Japan Travel: Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Tokyo, Osaka.

Japan Travel Itinerary

Japan Travel: 14 Day Itinerary

Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Tokyo, Osaka

Is it your dream to travel to Japan? It has been my dream for many years, especially to visit Japan in springtime for the sakura or cherry blossom season between late March and into May.

Of course, it can be dauntingly expensive to travel to Japan (especially from Europe) and to then explore several Japanese cities in this peak travel season.

But, in late March this year and right at the start of the sakura season, we had an opportunity to travel to Japan on a budget after visiting our son and his family who live in Daegu, South Korea.

We decided, after our family visit was over, that we would take the KTX Train – Korean bullet train – down to Busan in South Korea and fly from Busan’s (Gimhae) Airport over to Fukuoka in Japan.

Japan in Sakura season
A trip to Japan during ‘sakura’ the cherry blossom season has long been on my travel bucket list!



Fukuoka – our gateway to travel to Japan – is only a one-hour flight from Busan.

We planned to spend fourteen days in Japan in four different cities.

Day 1-4 in Fukuoka.

Day 4-7 in Hiroshima – including a day trip to Miyajima.

Day 7-10 in Tokyo.

Day 10-13 in Osaka.

Day 14 Osaka Kansai Airport Hotel.

First, we’d spend four days and three nights exploring Fukuoka before taking the Shinkansen – the Japanese Bullet Train – to Hiroshima. We would also stay three nights in Hiroshima.

We also planned a day trip to Miyajima Island while staying in Hiroshima

Our third city on this trip to Japan was to be Tokyo for three nights.

In planning our itinerary, it actually worked out less expensive to fly from Hiroshima onto Tokyo than to take the train.

Our fourth city was Osaka – this time only for 2 nights – because in the planning stages we found our exit flight from Japan to Malaysia was much less expensive flying from Osaka than if we were to fly out from Tokyo.

Which explains why we didn’t finish up our trip in the Japanese Capital.

We are always conscious of our travel budget and were determined to keep a keen eye on the costs of transport and accommodations on this trip.

To show you how it is possible to do a two-week trip to travel to Japan on a budget for two people – I will be sharing our total transport and accomodation costs with you right at the end of this post.

Firstly, I do want to tell you about prepaid travel cards for travel to Japan.


I wrote a post for you (click the image above) about the discounted tourist travel cards – Suica Cards and Japanese Rail Passes (JR Pass) that you need – and absolutely must read – if you’re planning your trip to Japan. Suica Cards, in particular, help make travel around Japan so much easier.

You load cash on the card and just swipe to board a local train, bus, tram, or ferry, etc.

You can also use the Suica card in some shops and vending machines.

The JR Pass is a tourist-only discount prepaid card for intercity travel. Eg: Shinkansen Bullet Trains.

In my post – Should I Buy A Suica Card – I explain the differences between the Suica Card and the JR Pass and how you can order them BEFORE you arrive and how to collect them in Japan.



We absolutely loved Fukuoka and we plan to go back there for a longer stay next time because we enjoyed the city so much. In a recent survey, Fukuoka is consistently rated as the best city in Japan for a good lifestyle.

In Fukuoka, our itinerary included culture in seeing the World’s Largest reclining Buddha at the Nanzoin Temple and wandering around the beautiful Japanese garden in bloom with cherry blossoms at Nanzoin.

The Backpacking Housewife at The worlds largest reclining buddha at Nanzoin

Fukuoka is a food city and so eating Hakata Ramen at the original and famous ramen restaurant was a must.

We also wanted to see the famously extravagant musical fountains at the Canal City Mall in Fukuoka and to try a highball (whisky) in a Highball Bar.

Hakata is famous for its yatai or street-food ‘tents’ that specialise in fresh local dishes – often seafood – and which pop up each evening along the streets flanking the canal.

Eating at a Yatai is popular with both locals and tourists and we had a fabulous experience eating in a Yatai and met some very interesting and fun new friends.

You can read more about this – and see a video I made – in my post on our adventures in Fukuoka!

Where we stayed in Fukuoka:

From Fukuoka Airport (FUK) we took the airport express train to the main Hakata Station. Then we took a metro train to Nakasu Kawabata Station.

We stayed at Hotel Hakata Nakasu Inn booked using (affiliate link) Booking Dotcom

Our hotel was in the central Hakata district of Nakasu in Fukuoka and a short walk away from everything we wanted to see and do in Hakata and from the nearest metro train station (1350 feet away).

Read my entire post on our trip to Fukuoka: Fukuoka – Gateway To Japan.


Hiroshima Castle
Japan Travel Shukkeien Garden Hiroshima

Hiroshima was everything and more than I ever expected from the dark tourism aspect of the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park and the Atomic Dome to The Peace Museum - an emotional experience – and one I immediately spoke about on video.

HIROSHIMA PEACE MUSEUM #travel #japan #japantravel #hiroshimapeacememorialpark

Also in Hiroshima, we visited ancient Hiroshima Castle with its Samurai Exhibit and enjoyed the cherry blossoms and beautiful Shukkeien Japanese Gardens.

Please do read all my posts with photos and videos of our time in Hiroshima.

Where we stayed in Hiroshima:

After arriving in Hiroshima on the Shinkansen Bullet Train from Fukuoka, we made our way to central Hiroshima using the metro/subway to XX Station.

We stayed at J-Hoppers Guest House in a very comfortable private double room just a 10-minute walk from the Peace Park.

Our room at J-Hoppers was clean and comfortable and in traditional Japanese style that I would highly recommend you try.

