12-Day Japan Itinerary

Updated June 10, 2019
Posted by

This Japan trip was actually a continuation of my South Korea trip. Basically, I went to Busan, then Seoul, and took a flight to Osaka afterwards. Of course I thoroughly planned it months before that and I really intended to go to both countries in one trip. It was a pretty busy planning since I had to apply for 2 visas. And then buy the flights and hotel accommodations once I got approved for both visas. Can’t imagine how I got through that tbfh!!

Me and my Pocari

Me and my Pocari

This was not a solo trip, even though I was on my own in South Korea. I was with Wayne and he went to Japan 2 days before me. So he was my guide (aka the one who checks which train connections we would take) while we were in Osaka.

Wayne on my first day in Osaka

Wayne on my first day in Osaka

Day 1

  • Flight MM012 Seoul to Osaka
  • Check in at Hotel Sunplaza
  • Shinsaibashi
  • Dotonbori
  • Shitennoji

First day was the basics of Osaka. We went on a walking marathon around Namba. Taking in everything around us. That’s the best part whenever I go to Japan. Just being there is already a unique experience. Every corner and every alley has a distinct characteristic that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

A shrine near Shitennoji

A shrine near Shitennoji

The hotel we booked had its own sentō which was amazing. We didn’t have to go outside to experience it. And I have a couple of tattoos which are not allowed in most bathhouses. I enjoyed it, though it might not be for every tourist. It’s fairly common in Japan to have that so you better check if the hotel you’re checking in has it. If communal bathing is not for you, there were pay showers available in Hotel Sunplaza. For me though, it’s good to at least try it once!

Day 2

  • Universal Studios Japan

Click here to read my Halloween experience at Universal Studios Japan!

Hogwarts zoomed in

Hogwarts zoomed in

Day 3

  • Half-day rest
  • Osaka Castle
  • Pokemon Center Osaka
  • Shinsekai
Osaka Castle up close

Osaka Castle up close

Day 4

  • Check out of hotel
  • Ride Keihan Railway from Yodoyobashi to Kyoto
  • Check in at Santiago Guesthouse
  • Go to Kyoto Station to buy advanced bus ticket to Tokyo
  • Ride bus 101 to Kinkaku-ji
  • Ride bus to Gion
  • Explore Gion area

This day was eventful since we only had 2 days in Kyoto. Just after we checked-in, we immediately took a bus to Kyoto Station. We bought bus tickets for Tokyo scheduled to leave the night after this. We got a bus map of Kyoto and planned our schedule for the day. Kyoto didn’t have complex metro lines so buses are the best way to get around. It was good for sightseeing because every corner of Kyoto is like a movie-still, but the traffic gets bad sometimes.

The majestic but underwhelmingly small Kinkaku-ji

The majestic but underwhelmingly small Kinkaku-ji

The very beautiful area of Gion

The very beautiful area of Gion

Day 5

  • Check out of hostel, leave bags
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha
  • Arashiyama
  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Go to Kyoto Station
  • Take overnight bus to Tokyo

Fushimi Inari-taisha was probably the most crowded place we’ve been to in Japan. It was hard to take pictures of the Torii gates but the crowd lessens when you walk further up the path.

My proudest capture ever tbh! @ Fushimi Inari-taisha

My proudest capture ever tbh! @ Fushimi Inari-taisha

Arashiyama is my favorite place in Kyoto. Even though we got confused finding the bamboo forest, the whole feel of the place just seems so light-hearted and relaxing. There’s a river, parks, food places, shopping area, and lots of fresh air. It’s just super chill, and that’s my favorite thing about it.

Rickshaw touring around Arashiyama

Rickshaw touring around Arashiyama

Unfortunately when we went to Kiyomizu Temple that night, there was a private event so we only got to see the outside. They supposedly have evening presentations for the whole month of October so it would have been nice to see that.

We rest for a while at the hostel before going to Kyoto Station to catch our overnight bus to Tokyo. What I really loved about Kyoto was how cinematic it was. Like how I mentioned earlier, everywhere looks like a screencap of a movie. It’s super beautiful in every sense of that word. It’s very expensive too since it’s the most touristy city in Japan (I think). But going there, even just for 2 days, was a great experience.

