 days will not allow you to discover the whole of Japan. You can easily spend a couple of weeks or months in this striking country without getting bored.

These itineraries will help you maximize your time when all you have is 5 days. By looking at our below itineraries you will notice that 5 days is all you need to get a good first impression. And believe us, it will be love at first sight.

All of our itineraries focus on 1 or max 2 different cities to avoid losing too much time relocating.

How do I prepare for my first Japan trip?

To help you plan an epic Japan trip, you can follow our step by step guide on how to plan your Japan trip

We also have a great Japan travel planning document that will help you along every step of your preparations to create a perfect and stress-free trip.

If you don’t want to organize your trip yourself, you could always opt for an organized 5 day Japan tour package. These tours are arranged in such a way that they maximize your time and show you the most in as little time as possible.

We prefer to travel independently but we also always stay for several consecutive weeks in one country which gives us ample time to discover everything at ease. We truly believe that these organized tours can be a great alternative if you don’t have that amount of time and still want to squeeze in as much as you can. 

Here you can find an overview of the best 5-day Japan package tours. 

Will this be your first time in Japan?  We know some people feel a little overwhelmed when traveling to Japan for the first time so we brought together a lot of interesting tips for first-time travelers to Japan.

How much should I budget for a trip to Japan?

Although Japan isn’t as cheap as some other Asian countries we thought it was still pretty affordable. 

We carefully tracked what we spent and have made an overview of our expenses on food, lodging and transportation.

You can find all you need to calculate the average cost for a Japan vacation here. 

Japan train public transport
The Shinkansen is a fast and efficient means of transportation in Japan

How to get around Japan?

We are fond of self-drives and love the freedom that comes with a rental car but you don’t need one in Japan. And certainly not for these 5 days Japan example itineraries that focus mostly on Japan’s mega cities where a car is more of a liability than an asset.

The best way to get around Japan is by train. Unless you want to discover far-out places you will have no problem getting there by train.

Depending on what you want to see and do you might benefit from taking a Japan Rail Pass.

Here’s more info on the different passes that are available, including how you can calculate the cost of your journey to see if you benefit from a pass or not.

TIP: Do you need more help with your train journey? Our Japan travel planner includes a train planner that explains in great depth how to plan your route and how to know if you will benefit from the JR pass or not.

Do you need travel insurance for your trip to Japan?

The short answer is yes.  

Although chances are small that you will encounter any problems while traveling in Japan, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Here you can find more info about the best travel insurance for your Japan trip.

Tokyo Tower in Japan

Japan itinerary 5 days 

Below we share a few sample itineraries that give you an idea of what you could do and see when you have 5 days in Japan.

Option 1: Explore Tokyo and make a few day trips 

Tokyo is a stretched-out city with several districts that vary in atmosphere from crazy and vibrant to charming and quaint.

Iconic Mt. Fuji is just a short train ride with the ultra-fast Shinkansen and if you’re traveling with your children you can throw in a day full of fun and broad smiles in magical Disney.

By using Tokyo as your base you won’t be losing too much time commuting and you can still experience the slim Shinkansen trains when you’re going to Mt. Fuji.  

Day 1-2 Tokyo 

First time Tokyo visitors should definitely not miss the following highlights: 

You can use this great Tokyo itinerary to organize your days. If you are interested in visiting TeamLab Borderless and the Tsjujiki Fish Market, check out this 4 day Tokyo itinerary.

The best way to get around Tokyo is by using public transportation, either the trains or the subway. We have an extensive guide to introduce you to Tokyo’s public transportation options.

Shibuya crossing Tokyo Japan
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo’s busiest intersection
Where to stay in Tokyo

We advise you to stay in Shinjuku. By staying here you are close to many of Tokyo’s highlights. This is also a great choice for side-trips as Shinjuku station offers many direct connections.

Here you can find more info about hotels in Tokyo. If you want to spoil yourself during your stay in Tokyo, take a look at this list of cool hotels in Tokyo. 

If you prefer staying in an Airbnb in Tokyo, click here. If you are traveling with your family or a bigger group, take a look at our Airbnb selection targeting families.

