My Two-Week Solo Trip to Japan – Budget and Itinerary
Japan, finally! In the past, I held reservations about traveling to Japan as I couldn’t quite grasp the hype and fascination surrounding this country. I wasn’t also a fan of Japanese food, making it easy for me to dismiss the idea of visiting. However, having had the opportunity to finally set foot in Japan, my perspective has undergone a remarkable transformation. My two-week solo trip to Japan allowed me to fully experience the country’s culture, traditions, food, and natural splendor. From the vibrant streets of Tokyo to the serene temples of Kyoto, and the modern charisma of Osaka, I got to immerse myself in Japan’s rich heritage. Trying local delicacies and witnessing stunning landscapes added even more depth to my journey. It was an unforgettable adventure that gave me a true taste of Japan’s unique charm.
My Two-Week Solo Trip to Japan
Creating my itinerary for a two-week solo trip to Japan and researching potential destinations felt like piecing together a thrilling puzzle. The excitement of exploring a new country heightened my anticipation. I went through online travel guides and tapped into social media for suggestions. With a two-week window to explore Japan, I aimed to make the most of my vacation days while also allowing for some leisurely moments. Following weeks of careful planning and budgeting, I concluded that opting for the most renowned destinations was the best decision.
Osaka was my first destination of my two-week solo trip to Japan. Here, I spent a week exploring the city’s attractions and neighboring spots such as Nara and Himeji. It was an eye-opening experience where I had the chance to explore a number of interesting tourist attractions. From the lively atmosphere of Dotonbori to the historical grandeur of Osaka Castle, each day was filled with new experiences. Navigating the city’s vibrant streets, indulging in local delicacies, and immersing myself in its cultural gems made this solo journey an unforgettable exploration.
During my time in Osaka, the Osaka Amazing Pass became my ultimate companion for exploration. The pass provided me free access to an array of tourist spots. I was also able to breeze through the city using unlimited rides on the Osaka Metro and city buses. This convenience made hopping from one attraction to another a hassle-free experience. With Osaka Amazing Pass, you can also have complimentary or discounted entry to over 40 attractions. If you’re planning to visit Osaka, secure your pass now by visiting this link.
Part of my itinerary for Japan was a day in Nara. It was a side trip from Osaka where I had a delightful experience seeing a world of history and nature. From feeding the friendly deer in Nara Park to standing in awe before the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple, every moment was filled with wonder.
I used my Kansai Thru Pass to catch a train to Nara via Kintetsu line, making my journey smooth and hassle-free. This was another travel pass that I purchased for this trip. The pass allows tourists to use various modes of transportation, like trains, subways, and buses, within the Kansai region of Japan. It offers unlimited rides and can be a cost-effective way to explore several cities including Nara.
Embarking on a visit to Himeji, a mere two hours away by train, was a delightful addition to my travel itinerary. As I stepped into Himeji, the majestic Himeji Castle loomed in the skyline like a radiant beacon. Its intricate design and historical significance instantly transported me to a different time. The castle’s labyrinthine passages and panoramic views from its tower were a testament to the architectural marvels of Japan’s past. This side trip left me with a sense of awe and appreciation for the cultural treasures that await just a train ride away from Osaka.
For this side trip, I made use of my Kansai Thru Pass, which proved to be a wallet-friendly option for traveling from Osaka to Himeji. The pass is truly a fantastic deal, especially if you are exploring various spots in the Kansai region. You can grab your pass by visiting this link.
Continuing my two-week solo trip to Japan, I headed to Kyoto from Osaka, utilizing my Kansai Thru Pass for a smooth train journey. Despite the late afternoon arrival at my hostel, I wasted no time and swiftly set out to explore a handful of tourist spots.
My three-day escapade in Kyoto painted a captivating picture of Japan’s cultural legacy. Wandering through the vibrant torii gates of the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine, finding solace in the elegance of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and basking in the serenity of Kinkaku-ji’s golden pavilion filled my days with wonder. Each day of my weekend getaway in Kyoto held a new discovery, revealing this city’s timeless allure and leaving me enchanted by its history and charm.
Having enjoyed a weekend in Kyoto, the next part of my itinerary was an overnight bus journey that took me to the bustling city of Tokyo. A captivating travel destination that effortlessly combines tradition and modernity, making it the ideal choice to wrap up my exhilarating journey across Japan.
