Most tourists that go to Japan for the first time will have this classic itinerary loop in Japan. In most cases, you would fly into Tokyo International airport and would plan to do a loop back here.
This classic 2 weeks Japan itinerary will cover Kanto and Kansai area. Kanto is basically the region where Tokyo is and Kansai where Osaka and Kyoto is.
The route for Classic 2 Week Japan Itinerary:
Tokyo -> Kamakura -> Kyoto -> Nara -> Osaka (Himeji) -> Tokyo
Day 1, 2, 3 and 4 – Tokyo
Fly in Tokyo, where most international flights would come from. Depending on how early you arrive on the first day, do try to have at least 3 days to explore Tokyo.
Day 5 – Kamakura
Have a day trip to Kamakura, or spend the night there or in the nearby. Visit Kamakura for its biggest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, the Daibutsu and the idyllic Enoshima island. Have a look at our Kamakura Travel Guide and Top 10 Must See and Things to Do in Kamakura and Enoshima Island.
Day 6, 7, 8 and 9 – Kyoto
Travel day and travel around Kyoto. If you manage to get here early, 3 days would be good enough to cover Kyoto essentials. If you love it here, there would still be plenty to do and see in Kyoto for extra day or two. Check out our Kyoto Travel Guide and Top 10 Things to Do in Kyoto.
Day 10 – Nara
Take a day trip to Nara or stay there for the night if you do not want to return to Kyoto. Nara is a beautiful little city with the renown Todaiji Temple, housing the Great Buddha Daibutsu, and also free roaming deer.
Day 11, 12 and 13 – Osaka and Himeji
Osaka should be on your itinerary, a great city in its own right yet retaining still many of its old charms. Here you can find magnificent castles, amazing shrines, beautiful parks, shopping possibilities and delicious street food.
For more ideas in Osaka, here is our Top 10 Things to Do in Osaka
Day 14 – Tokyo
Here you either take a Shinkansen back to Tokyo, only 3.5 hours, especially if you have a JR Pass with you or you can look at cheaper options like the bus (there are also night buses if you have to get back early to Tokyo for your flights). Fly out from Tokyo.
Of course, feel free to move around the days depending on your interest in each place. The above is a classic route for a 2 weeks trip in Japan, hitting on all the most important tourist attractions.
Japan is well known for being a safe place to visit, but it is still sensible to follow some tips for travelling safely.
Also, in terms of transport, check here if you are wondering if if you should buy a 14 days JR Pass for your travels with this 2 weeks itineray.
14 days JR Pass for Classic 2 Weeks Japan Itinerary