3-4 Day trips from Tokyo 

If by now you’ve completely fallen in love with Japan’s capital we urge you to skip to option 4 where you spend 5 full days in this massive city.

If you rather escape the concrete jungle for a while we have just the thing to add some variation to your Japan short trip. 

Here are some suggestions for day trips from Tokyo.

Lake Ashi Hakone Japan
Lake Ashi with Mt. Fuji in the background
Visit the onsen town of Hakone

Hakone makes a great day trip if you love nature and want to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji.

One day is enough to see the highlights but if you want to rush less, go hiking and relax in an Onsen we would advise you to stay at least 2 days. Here is all the information you need to spend one or two splendid days in  Hakone.

Explore the area around Lake Kawaguchiko 

Lake Kawaguchiko is the largest and easiest accessible of the five lakes of the Fuji Five lakes resort. 

Besides splendid views of Mount Fuji, it offers plenty of other great activities such as onsen, museums, cable cars, hiking trails, an amusement park, and much more. 

Here you can find more info on what to do in Lake Kawaguchiko.

Lake Kawaguchiko Fall Colors Mt. Fuji Japan
Fall Foliage at Lake Kawaguchiko
Making an organized day trip to Mount Fuji

Seeing Mount Fuji is on many Japan traveler’s bucket list.

You can go independently to Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko as we have shown above but it’s also possible to join a group tour.

A group tour will take you to many viewing spots and along the way, your guide will tell you loads of interesting facts about the region. It may be less stressful than going independent as you don’t to worry about public transport.

Tours are for sure a popular option shown by the sheer number of them that are available.

There are hundreds of tours but they all more or less come down to variants of a few popular routes.

Because there are so many it is kinda hard to choose the best one.

The Mediterranean Harbor in Tokyo DisneySea
The Mediterranean Harbor in Tokyo DisneySea
Indulge yourself in Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Kids will love Disney but even we as a childless family had a terrific day in this magical place. If all you want is a day of fun then Disney is the place to be.

There are two theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. 

DisneySea is the bigger of the two and has more attractions aimed at an adult audience.

DisneySea is built around a unique concept unseen in other Disney parks around the world.  The park was also awarded the Thea award for its great decor.

Because we heard the raving reviews of DisneySea, and also because Tokyo Disneyland is similar to other Disneyland parks around the world, we opted to spend our day in the first.

We absolutely loved it.  The park has some really good attractions and the design is one of the best we have ever experienced in a theme park.   It was also fun to see how some Japanese completely dress up in the Disney magic. 

Purchase your tickets here:
Tokyo DisneySea ticket

How to get there
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Take the JR Keiyo or JR Musashino lines to Maihama Station.
This is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.  In Maihama station you can change to the Monorail that will take you to the entrance of Disneyland or DisneySea.

Note that the Monorail is not included in the price of your entrance ticket and is only free for overnight guests to the park. You can also walk from the JR station to the entrance of the parks.  For Disneyland, this would be the best option as the entrance is really close by and only a 5-minute hike.  DisneySea would approximately be a 15-minute hike.

If you don’t want to take the JR train and the monorail you can opt for tickets with a transfer from Tokyo.

Purchase tickets with transfer:
Entry ticket and transfer

The Shrine in Nikko
Nikko is where you find Japan’s most lavishly decorated Shrine
Wander around Nikko 

Nikko is also a great option if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. 

The main attraction is the UNESCO World heritage Toshogu Shrine but Nikko is also home to the beautiful Nikko National Park.

This is the perfect place if you love hiking or just want to unwind in nature.

For a completely different experience, we would advise you to stay for 2 days in Nikko and spend the night in a traditional ryokan.

How to get there
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The JR Tohoku Shinkansen is the fastest option to reach Nikko.  The train departs in Tokyo station or Ueno station and takes you to Utsunomiya where you change to the JR Nikko line.  The journey takes about one hour and a half and is fully covered by the JR Pass.

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A cheaper option is the limited express trains that leave from Shinjuku station. 

These trains take two hours to reach Nikko, they are NOT fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass but are free to those who own a JR Tokyo Wide Pass or one of the JR East Passes.

