A unique 9-day Japan itinerary featuring Tokyo, Kyoto, and the beautiful Izu Peninsula in the Japanese countryside.
Our sample Japan itineraries are here to inspire you. They are not fixed itineraries, and can be customized or altered in almost any way.
Learn more about trip planning with Boutique Japan.
|9 Days||Approx. US $700-$900 per person per day (read more about pricing)||Based on your preferred travel dates|
- A tailor-made itinerary crafted personally for you, based on our in-depth Japan expertise, relationships, and firsthand experience
- Tokyo, one of the world’s most exciting cities
- Kyoto, the heart and soul of traditional Japan
- A traditional ryokan stay in the lush Izu Peninsula
- Private, non-touristy tours with fun and knowledgeable local expert guides
- Seamless logistics and in-country transport via the shinkansen (bullet train) and more
- Extensive pre-departure information to help you prepare for your trip
- A Japan specialist to answer your questions, and thoughtful customer service
- And more!
9 Days in Japan: Trip Overview
This sample itinerary begins in Tokyo and ends in Osaka (near Kyoto), but it can be easily redesigned to match your needs.
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Japan
Day 2: Private tour of Tsukiji Market & behind-the-scenes sushi lesson
Day 3: Old Tokyo walking tour & lively izakaya outing
Day 4: Traditional ryokan stay and onsen (hot springs) in the beautiful Izu Peninsula
Day 5: Travel by train to Kyoto & evening geisha district stroll
Day 6: Backstreets walking tour of the charming Higashiyama & unique artisan studio visit
Day 7: Private stroll through scenic Arashiyama & immersive culinary outing in Osaka
Day 8: Private visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine & final night in Japan
Day 9: Departure from Osaka, Japan
Let’s dive in!
9 Days in Japan: Itinerary Details
You can fly into either of Tokyo’s two major airports, Narita (NRT) or Haneda (HND). This sample itinerary can also be customized to begin in the Kansai region (where Kyoto and Osaka are located), flying into either of Osaka’s two major airports, Kansai (KIX) or Itami (ITM).
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Japan
Welcome to Japan! On arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be met and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel. Settle in, adjust to your exciting new surroundings, and get ready for your adventure ahead!
In Tokyo you’ll stay at Cerulean Tower, which offers an excellent combination of convenience, comfort, and value. Enjoy city views and easy access to all of Tokyo from the heart of Shibuya.
Your Tokyo hotel: Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel
See more of our favorite boutique and luxury hotels around Japan.
Day 2: Private Tsukiji Market Tour & Unique Sushi-Making Lesson
Today you’ll be immersed in Tokyo’s culinary culture, beginning with a visit to the iconic Tsukiji Market.
After exploring the market, you’ll proceed to a private sushi-making lesson held behind the counter at a working sushi shop, where you’ll learn how to make authentic Edomae sushi from a master chef.
You’ll have the remainder of the day to relax at your hotel and recover from any remaining jet lag you may have, or continue exploring independently. Our pre-departure information will be full of additional ideas on what to see and do — and eat and drink! — during your free time.
At Boutique Japan, we have exceedingly high standards when it comes to private guides, and carefully design each private tour to cater to your unique priorities and interests.
Day 3: Old Tokyo Walking Tour & Evening Izakaya Outing
This morning you’ll cross town to explore some of Tokyo’s most historic and charmingly old-fashioned neighborhoods.
Begin with a stroll through Asakusa, home to the iconic Senso-ji Temple, before most tourists arrive. You’ll explore atmospheric backstreets before proceeding to Ueno, home to historic Ueno Park and the colorful Ameyoko-cho open-air market. Conclude your private walking tour in the beautiful Yanaka neighborhood, home to an irresistible combination of temples, mom-and-pop shops, galleries, and cafes.
You’ll have the afternoon free to relax or continue exploring, and you may wish to check out some other unique Tokyo neighborhoods.
After some downtime, this evening you’ll drink and dine with a fun and knowledgeable local expert who will take you to a casual and authentic izakaya, where you can enjoy a truly Japanese-style atmosphere and sample a delicious and eclectic variety of Japanese foods.
Day 4: Traditional Ryokan & Onsen (Hot Springs) in the Izu Peninsula
Today you will leave the city behind and make the pleasant journey by rail to the scenic Izu Peninsula, a perfect place to escape and unwind.
