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Travel itinerary

Tokyo to Kyoto in 7 days

Perfect with a Japan Rail Pass

Tokyo to Kyoto

This 7-day itinerary takes you from Tokyo to Kyoto through destinations covered by a Japan Rail Pass. It includes a mix of urban and rural areas, historic sites, and scenic attractions. Starting in Tokyo, you will visit Hakone, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Okayama, Himeji, and Nara, before ending your trip in Kyoto. Highlights include Tokyo Tower, the Hakone Ropeway, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Himeji Castle, and the Todai-ji Temple in Nara. Train travel in Japan is efficient and punctual, and the Japan Rail Pass can save you money if you plan to travel extensively.

Shopping path sensoji

Day 1: Tokyo

Start your day by exploring the bustling city of Tokyo, which offers a lot of attractions such as Tokyo Tower, Shibuya Crossing, and Asakusa temple – Senso-ji.

In the evening, head to Shinjuku for its famous nightlife and a taste of local food.

Ropeway mountains

Day 2: Hakone

Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station (covered by JR Pass).

From Odawara Station, take the Hakone Tozan Railway to Hakone Yumoto Station (covered by JR Pass).

Explore the beautiful Hakone area, which includes Lake Ashi, the Hakone Ropeway, and the Hakone Shrine.

Stay overnight in Hakone.

Bombed building

Day 3: Hiroshima

Take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Odawara Station to Hiroshima Station (covered by JR Pass).

Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, a reminder of the atomic bomb dropped on the city in 1945.

In the evening, explore the lively entertainment district of Nagarekawa.

Miyajima deer

Day 4: Miyajima Island

Take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (covered by JR Pass). From there, take a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island, home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine and its iconic “floating” torii gate. Similar to Nara, this island has a lot a free walking deers.

Return to Hiroshima for the night.

Himeji castle sakura flowers

Day 5: Okayama and Himeji

Take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen from Hiroshima Station to Okayama Station (covered by JR Pass) and visit the stunning Okayama Korakuen Garden and the Okayama Castle.

Take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Himeji Station (covered by JR Pass) and visit the Himeji Castle, one of the most iconic and well-preserved castles in Japan.

Return to Osaka for the night.

Free walking deer

Day 6: Nara

Take the JR Yamatoji Line from Osaka Station to Nara Station (covered by JR Pass).

Visit the famous Todai-ji Temple, which houses the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha, and the sacred deer park with 1,200 free walking and bowing deers. Make sure to buy deer cookies for superfun experience!

In the evening, return to Kyoto for the night.

Golder temple lake

Day 7: Kyoto

Visit the many attractions of Kyoto, including the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), the Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

In the evening, head to the Gion district for traditional entertainment and cuisine.

End your trip with a stay in Kyoto.