The geisha district in Kanazawa
Visit the Samurai town of Kanazawa

The Samurai city of Kanazawa is a great alternative to crowded Kyoto.

Kanazawa is home to the Kenrokuen garden widely regarded as one of the “Top 3 Landscape Gardens of Japan.”

What makes the city special is that it not only has a geisha district but also a Samurai District. The Nagamachi Samurai District has been very well preserved and retains a lot of its original charm with earthen walls, winding stone paths, and water canals.

A number of samurai residences have been restored to their yesteryear glory and can be visited.

The Higashi Chaya-Gai geisha district is in our personal opinion also one of the best of its kind. It showcases all the allure of old Japan without the crowds that you encounter in other places such as Kyoto and Takayama.

If you are wondering if Kanazawa is something for you, take a look at our Kanazawa itinerary.

If you want to see all that Kanazawa has to offer in a single day you can book this guided tour.

Read reviews and book:
Private Kanazawa Tour

How to get there
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The JR Hokuriku Shinkansen goes from Tokyo to Kanazawa regularly and takes approximately 2.5 – 3 hours.

This train is covered by the JR Pass, as are most Shinkansen routes.

To know wheter you can benefit from a Japan Rail Pass, click here.

Without a JR Pass, the Shinkansen will cost around ¥14,000 (~$130 USD).

This is the easiest route from Tokyo to Kanazawa as it takes you from the middle of Tokyo city directly to the middle of Kanazawa city, eliminating the need to navigate changing transport or checking for the most convenient stop.

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The cheapest way to travel between Tokyo and Kanazawa (without a JR Pass) is via bus.

There are a number of buses going from Tokyo to Kanazawa, mostly taking around 7-8 hours.

These go throughout the day, including overnight. The price can be as low as ¥4000 (~$35 USD)up to around ¥8000 (~$75USD).

Day 5 Tokyo

Spend your last day in Tokyo checking of all the things you still had on your bucket list. 

The famous torii gates at Fushimi Inari
Fushimi Inari in Kyoto: A seemingly endless sequence of torii gates.

Option 2: Tokyo and Kyoto 

Our second sample 5-day Japan itinerary brings you in 5 days around bustling Tokyo and mystic Kyoto.

This is a great itinerary if you want to get an impression of both the new and old Japan.

Day 1-2 Tokyo 

Similar to our first itinerary we spend the first day in the capital.

Have a look above for the things you absolutely shouldn’t miss and use our Tokyo itinerary to outline your sightseeing route.

Looking for the best places to visit in Tokyo, click here.

Day 3-4 Kyoto 

Kyoto is with 32 million tourists per year Japan’s most popular tourist destination and there’s a reason why.

The city is jam-packed with more than 4000 historical temples and shrines.

As you’re wandering through the well-preserved streets of the old geisha district it feels like you moved back in time. The nearby Higashiyama district is a maze of narrow lanes all lined with wooden traditional buildings, some dating back to around 100 years ago.

Kodai-ji temple, Kyoto, Japan
Kodai-ji temple, one of more than 1600 temples in Japan’s cultural capital

2 days in Kyoto is not much but it is enough to visit a lot of Kyoto’s highlights. We’ve created this super-efficient Kyoto itinerary to maximize your time in this culture-rich city.

Although it is tempting to retire to your room after a long day exploring this mystic city, there is a lot to be discovered in Kyoto at night. From illuminated shrines and temples to Kyoto night tours such as this walking tour around Gion, the famous geisha district, and more.

That’s why we advise you to spend a few extra hours in the city. We assure you you won’t regret it.

Where to stay in Kyoto

With only 2 days in Kyoto, downtown Kyoto is a great place to stay.

By staying in this area you are close to some famous highlights such as the geisha district, the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, the philosopher’s path, the Silver Pavillion, the Kodai-Ji Temple, etc. 

We also have some suggestions if you prefer staying in an Airbnb.

Philosopher's Path Kyoto, Japan
The Philosopher’s Path is the best place for lovely Sakura shots

How to get there

The high-speed Shinkansen or “bullet train” provides the fastest transport service between Tokyo and Kyoto. 