On arrival in Izu, settle into your beautiful rural surroundings and savor the simple pleasures of ryokan life. This afternoon soak in the ryokan’s rejuvenating onsen, relax in your traditional Japanese-style room, and tonight enjoy an incredible kaiseki dinner.
Your Izu ryokan: Hanafubuki
See more of our favorite high-end ryokans in Izu and beyond.
Day 5: Travel to Kyoto & Private Geisha District Stroll
After a breathtaking Japanese-style breakfast and final soak in the soothing onsen, today you’ll travel by train (including the amazing shinkansen) to the ancient capital.
Kyoto is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, and the place most travelers dream of when envisioning Japan. Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years and remains the heart and soul of traditional Japan.
You’ll have part of the afternoon free to settle in, and this evening you’ll head out on a fascinating private walking tour through the backstreets of Kyoto’s best-known geisha district, Gion.
As you slowly meander your way through the narrow lanes and hidden alleys of this enigmatic district, your expert guide will teach you about the history and reality of Kyoto’s geisha. This is a great way to learn about Japan’s most misunderstood traditional profession, and it’s likely you’ll come across geiko or maiko en route to their evening appointments.
In Kyoto, you’ll stay at Noku Kyoto, a simple yet stylish hotel with a convenient location in the heart of the city.
Your Kyoto hotel: Noku Kyoto
Day 6: Backstreets of the Higashiyama & Private Artisan Studio Visit
To further introduce you to Kyoto, this morning you’ll embark on a private tour of the historic Higashiyama district.
You could easily devote weeks to exploring the Higashiyama’s many ancient temples, gardens, and quaint shops. While the area’s most famous sights are usually crowded with visitors, you and your guide will be able to slip into quiet side streets where you can experience a slower pace of life.
Afterwards, you’ll have the unique opportunity to visit with a shokunin (master craftsperson) in their private workshop, an unforgettable experience for travelers who love craft and the arts.
Beyond the extraordinary sights and wealth of traditional culture, Kyoto is also home to a booming creative scene, and throughout the ancient capital you’ll find stunning modern design in museums and galleries, along with shops and cafes.
You’ll have the remainder of your day to relax, or continue exploring independently making use of the pre-departure materials we provide to each of our travelers.
Day 7: Scenic Arashiyama District & Osaka Culinary Tour
Today you’ll have the chance to take in a different part of Kyoto with your expert guide. Venture to Arashiyama, a scenic district in Kyoto’s western outskirts renowned for its natural beauty and historical offerings.
Despite its popularity, a stroll through Arashiyama’s attractive bamboo forest nevertheless ranks among the most essential Japan experiences for many travelers, and rightly so (particularly in the morning before it gets crowded for the day).
Arashiyama is also full of lesser-known gems, and your guide will introduce you to a mix of highlights on and off the beaten path.
After some downtime this afternoon, you’ll make your way to the neighboring city of Osaka (an easy trip of about 30 minutes by local rail) for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Osaka is one of Japan’s most legendary culinary capitals, and with your expert Osaka guide you’ll pay a visit to a selection of locals-only establishments, sampling local specialties and nihonshu (sake) as you go.
Following your immersive introduction to the casual and delicious food of Osaka, return to Kyoto or perhaps stay in Osaka a bit longer for a nightcap at one of the city’s countless bars.
Day 8: Fushimi Inari Shrine & Final Night in Japan
Along with Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari Taisha is another of Japan’s most well-known places, yet it too is worth visiting even for people who generally avoid “touristy” places.
The easiest way to avoid crowds at Fushimi Inari is by arriving early, and if you’re up for a good hike you and your guide can walk up Mount Inari, through thousands of vermillion torii gates (the crowds begin to thin out the higher you go).
Following your visit to Fushimi Inari, you may decide to visit the nearby Fushimi sake district, or head back to central Kyoto to savor your last afternoon in the ancient capital.
Enjoy your final evening in Japan!
Day 9: Departure from Osaka, Japan
You’ll be free until departure. Depending on your flight time, you may have time for some last-minute explorations (and eating!).
In good time for your departure flight, you’ll be picked up at your hotel for the comfortable private transfer to your departure airport.
Come back to Japan soon!
You can depart from either of Osaka’s two major airports, Kansai (KIX) or Itami (ITM). This sample trip can also be customized to end with departure from Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan.
Planning Your Bespoke Japan Itinerary
We hope you find travel inspiration in our sample Japan itineraries.
Our specialty is completely customized trips, and as part of our trip-design process we’ll bring your ideas to life in a seamless itinerary designed just for you.