5-Day Itineraries for Many Amazing Regions in Japan: The Ultimate Guide for an Unforgettable Trip


Planning a trip to Japan but short on time? No worries! With these comprehensive 5-day itineraries covering various areas in Japan, you can experience the best highlights of each region in this fascinating country. From ancient temples to modern skyscrapers, Japan offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity that will captivate your heart.


Discover the Best of Each Region in Japan in Just 5 Days

Explore the rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and modern marvels of Japan in a concise yet immersive journey.

5 Days in Hokkaido Itinerary

Hokkaido is Japan’s largest prefecture, offering breathtaking natural beauty and delicious food throughout the seasons. Winter is perfect for skiing, while summer boasts beautiful flower fields. Renting a car is recommended to efficiently explore the wide-ranging areas. Be prepared for variable weather and dress accordingly.

– Summer Average Temperature: 20-25°C

– Winter Average Temperature: -5 to 0°C

– Climate Tips: Summer evenings can be cool, and winter requires warm clothing due to the harsh cold.

Day 1: Sapporo

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, offers a blend of urban convenience and natural beauty. It features historic landmarks, expansive parks, and markets with fresh seafood.

– Sapporo Clock Tower: One of Japan’s oldest clock towers, built in 1878. A historical landmark and a symbol of Sapporo.

– Odori Park: Located in the city center, this 1.5 km-long park hosts seasonal events and festivals loved by locals and tourists alike.

– Nijo Market: With over 100 years of history, this market offers a variety of fresh seafood. Enjoy crab, sea urchin, and scallops on the spot.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Sapporo.

– Transportation: From New Chitose Airport, take the JR Rapid Airport train to Sapporo Station (about 40 minutes). Use subways and buses to get around the city.

Day 2: Otaru

Otaru is a port city known for its canal and historic warehouses. Enjoy beautiful music boxes, fresh sushi, and romantic canal-side scenery.

– Otaru Canal: A romantic canal lined with 19th-century warehouses. At night, gas lamps create a magical atmosphere.

– Otaru Music Box Museum: Housed in a building from 1912, showcasing beautiful music boxes. You can also create your own music box.

– Otaru Sushi: Enjoy sushi made with fresh local seafood. Otaru’s sushi restaurants are popular among both locals and tourists.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Otaru.

– Transportation: From Sapporo, take the JR Hakodate Line Rapid to Otaru (about 35 minutes). You can explore Otaru on foot or by bus.

Day 3: Furano

Furano is famous for its vast flower fields, especially the lavender fields in summer. The area also features charming shopping areas with handmade crafts.

– Farm Tomita: Enjoy beautiful lavender and other flower fields, especially in July and August when they are in full bloom.

– Ningle Terrace: A collection of small wooden cottages in the forest, offering handmade crafts and unique souvenirs. The area is beautifully lit at night.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Furano.

– Transportation: From Sapporo, it’s about a 2.5-hour drive by rental car. Alternatively, take the JR train via Takikawa (about 2.5 hours).

Day 4: Biei

Biei is known for its picturesque landscapes, often referred to as the Patchwork Hills. The area is filled with colorful flowers and stunning natural features.

– Blue Pond: A famous spot known for its stunning blue water, which changes hues depending on the weather and season.

– Shikisai no Oka: Expansive fields filled with a variety of colorful flowers, offering breathtaking views from the observation deck.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Biei.

– Transportation: From Furano, it’s about a 1-hour drive by rental car. Alternatively, take the JR Furano Line (about 1 hour).

Day 5: Asahikawa

Asahikawa, Hokkaido’s second-largest city, offers attractions like the renowned Asahiyama Zoo and delicious ramen.

– Asahiyama Zoo: Known for its unique exhibits that allow visitors to observe animals in naturalistic settings. The penguin parade and seal tube are highlights.

– Asahikawa Ramen Village: A collection of ramen shops offering Asahikawa-style ramen, known for its rich and flavorful broth.

5 Days in Kanto Itinerary

Kanto is the political, economic, and cultural center of Japan, featuring a wide array of attractions. Tokyo alone offers so much to see that you should spend at least two days there. If time allows, consider spending a night in Kamakura and another in Hakone.

– Summer Average Temperature: 25-30°C

– Winter Average Temperature: 5-10°C

– Climate Tips: Summers are hot and humid, so dress lightly and stay hydrated. Winters are dry, so consider using moisturizers.

Day 1: Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is a bustling metropolis that blends tradition and modernity. Its many attractions make it a must-visit destination.

– Shibuya Crossing: The world’s busiest pedestrian crossing and a symbol of Tokyo. Watching the wave of people crossing from all directions is a unique experience.