Scenery at Arashiyama

Scenery at Arashiyama

Day 6

  • Early morning arrival at Shinjuku Station
  • Buy Q-Pack for Fuji-Q Highland
  • Check in at guesthouse at Shinjuku
  • Breakfast at Sukiya
  • Sleep at the guesthouse
  • Explore Ikebukuro area
  • Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo
  • Don Quijote Shinjuku

Even though I got stomach pains this day, we still tried to explore as much on our first day in Tokyo. We slept for a few hours before spending the afternoon at Ikebukuro. I know we already went to a Pokemon Center in Osaka, but why not drop by the largest one in Tokyo right? I’m not even the biggest Pokemon fan (Monster Rancher was my Pokemon) but it just feels so good to be there.

Honestly, this was Pikachu Center not Pokemon Center

Honestly, this was Pikachu Center not Pokemon Center

Day 7

  • Whole day at Tokyo DisneySea

Click here to read my Tokyo DisneySea experience!

Afternoon show at Tokyo DisneySea

Afternoon show at Tokyo DisneySea

Day 8

  • Half-day rest
  • Tokyo Tower
  • Shibuya
The very busy Shibuya crossing

The very busy Shibuya crossing

Day 9

  • Take bus from Shinjuku Station to Fuji-Q Highland
  • Whole day at Fuji-Q Highland
  • Take bus back to Tokyo

Click here to read my Fuji-Q Highland Experience!

Fuji-Q Highland and Mt. Fuji

Fuji-Q Highland and Mt. Fuji

Day 10

  • Check out of guesthouse in Shinjuku
  • Take the metro to Asakusa
  • Check in at guesthouse in Asakusa
  • Explore the area near guesthouse
Asakusa area, with the Tokyo SkyTree at the background

Asakusa area, with the Tokyo SkyTree at the background

Day 11

  • Explore Akihabara
  • Club Sega
  • Yodobashi
  • Sensoji Temple
  • Nakamise Shopping Street
Yakisoba (I think?) at Sensoji Temple

Yakisoba (I think?) at Sensoji Temple

Day 12

  • Grocery shopping
  • Explore random streets
  • Pack bags
  • Arrive at Narita International Airport at 5PM
  • Take flight GK41 Narita to Manila
Souvenirs!

Souvenirs!

Expenses

Flight MM012
Seoul to Osaka
PHP 3,605.38Peach Aviation
Flight GK41
Narita to Manila
PHP 5,010.00Jetstar
w/ 25kg Baggage
---
Hotel SunplazaPHP 3,324.21Own Room, Public Bath
3 Nights for 2 People
Santiago Guesthouse KyotoPHP 1,628.18Dormitory
1 Night for 2 People
Shinjuku Guesthouse (Airbnb)PHP 6,921.00Dormitory
4 Nights for 2 People
Asakusa Guesthouse (Airbnb)PHP 4,211.00Own Room
2 Nights for 2 People
---
Total FlightsPHP 8,615.38For 1 Person
Total AccomodationPHP 16,084.39For 2 People
Estimated Pocket MoneyPHP 35,000.00For 1 Person
TOTALPHP 51,657.58Per Person

Everything above was taken from my bank statements except for the pocket money, which was just an estimation. I initially brought JPY 90,000 to this trip, but had to exchange 5K of that (they didn’t accept PHP) in Busan. So I only had 85K when I got to Osaka. After the trip, I still got a 10K, a few notes, and some coins left, making my whole spending around JPY 75,000. Convert that to PHP based on the currency exchange back then, I got 35,000. Quite complicated, but basically I spent around that number. This was an ultra-budgeted trip though. We weren’t starving, but we mostly bought food from cheap bento stores and night-discounted groceries. We also brought our own snacks inside USJ and DisneySea.

Japan is a really expensive country to visit, so bringing more cash is important. My budget of PHP 3,000 per day was enough, but I don’t recommend it if you’re planning on eating-out a lot.

Shopping street at Namba

Shopping street at Namba

<3 Japan

Even though I’m writing this more than a year after this trip, Japan is still my favorite country. I even went back to Tokyo months after this and explored more of the surrounding areas. There’s just this unique look and feel that Japan has, that I can’t get enough of. Just like what I mentioned in my India post, Japan is a country that could offer a totally different experience to what you’re used to. It’s not just the architecture, but their overall culture and behavior. I’m obsessed!!!

I hope I helped you in any way if you’re planning a future trip to Japan. Make sure to like my page to get updated on my travels, and share this to your friends!

Comments