If you have a JR Pass, you can ride the Hikari Shinkansen at no additional cost. The journey from Tokyo Station to Kyoto station takes 2h40. The Nozomi Shinkansen is faster and rides more frequently but is not covered by your JR Pass. 

You could also opt for the Kodama Shinkansen but this would add an extra hour to your journey.

If you do not have a Japan Rail Pass then the fare will be 13,080 yen one way with an unreserved seat. 

Day 5 Tokyo

Spend your last day exploring some of Tokyo’s districts that you couldn’t visit during your first days in the city. 

Osaka Castle, Japan
Osaka Castle

Option 3: Osaka and Kyoto itinerary 5 days 

Many tourists root for Kyoto and absolutely want to visit the city when in Japan. If you want to avoid the 2.5-hour train ride back and forth from Tokyo to Kyoto you can opt to combine your visit with Osaka instead of Tokyo.

Osaka is Japan’s second largest city and has a big international airport. You should have no problems finding flights to Osaka’s Kansai airport.

Osaka offers a great number of tourist attractions such as Dotonbori, Osaka castle, the Umeda sky building, and Universal studios but has the advantage that it is slightly more compact than Tokyo.

Osaka can be explored in 2 days without feeling too rushed. That leaves 3 days to discover Kyoto or you could add a day trip to Universtal Studios or Nara.

Day 1-2 Osaka

Did you know that Osaka is also known as the “Nations Kitchen”? If you are a foodie, you should definitely put visiting Osaka on top of your Japan bucket list. 

Here’s a detailed Osaka itinerary for 2 days to help you with your planning.

Where to stay in Osaka

Our advice would be to base yourself in one of Osaka’s central districts. By staying in this area you will save a lot of time on train and subway rides.

The best district is probably Kita, a major business and retail hub with lots of restaurants and entertainment, as well as several tourist attractions. It’s also where the JR Osaka train station is located which makes it very convenient to commute between Osaka and Kyoto and for a day trip to Nara. Here’s more information about staying in Kita. 

Here you read about the other districts in Osaka together with some great hotel recommendations.

Make sure to also explore the well-preserved streets of old Kyoto after dark during you 5-day Kyoto itinerary.
Old Kyoto is particularly quaint after dark

Day 3-4 Kyoto

You can spend your third and fourth day exploring the highlights of Kyoto.  You can use this 2-day in Kyoto itinerary to plan your days.

This itinerary is jam-packed with Kyoto’s major highlights and may feel a little rushed.

If you want you can spread it out across 3 days but if not you have time for a day trip on day 5.

Day 5 Day trip from Kyoto or Osaka

There are plenty of amazing day trips you can take from Kyoto and Osaka. 

Here are a few examples. 

Universal Studios

If you love theme parks Universal Studios is the place to be. The park makes a great day trip for both young and old.

Harry Potter fans will indulge in the Harry Potter section which is done with such an eye for detail that you might think that you accidentally ended up in the movie itself.

The park is huge and can be busy.  If you want to be able to do all the rides in 1 day we highly recommend paying the extra fee for the Express Passes.  These express passes need to be bought separately from the entry tickets. A limited number of express passes is available for each day which is why we recommend buying them in advance as they may be sold out on the day itself.

How to get there: 

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Take the JR Osaka Loop Line towards Nishikujo Station and switch to the JR Yumesaki Line to Universal-city Station.  Once you exit the train at Universal-city station you just need to follow the crowds through the shops to the entrance of the park.

Follow a Japanese cooking class

This is not a real day trip but definitely an experience that can transport foodies to another dimension.

Japanese food is both healthy and tasty so why not follow a Japanese cooking class, there’s no better place to do this than the city nicknamed the nation’s kitchen.

Nara deer park Japan
Kids will love the free-roaming deer in Nara
Visit Japan’s original capital, Nara

Nara, Japan’s original capital,  makes an exellent day trip. Here you can find the impressive Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world. 

It is a popular UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside the building, you will find a large bronze, Buddha.

Kids will also love the free-roaming deer.