– Senso-ji Temple: Tokyo’s oldest temple, famous for its Thunder Gate (Kaminarimon) and the vibrant Nakamise shopping street.

– Harajuku: A hub of youth culture and fashion. In particular, Takeshita Street’s quirky shops and trendy boutiques are famous.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Tokyo.

– Transportation: From Narita or Haneda Airport, take the Narita Express or Keikyu Line to Tokyo Station. Use subways and buses to get around the city.

Day 2: Tokyo

– Tokyo Skytree: Tokyo’s new symbol and tallest structure. The observation deck offers stunning city views, especially at night. It’s crowded on weekends, so visit on a weekday if possible.

– Ueno Park: A large park that is home to museums, a zoo, and beautiful seasonal blooms. The Tokyo National Museum and Ueno Zoo are highlights.

– Ameyoko: A bustling market street near Ueno Station, offering everything from fresh produce to clothing. The lively atmosphere is part of the charm.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Tokyo.

Day 3: Kamakura

Kamakura is a historic city known for its ancient temples and serene nature. Enoshima Island, with its beaches and views, is also nearby.

– Great Buddha: A massive bronze statue in Kotoku-in Temple, standing at 13.35 meters tall. It’s an iconic symbol of Kamakura.

– Tsurugaoka Hachimangu: A significant Shinto shrine founded in the 11th century. The approach through torii gates and past lotus ponds is beautiful.

– Enoshima: A small island connected by a bridge, offering scenic views, beaches, and fresh seafood.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Kamakura.

– Transportation: From Tokyo, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station (about 1 hour). Explore Kamakura on foot or by local bus.

Day 4: Hakone

Hakone is a famous hot spring resort area known for its views of Mt. Fuji, art museums, and relaxing onsen.

– Hot Springs: Hakone is renowned for its hot springs, offering a variety of bathing experiences. Many ryokan (traditional inns) have their own onsen.

-Views of Mt. Fuji: You can often see Mount Fuji on clear days from Owakudani, a volcanic valley, and enjoy beautiful views of it from Lake Ashinoko, especially if you take a boat ride, as well as from the Hakone Ropeway, which offers stunning panoramic views.

– Hakone Open-Air Museum: An outdoor museum featuring a mix of art and nature, with sculptures set in beautiful gardens.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Hakone.

– Transportation: From Tokyo, take the Odakyu Romancecar to Hakone-Yumoto Station (about 1.5 hours). Use buses, cable cars, and boats within Hakone.

Day 5: Hakone

– Lake Ashi Cruise: Take a scenic boat ride on Lake Ashi, with views of Mt. Fuji on clear days. The pirate ship cruises are popular.

– Owakudani: A volcanic valley with active sulfur vents and hot springs. Try the famous black eggs boiled in the hot springs.

– Hakone Venetian Glass Museum: A beautiful museum featuring Venetian glass art and a lovely garden.

– Transportation: Continue exploring Hakone or return to Tokyo.

5 Days in Kansai Itinerary

Kansai is the cultural and historical heartland of Japan, home to ancient capitals like Kyoto and bustling cities like Osaka.

– Summer Average Temperature: 25-30°C

– Winter Average Temperature: 5-10°C

– Climate Tips: Summers are hot and humid, so dress lightly and stay hydrated. Winters are dry, so consider using moisturizers.

Day 1: Kyoto

Kyoto is Japan’s ancient capital, known for its well-preserved temples, shrines, and traditional wooden houses.

– Fushimi Inari Taisha: Famous for its thousands of red torii gates winding up the mountain. It’s a must-see in Kyoto.

– Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavilion, a stunning temple covered in gold leaf, beautifully reflected in the surrounding pond.

– Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: A scenic bamboo forest that offers a serene walking experience. Nearby is the picturesque Togetsukyo Bridge.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Kyoto.

– Transportation: From Kansai International Airport, take the JR Haruka Express to Kyoto Station (about 1.5 hours). Use buses and trains to get around Kyoto.

Day 2: Kyoto

– Kiyomizu-dera: A famous temple with a wooden stage that offers stunning views of Kyoto, especially during cherry blossom season and autumn.

– Gion: Kyoto’s historic geisha district, where you can stroll through traditional streets and perhaps spot a geisha (traditional Japanese female entertainer) or maiko (apprentice geisha).

– Nijo Castle: A historic castle known for its beautiful gardens and nightingale floors that chirp when walking on to prevent intruders.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Kyoto.

Day 3: Osaka

Osaka is a vibrant city known for its modern architecture, nightlife, and hearty street food.