My week-long travel experience in Tokyo was a whirlwind of captivating moments and exciting discoveries. Throughout my stay, with the use of Tokyo Tourist Pass, I had the opportunity to explore numerous iconic attractions, including Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji, Meiji Jingu, and the bustling Shibuya Crossing. Visiting during the Cherry Blossom season, I also made it a point to experience it in various parks like Yoyogi Park, Kiba Park, Sarue Park, and Ueno Park. My timing was also perfect as I was able to catch the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival, a renowned event where the cherry blossoms are illuminated, and paper lanterns create a magical ambiance. This chapter of my two-week solo trip to Japan provided an enchanting conclusion to my exploration of this captivating country.
While I was staying in Tokyo, I went for a side trip to Hakone. A 2-hour train ride from Tokyo, this side trip to Hakone added an extra layer of adventure to my journey. Though my main reason to visit Hakone was to have a wonderful view of Mount Fuji, unfortunately, due to clouds covering the mountain, I wasn’t able to see the iconic sight. However, this setback didn’t dampen my experience. Exploring the Hakone Ropeway, Lake Ashi, and the Hakone Shrine provided unique and enjoyable moments during my side trip. Utilizing the Hakone FreePass made navigation easy, ensuring that despite missing the view of Mount Fuji that I had anticipated, my time in Hakone remained memorable.
Below is my itinerary for my two-week solo trip to Japan
Day 0 – Flight from Manila to Osaka via Cebu Pacific
Day 1 – Osaka
- Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street
- Tombori River walk
Day 2 – Nara
- Nara Park
- Kasuga Taisha Shrine
- Isuien Garden and Neiraku Museum
Day 3 – Osaka
Day 4 – Himeji and Himeji Castle
Day 5 – Osaka
- Osaka Castle
- Umeda Sky Building
- Dotonbori Glico Sign
- Hozenji Yokocho
Day 6 – Kyoto
- Transfer – Train to Kyoto
- Higashiyama Jisho-ji
Day 7 – Kyoto
- Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Day 8 – Kyoto
- Fushimi Inari Taisha
- Hōkan-ji Temple
- Transfer – Bus to Tokyo
Day 9 – Tokyo
- Ameyoko Shopping District
Day 10 – Tokyo
- Meiji Jingu
- Yoyogi Park
- Nakameguro Park
Day 11 – Tokyo
- Tokyo Tower
- Hachikō Memorial Statue
- Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Day 12 – Tokyo
- Kiba Park
- Sarue Park
- Tokyo Skytree
Day 13 – Hakone
- Tōgendai Port
- Motohakone Port
- Hakone Shrine
- Lake Ashi
Day 14 – Tokyo
- Hie Shrine
Day 15 – Tokyo
- Ueno Park
- Flight from Tokyo to Manila via Cebu Pacific
For your travel planning and to ensure you make the most of your vacation, here’s the approximate breakdown of expenses per person for two-week solo trip to Japan.
- Osaka – Maru House (3D/2N) – Php2,160
- Osaka – Namba Guesthouse Hive (5D/4N) – Php5,200
- Kyoto – Gojo Guest House (3D/2N) – Php3,765
- Tokyo – Ueno Station Hostel Oriental 1 (7D/6N) – Php11,438
- Osaka Amazing Pass (2 days) – Php1,487
- Kansai Thru Pass (3 days) – Php2,241
- Kyoto Bus Day Pass (2 days) – Php550
- Hakone Freepass (2 days) – Php2,485
- Tokyo Tourist Pass (72-hour) – Php591
- Himeji Castle entry ticket (discounted) – Php310
- Higashiyama Jisho-ji entry ticket – Php195
- Kinkaku-ji entry ticket – Php155
- Flight ticket from Manila to Osaka and Tokyo to Manila via Cebu Pacific (with 20kg baggage) – Php12,288
- Overnight bus from Kyoto to Tokyo – Php2,535
- Other transportation expenses – Php2,000
- Food and drinks (estimated cost for my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for 15 days) – Php25,000
- Japan tourist visa service fee – Php950
- Travel insurance – Php731
- International Sim card AIS – Php1,050
- Shopping – Php10,000
- Philippine travel tax – Php1,620
Approximate total expense per person: Php86,751
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