Updated: October 31, 2016
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Typical But Perfect Japan Trip Plan For The First Time

This year, the number of the visitors to Japan has already reached the highest ever. If you are interested in visiting Japan, here is a very typical but perfect trip plan which you can enjoy in any season.

#1 Arrive in Tokyo

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Tokyo has two the big airports which are called "Narita" and "Haneda". Most of the international flights to Tokyo arrive at Narita Airport. But Haneda is closer to the center of Tokyo, so I recommend you to choose a flight to Haneda if you can.

#2 Spend two or three days in Tokyo

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(Senso-Ji Temple)

Toyko is the capital of Japan and has about 13 million people. There's no way you miss this city on your first trip to Japan. Anyway, there are many tourists attractions you should visit in Tokyo.

First, Asakusa is the place you can see one of the most famous temples in Japan, called "Senso-Ji". Although it's located in the center of Tokyo, you can feel the traditional Japanese atmosphere in Asakusa.
Since Asakusa is a very popular spot for international and domestic tourists, there are many good restaurants in Asakusa. Soba and tempura are famous in Asakusa. Don't miss it!
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(Shibuya crossing)

There are more and more places you can have fun in Tokyo. If you want to enjoy the night life, Shibuya has many bars and clubs. Roppongi is also the place many foreign people go.

If you want to just relax and see some greenery, there are a lot of nice parks and gardens as well. Yoyogi Park, in Harajuku, is a very popular park. It's like Central Park for Tokyo.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a huge garden in Shinjuku. You won't probably feel like you're in the middle of Tokyo there.
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(Yoyogi Park)

If you are into art and historical things, Ueno has many museums in that area. But if you want to know about the history of Tokyo, Ryogoku has the best one to visit.

Everywhere you go, the most important thing is finding a good place to eat. Food is absolutely the best part of Japan trip. Look up for websites, ask locals, and follow your institution to find delicious food!

#3 Move to Osaka

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(Shinkansen N-700)

From Tokyo, it takes about 2 hours to move to Osaka by shinkansen(bullet train). It's actually very fast. It speeds around 300km/h (186mph). If you choose the night bus to move to Osaka from Tokyo, it takes about 8 hours. I don't think it's a bad option if you really want to save your money. You could save about 10,000 yen (100 USD) depending on the season, though.

#4 Enjoy Osaka and Kyoto

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(Takoyaki)

Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan, and the culture is a little different from Tokyo. Osaka was once the commercial capital of Japan in the 19th century because of the logistics advantage.
Osaka has the unique food culture. You will probably meet some food you don't really see in Tokyo. Three must-try foods are okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and Kushi katsu!
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(Osaka Castle)

Also, you might see the difference in the people. It's said that Osaka people are more open and friendly. Although there's no official reason why they are like that, I guess it's because of the historical background. There were so many merchants in Osaka before, and they developed a little informal communication culture to make things go smoother.

Except for food, you can visit Osaka castle, Tsutenkaku Tower, or Universal Studio. But again, the food is very attractive in Osaka!


Let's move to Kyoto now.
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(Gate of Fushimi Inari Shrine)

Kyoto is just next to Osaka, and it takes about only an hour from Osaka to Kyoto by train. As you may know, Kyoto is the city of Japanese traditional culture. There are a lot of old temples and shrines in the city. That was the reason America didn't attack Kyoto during World War Ⅱ.

The city itself is designated as the world heritage, and there are the strict rules about the constructions in the central area of Kyoto. Let me tell you two must-see temples and shrines. Those are called "Kiyomizu Temple" and "Fushimi Inari Shrine". They are both huge and very impressive.
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(Kiyomizu Temple)

If you really like this kind of historical sites, you should spend more days in Kyoto. If you try to visit all the major temple and shrines, you need at least two full days. And if you're not so into those places, one day is enough to see them.

#5 Fly back from Osaka

The smart way to fly back to your country is to leave from Osaka. Osaka also has a big international airport, called Kansai International airport. If you can find the plane ticket, it's way easier than taking a flight from Tokyo.
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That's pretty much it. Very typical, but I bet you will have lots of fun with this plan if it's the first time to visit Japan.
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