– Dotonbori: A lively entertainment area known for its neon lights, extravagant signage, and street food. Try takoyaki (ball-shaped octopus snacks) and okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes with cabbage and meat).

– Osaka Castle: A historic landmark surrounded by a large park. The castle tower offers panoramic views of the city.

– Umeda Sky Building: A futuristic building with an observation deck that offers stunning views of Osaka, especially at night.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Osaka.

– Transportation: From Kyoto, take the JR Special Rapid Service to Osaka Station (about 30 minutes). Use subways and buses within Osaka.

Day 4: Osaka

– Universal Studios Japan: A major theme park with attractions based on popular movies and characters. Highlights include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Jurassic Park area.

Day 5: Nara

Nara is known for its historic temples and friendly deer that roam freely in Nara Park.

– Todai-ji: Home to the Great Buddha, one of the largest bronze statues in the world, housed in a massive wooden temple.

– Nra Park: A large park where deer roam freely. The deer are very friendly and bow to visitors for treats.

– Kasuga Taisha: A beautiful Shinto shrine known for its many lanterns, located in a primeval forest.

– Transportation: From Osaka, take the Kintetsu Nara Line to Nara Station (about 40 minutes). Explore Nara on foot or by local bus.

5 Days in Okinawa Itinerary

Okinawa offers a unique cultural experience with its distinct history, beautiful beaches, and warm climate.

– Summer Average Temperature: 28-32°C

– Winter Average Temperature: 15-20°C

– Climate Tips: Summers are hot and humid, so dress lightly and stay hydrated. Winters are mild, but evenings can be cool.

Day 1: Naha

Naha is the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, known for its historic sites and vibrant shopping streets.

– Shurijo Castle: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this castle was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom and showcases unique Okinawan architecture.

– Kokusai Street: A bustling shopping street in downtown Naha, filled with shops, restaurants, and markets.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Naha.

– Transportation: From Naha Airport, take a taxi or monorail to central Naha.

Day 2: Okinawa Main Island

Explore the main island of Okinawa, known for its stunning beaches and cultural sites.

– Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium: One of the largest aquariums in the world, featuring a massive tank with whale sharks and manta rays.

– Cape Manzamo: A scenic cliff offering breathtaking ocean views, especially popular at sunset.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight in Onna Village.

– Transportation: From Naha, drive north along the Okinawa Expressway to Onna Village (about 1 hour).

Day 3: Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki Island is part of the Yaeyama Islands, known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.

– Kabira Bay: A picturesque bay with emerald-green waters and white sandy beaches. Glass-bottom boat tours are popular.

– Ishigaki Yaima Village: A cultural theme park showcasing traditional Okinawan village life and local crafts.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight on Ishigaki Island.

– Transportation: Fly from Naha to Ishigaki Airport (about 1 hour).

Day 4: Ishigaki Island and Taketomi Island

Explore more of Ishigaki and take a short trip to the nearby Taketomi Island.

– Kondoi Beach: A beautiful beach on Taketomi Island, known for its clear, shallow waters and relaxed atmosphere.

– Taketomi Village: A well-preserved traditional Ryukyu village, with traditional houses and stone walls.

– Accommodation: Stay overnight on Ishigaki Island.

– Transportation: Take a ferry from Ishigaki Port to Taketomi Island (about 15 minutes).

Day 5: Ishigaki Island

Spend your final day exploring more of Ishigaki Island before heading back.

– Banna Park: A large nature park offering hiking trails, lookout points, and beautiful natural scenery.

– Euglena Mall: A shopping street in central Ishigaki, filled with local shops, restaurants, and markets.

– Transportation: Fly back to Naha or directly to your next destination from Ishigaki Airport.

Experience the Best of Each Region in Japan in Just 5 Days with These 5-Day Itineraries for Many Amazing Regions in Japan

These comprehensive 5-day itineraries for amazing regions in Japan ensure that you experience the best of Hokkaido, Kanto, Kansai, and Okinawa. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene temples of Kyoto, the beautiful landscapes of Hokkaido, and the tropical paradise of Okinawa, these itineraries provide a perfect blend of Japan’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing soak in an onsen (hot spring), savoring the authentic flavors of authentic sushi and ramen, or exploring the vibrant streets of Osaka, this trip will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for all that Japan has to offer. It’s perfect for an unforgettable adventure in a short time.

Let's share this post !

Author of this article

30代、フリーランスの通訳や翻訳者、ライター。一児の母。日本、台湾、アメリカのミックスで東京生まれ。 台湾出身の母の為に日本の言語や文化を教えてきた経験から、異文化間コミュニケーションに興味を持つ様になる。