Japan is full of amazing sights, delicious food, beautiful art and a culture unlike any other in the world. Seeing everything the country has to offer can be a challenge, especially if you only have one week to do it - but it's not impossible, nor do you have to rush from one place to another. Thanks to Japan's high speed rail system, you can visit some of the country's most amazing places in just seven days. Keep reading to learn how:
Day 1: Tokyo - Arrival, sushi and sake
This trip begins in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. The two major airports here are Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport. Check out both facilities when purchasing your tickets to Japan to see which has better fares from your city of departure. On your first day in the country, you'll check into your hotel and get your bearings. This is the perfect time to grab some sushi or authentic Japanese ramen noodles. In the evening, toast the beginning of your journey with some sake.
Day 2: Tokyo - Art and culture
On your second day in Tokyo, it's the perfect time to check out some the city's cultural treasures. The Tokyo National Museum, first opened in 1872, houses hundreds of works of art from Japan's history, including sculptures, paintings and ancient artifacts. Ueno Park is the perfect spot to take a relaxing midday break among the trees. In the evening, the Roppongi district is full of nightclubs, world-class restaurants and modern art.
Day 3: Tokyo - Souvenirs and photos
Before you leave the capital, now is the time to take those amazing photos to show off on your social media feeds. Frommer's suggested checking out the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, which features a stunning observatory on the 45th floor. For all things anime and video game-related, head to Akihabara for all your souvenir needs.
Day 4: Hakone - Mount Fuji and hot springs
According to Jetsetter, Hakone is only a 90 minute ride from Tokyo by bullet train. From this tranquil city, you can see Mount Fuji in the distance. If you want to put off Kyoto for another day, a hike up the mountain is another great option for a day trip. Otherwise, spend the day relaxing at Hakone Yaryo, a gorgeous public bathhouse.
Day 5: Kyoto - Noodles and a walk
From Hakone, Kyoto is a mere three hours away by bullet train. Once you're settled into your hotel room, have some delicious udon noodles at one of the many restaurants downtown. A self-guided walking tour is an ideal way to find some places that you might want to explore later.
Day 6: Kyoto - Temples and nature
Kyoto is home some of the country's most stunning temples. For example, the Golden Pavilion is covered in brilliant gold-leaf and its reflection shines against the tranquil pond over which it rests. Time Magazine also recommended Ryoan-Ji Temple, which features a large Zen garden.
Day 7: Kyoto - Geishas, manga and departure
On your final day in Japan, you can't go wrong with a trip to Gion. According to U.S. News and World Report, this neighborhood features historic tea shops, local craft fairs and geishas in traditional garb. For a modern look at Japanese art, check out Kyoto's International Manga Museum, which is home to many iconic books and images.
At the end of the day, you can catch your flight back home from Osaka International Airport, which is about an hour drive from downtown Kyoto.