How to get there
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If you have a Japan Rail pass, you can use the JR Yamatoji line. The trajectory is completely covered by the Japan Rail Pass, as well as the Kansai area pass, and takes about 50 minutes.

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If you don’t have a JR Pass you might prefer the Kintetsu Nara Line.  The Rapid Express Kintetsu train reaches Nara in only 39 minutes and the Kintetsu station is more centrally located in Nara.

Kintetsu has a faster limited express train but it costs twice as much and it only saves you 5 minutes.

The Kintetsu trains leave from Osaka Namba station.

Tickets for the JR trains ( without having the JR pass) as well as the Kintetsu trains are 560 yen.

Tokyo skyline Japan
Tokyo’s skyline

Option 4: Spend 5 days in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s capital has so many faces and different districts that you can spend 5 days in the capital itself without any problems. 

This option is for you if you don’t fancy relocating and don’t feel bad about missing culture-rich Kyoto because you know you will return to Japan one day. 

Get ready for 5 thrilling days in Japan’s capital.

Day 1: Shinjuku

Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s most colorful districts.

Highlights are Golden Gai (well-preserved narrow alleys with small eateries near Shinjuku station, the world’s busiest train station), Kabubicho (Tokyo’s crazy and popular nightlife district), the famous Robot Restaurant, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, and the green lung of the district, the huge Shinjuku Gyoen Park. 

Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo
Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Start your first day in Japan by exploring the gigantic Shinjuku Gyoen Park. This is one of Tokyo’s biggest and most popular parks.

If you want to read more about the park, click here

This is one of the best spots to watch the cherry blossoms in Tokyo if you would be here in the Sakura season.

Foresee around 2-3 hours to explore the park at ease. 

From the Park, it is a small walk to the Hanazono Jinja Shrine, a small Shinto shrine. 

Next, you can head to Piss Alley to have lunch. 

Piss Alley

Piss Alley consists of 2 narrow alleys. Both are lined with loads of small and cheap restaurants. As you walk through Piss Alley it will feel as if you have stepped back in time. Both alleyways have been untouched for ages and exude the charm of yesteryear.

This is the perfect place to try Yakitori ( skewered chicken ) while enjoying the vibe of old Japan. 

How to get there

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Piss Alley is really close to the West Exit of Shinjuku train station.  The two alleys run parallel to the tracks.  You will see the entrance on your right if you face the Shinjuku Dai-Guard train bridge.   Shinjuku station is served by several JR lines and both Tokyo Metro and Toei lines.

Kabukicho Tokyo Japan
Kabukicho is the place to be after dark

Continue your first day in Tokyo by heading to Kabukicho, Tokyo’s famous nightlife district. This is a great place to spend the rest of your day and if you want you can party well into the wee hours.

One of the most famous symbols of Kabukicho is the giant Godzilla, which is watching over the Shinjuku Gracery hotel. 

Also in Kabukicho is the Samurai museum, a great place to learn more about these old rulers. They have lost their privileges but the memory and weaponry is still very prominent in today’s culture.

Shopping lovers should head to the gigantic discount shop, Don Quijote. This gigantic discount shop sells everything. It’s also a great place to buy your souvenirs. 

End your first day in Tokyo by attending a performance at the famous Robot Restaurant which makes a fun night out. 

Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park Tokyo
The torii gate at the entrance of the Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park

Day 2: Shibuya and Harajuku


A visit to Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without calling on the famous Shibuya crossing. It’s an impressive sight to watch 1000 people crossing a street at a time.

For the best views, head to Starbucks or to the mostly less crowded L’occitane café.

Most people only have an eye for the masses flooding the streets with every change of the traffic light and miss the statue of Japan’s most famous dog Hachiko. 

The statue can be found near the exit of the subway station but is often lost in the crowds.

Shibuya also houses some great shopping possibilities. Several large department stores can be found within a few minutes’ walk of Shibuya station. The latest addition is Shibuya Scramble Square, it is the tallest building in Shibuya and offers 16 floors of shopping pleasure and an observation platform on floor 46.

How to get there

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 Shibuya station is right underneath this crossing.  Take the Hachiko exit.

