Japan is a country I have wanted to visit ever since I was in the seventh grade. Learning about it in social studies class, I was fascinated by the history and culture, enamoured by its beauty. As intriguing as Japan was in textbooks, it was infinitely better in real life. Just one day into our two weeks in Japan and we were already in love with this wonderful country.
Two Weeks in Japan - Our Itinerary
We decided that spring would be a great time to spend two weeks in Japan. I specifically wanted to experience the cherry blossom season, which had long been on my JAPAN BUCKET LIST. Spring turned out to be a nice time to visit Japan, and although places were often very busy with other travellers and accommodations were more expensive, the beauty of the cherry trees made it all worth it! I knew immediately into the planning process that two weeks in Japan was not going to be enough. There were so many interesting and BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN JAPAN TO VISIT, so many things I wanted to do. It was impossible to fit them all into our two week Japan itinerary and I struggled with having to cross places off the list.
As difficult as it was, we were very pleased with the two week Japan itinerary I put together. I created a well-rounded trip that allowed us to experience both the traditional and modern aspects of Japan. Our two week itinerary included small mountain towns, bustling cities, places of historical interest and relaxing natural areas. As first time visitors to Japan, we felt this itinerary allowed us to enjoy the best of Japan in two weeks.
Here's a look at what we managed to see and do with two weeks in Japan, including thoughts about our time in each location. We hope our itinerary gives you some ideas of places to visit in Japan and helps you plan your own two week trip to Japan.

Day 1: Hiroshima
Our first full day in Japan was spent travelling from Tokyo to Hiroshima. It was a four hour bullet train ride, so we arrived just after noon. This gave us a full afternoon and evening to explore Hiroshima, which we found to be sufficient.
Hits
Hiroshima is a place we wanted to visit because of its historical significance. Much of our time was spent wandering around the PEACE MEMORIAL PARK visiting the many monuments dedicated to the victims of the first atomic bomb. It was an eye opening and humbling experience. We felt that the city of Hiroshima has done a great job creating a beautiful space to honour those affected by that devastating event. While we were expecting Hiroshima to be all “gloom and doom”, this was not the case at all. The city itself is quite attractive- very clean, quiet with a lot of nice parks and walking paths along the rivers. We especially enjoyed visiting the reconstructed HIROSHIMA CASTLE. There is a museum inside the beautiful five storey main keep and the grounds contain a shrine, some ruins and a few other buildings, all surrounded by a moat.
Misses
The only thing that disappointed me was that there was scaffolding covering the Atomic Bomb Dome, making it difficult to get a good look at it. Every three years the city does a full survey of the remaining structure to ensure its condition is preserved as it was immediately after the atomic bomb was dropped.

Day 2: Miyajima Island
Miyajima Island is easily accessed from Hiroshima. It’s a 30 minute train ride from Hiroshima to Miyajima Station, then a 10 minute ferry ride to the island. We caught an early train and set foot on the island by 8:00 am, giving us a full day to explore (which is what you need!)
Hits
Miyajima was the place I was most looking forward to visiting during our two weeks in Japan and it did not disappoint. By the end of our trip, it was still our favourite place in Japan! We had a wonderful day visiting Miyajima’s many temples and shrines and exploring the top of MOUNT MISEN. The views from up there were spectacular and it’s always nice to be surrounded by nature! In addition to our hike on Mount Misen, watching the SUNSET BEHIND MIYAJIMA’S FLOATING TORII gate was a favourite memory.
Misses
There was nothing we didn’t like about Miyajima. It did get really busy with tourists during the day, but many didn’t seem to venture far beyond the main temple area. Getting up early and spending the night helped us avoid a lot of the day trip crowds. If I had to pick one negative though, I’d say the small deer that roam the island can be a little pesky. They will try and steal food out of your hands and some will even try and wrestle open your backpack if they smell something in there. One stole a pamphlet out the pocket of my camera bag and chewed it all up!