Entrance of Takeshita Dori street in Tokyo
Takeshita Dori Street in Harajuku

The next stop on our 5 day Tokyo itinerary is Harajuku.

Harajuku is the center of Japanese fashion and Kawaii culture. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon. 

One of the best things to do in Harajuku is to stroll down the busy Takeshita Dori street. Here you will find lots of fashion and vintage shops. This is also the place where you can taste plenty of weird colored food such as rainbow cotton candy, candy floss, sweet crepes, etc

If you are more into high-end fashion Omotesando is the place to be. This is where you will find Haute couture clothing from brands such as Dior and Louis Vuitton. 

When you have enough of the crowds in Harajuku, continue your way to Yoyogi Park. It’s a great place to relax after a busy day.

Meiji-Jingu Shrine

Here you will find the impressive Meiji-Jingu Shrine.

This is the largest and most famous shrine in Tokyo. You enter the shrine by walking underneth a huge wooden Torii gate which leads to a forest of over 100.000 trees. Take your time to wander around the peaceful shrine complex. 

If you are lucky you might see a traditional Shinto wedding since this is also a popular wedding venue. 

How to get there

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Meiji-Jingu shrine is a short 10-15 minute walk from Harajuku station

Kawaii monster cafe
The purple bar in the Kawaii Monster Café
Kawaii Monster Café

End your second day in Tokyo at the famous Kawaii Monster café known for its colorful and crazy design. 

The food is expensive and isn’t too good but if you are looking for a colorful, fun, and unforgettable experience, this is the place to be. 

Its’ also a great place to take Instagram-worthy pictures. 

You can walk in and see if they have availability but if you want to be sure of a seat we advise you to book tickets through their official partner Voyagin. Here you can check the different packages.

Note that if you choose the admission only option you are still required to order 1 drink and 1 food item per person.

Read reviews and buy your tickets:
Kawaii Monster Café

Sensoji temple Asakusa Tokyo
Sensoji temple in Asakusa, Tokyo

Day3: Asakusa, Ueno park and Tokyo Skytree


Start your third day in Tokyo by exploring Asakusa. Here you can find everything from traditional shopping to temples. 

One of the main attractions of Asakusa is the Sensoji Temple,  Tokyo’s oldest and one of the busiest temples. 

Take your time to wander around. 

Surrounding the area are a number of shopping streets with various restaurants and shops.

Many people unfortunately skip the traditional Japanese Denboin garden.  This zen garden is a great place to escape the crowds that flood the Asakusa temple, certainly if you are visiting Tokyo in March or April.

The traditional Japanese Denboin garden in Asakusa Japan
Denboin garden near the Senso-ji temple
Ueno Park

Museum-lovers should head to Ueno Park, Tokyo’s biggest cultural center. Here you can find the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and science, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, etc. 

Ueno Park is also home to Ueno Zoo, Japan’s oldest zoo. 

But even if you aren’t much into museums the park is still a great place to unwind after the busy Sensoji Temple. 

Ueno park is also where you can watch Japanese have their Hanami, which translates to Cherry Blossom viewing party.

When we visited the park during the cherry blossom season it was jam-packed with people who were having picnics with their friends.

How to get there

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Ueno station is a major hub of JR and is also served by the Ginza and Hibiya metro lines.

Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree

End your third day in Tokyo at the Tokyo Skytree, Japan’s tallest structure. Besides several restaurants, there are also shops and an aquarium.

From the observation decks, you will have spectacular views of Tokyo and the surrounding area. There are 2 main observation decks to choose from. 

The lower deck at 350 meters spans 3 levels with broad windows offering panoramic views. Here you can also find a restaurant and a café. 

The other platform, The Tembo Galery is 100 meters higher. 

 You can choose to buy a ticket to visit only the first observation platform or both.

The Tokyo Skytree is a great place to visit around sunset as it gives you the chance to see the skyline during the day and the thousands of city lights when the sun has set.

Note that the lines are often very long so we recommend you to book skip the line tickets. These are currently cheaper when bought in advance than on-site.

The Venice Canals in Tokyo DisneySea
The Venice Canals in Tokyo DisneySea

Day 4: Tokyo Disney 

Tokyo Disney consists of 2 parks Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. 

Tokyo Disneyland is comparable to the other Disney parks you can find around the world. 

Tokyo DisneySea is bigger and more adult-focused.

Tokyo Disney is also a great place to watch how the Japanese embrace Disney magic by completely dressing up.

Since Tokyo Disney is often very crowded we would advise you to make use of the Tokyo Disney Resort app. You can use it to check wait times and get your free fastpasses for the next attractions.

Purchase your tickets here:
Tokyo DisneySea ticket

How to get there
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Take the JR Keiyo or JR Musashino lines to Maihama Station.
This is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.  In Maihama station you can change to the Monorail that will take you to the entrance of Disneyland or DisneySea.

Note that the Monorail is not included in the price of your entrance ticket and is only free for overnight guests to the park. You can also walk from the JR station to the entrance of the parks. For Disneyland, this would be the best option as the entrance is really close by and only a 5-minute hike. DisneySea would approximately be a 15-minute hike.

If you don’t want to take the JR train and the monorail you can opt for tickets with a transfer from Tokyo.

Purchase tickets with transfer:
Entry ticket and transfer

Akihabara, also called Electric City, in Tokyo
Visiting Akihabara was one of the highlights of our 5 days in Tokyo.

Day 5: Akihabara and Imperial Palace


If you are into anime and manga you should definitely not skip Akihabara also nicknamed Electric city and seen as the center of Japan’s anime culture. But even if you aren’t that much into Anime it’s a great place to spend a few hours. 

Akihabara is where you can find all kinds of electronics and gadgets.

It may be worthwhile to compare prices in advance if you plan on buying a new camera or mobile phone but even if you don’t fancy any new electronics it’s a great place for some window shopping to see the wide selection of cool gadgets that are for sale.

Several shops offer tax-free shopping, make sure to bring your passport!

Not all electronics are guaranteed to work in your home country due to the voltage difference.  When in doubt ask a sales person or stick to the larger electronics stores that usually have a selection of international models.

The manga stores are also fun to snoop around. You can spend hours in just one store.

They are stuffed with everything that relates to mange from comic books to DVDs and action figures. One of the more famous ones is Mandarake.

Akihabara is also home to the famous Maid cafés. It’s a fun but expensive place to have a drink.

If you don’t fancy paying around 15USD for a simple drink and the privilige of seeing a maid you just have to keep your eyes peeled while walking around Akihabara.

Chances are you will see maids walking through the streets with flyers to promote their cafés.

How to get there

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Take the JR train to Akihabara station.

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This station is also served by the Hibiya metro line.

A view on the Imperial Palace in Tokyo
The Imperial Palace in Tokyo
Imperial Palace

Depending on how much time you still have left before returning to the airport,  you may want to hop on the JR Yamanote train and head 2 stops south to Tokyo Station. 

A 10-minute walk from Tokyo station is the Imperial Palace. 

The Imperial Palace is a quiet place in the center of busy Tokyo.

It is also a big and beautiful green lung for the city. The East Gardens of the palace, the Kokyo Gaien National garden, and Kitanomaru Park are open to the public all year round. 

The inner grounds are only open to the public during the Sakura season, on December 23rd, and select other occasions. 

For the exact dates, take a look at the website of the Imperial Household Agency.  

The rest of the year the inner grounds can be visited with a guided tour but the buildings remain closed to visitors.

Daily two tours are conducted in both Japanese and English.  You can subscribe to these tours online.

How to get there

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Take the JR train to Tokyo station.

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This station is also served by the Marunouchi metro line.


We hope that these example itineraries show you that, although a 5 day trip to Japan isn’t long, it can still offer an incredible experience.

Whether you choose to stay in Tokyo and make day trips, want to see Mount Fuji, relax in an onsen, visit the cultural capital Kyoto or wander around crazy Dotonbori in Osaka, chances are it will be an experience unlike anything else you have seen and one before.

Our 5 day Japan itineraries will help you to have an unforgettable Japan vacation. 

Which Japan itinerary is your favorite?