I made a video about it in case you are wary of considering staying in a hostel.

It simply suited our budget and allowed for a more expensive hotel in Tokyo.

Staying in a Hostel in Hiroshima Japan


Miyajima: 1200 year old pot of tea
japan travel miyajima food guide

We also travelled to and explored Miyajima Island – an easy day trip from Hiroshima by tram to the port and then a short ferry over to the island – where the first thing you see from your viewpoint on the Island Sea is the famous Miyajima Torii Gate.

Miyajima is a fantastic place. It was a real adventure and an absolute highlight of our entire trip.

We were able to enjoy Miyajima’s fabulous food and also take the ‘ropeway’ of cable cars up to Mount Misen.

Then we hiked to the most exciting thing ever – The Shrine of the Eternal Flame – at the top of the mountain.

Inside the Shrine of the Eternal Flame, where the fire has been burning continually for the past 1200 years (the flame that was used as the source to light the Peace Flame in Hiroshima Memorial peace Park) there is a big pot of tea brewing that you can take drink that is said to have healing properties.

I really wanted to try that 1200-year-old cup of tea!

Do read more about and see my photos and videos of this fabulous day!

Miyajima: A 1200 Year Old Pot Of Tea #japan #miyajima #japantravelguide


Highlights of Tokyo Featured Image
Tokyo Tower Header

Wow – what can I say about the world’s largest city? Sensory overload!

I absolutely loved our three days in Tokyo. Of course, it certainly wasn’t long enough to even scratch the surface of things to do and see and experience in Tokyo but we packed a lot in.

We travelled easily around the city swiping our Suica Cards and using the street trams and the subway system.

I’d love you to read my post, see my photos and my videos, of the fantastic time we had in my Highlights of Tokyo post.

We went to the top of the Tokyo Tower.

Japan Travel: Tokyo Tower #japan #travel #tokyo #tokyotower

We ate sushi and steak and walked around all of the most popular and quirky city centre districts of Tokyo.

We went to the Senso-Ji Temple – the oldest shrine in the city and the most visited in Japan.

We walked (several times just for the fun of it) across the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing known as ‘Scramble Crossing’ and we wandered with the masses around Ueno Park – Tokyo’s largest park – to truly admire the cherry blossoms of Tokyo!

In Tokyo we stayed in a great location at Hotel Monterey Akasaka in Minato City Akasaka.

JAPAN: TOKYO SHIBUYA 'SCRAMBLE' CROSSING! #japan #shibuya #tokyo #travel



We flew on a budget flight from Tokyo to the City of Osaka and then we took the airport train into the city centre district of Namba.

It was wonderful wandering along the canal walkways and across the bridges to see Osaka in the daytime, but even more exciting when we returned after dark, to see Dotonbori Street sparkling in all its neon-light glory!

Dotonbori is the famous tourist area and the subject of many action movies with its huge animated crustaceans and billboards and advertising posters.

JAPAN TRAVEL: DOTONBORI STREET OSAKA #japan #japantravel #osaka #travel #midlifetravel

Osaka is known as a Japanese foodie city and we enjoyed trying the local specialties and dining at many of the smaller and more curious ‘hole in the wall’ style eateries.

Our hotel was – importantly – just a ten-minute walk away from Dotonbori Street.

We stayed at The Holiday Inn Osaka Namba just a few minutes’ walk from Namba Station and the Sinsaibashi shopping area.

We booked all our accommodation in Japan with (affiliate link) Booking.com

We stayed in Osaka for two nights before heading over to Osaka Airport for a night in order to meet with an early flight.

It’s worth bearing in mind that although transport links are good – Kansai International Airport (KIX) – is about 45km (over 20 miles) from the city centre.

We stayed at the convenient (affiliate link) Kansai Airport Washington Hotel.

But if you want to do more than we did in Osaka – like spend a day at Japan’s Universal Studios or visit a Grand Shrine and Osaka Castle then you might like to spend a few days more in this wonderful city.

I do hope you’ll explore all my posts from our Japan adventure.

This trip to Japan really was incredible in so many ways.

I had high expectations to start with but I was still bowled over by it all.

I’m already dreaming of our return to explore more of Japan.

What a truly amazing country and fantastic travel destination!


I promised you a breakdown of our transport and accommodation costs for our 14 day / 12-night trip to Japan.

Please note: I don’t include any food and drink costs as you have to eat and drink wherever you are and everyone’s budget and preferences are different.

We mostly eat a breakfast included in our hotel rate. Street food for lunch and sometimes that’s a yummy Lawson’s sandwich. Then a mid-priced restaurant for dinner. Occasionally we do splash out and go out for something special.

Neither have I included the cost of entry to any tourist attractions.

Again, it’s a personal choice and current prices can always be sourced using the internet. I do include information and links on buying tickets in my posts.

Do note we travel light. Hand luggage only. No checked bags on flights.

Hotels: We pre-booked our accommodations in Japan with Booking.com

Trains: We use 12Go, Train apps, and Google maps for timetables and tickets.

Flights: We look up flights on Skyscanner. Book flights directly with the airline.

Below are TOTAL COSTS for TWO PEOPLE in UK£ (& approx) US$:

Day 1: Fly one-way from South Korea to Fukuoka Japan: £60 or $75

On arrival we collect 2 Suica local transport cards. Total value: £50 or $63

Day 1-4: We stayed at Hotel Hakata Nakasu Inn – Fukuoka – 3 nights: £113 or $142

Shinkansen Bullet Train (using 12GO as not payable on SUICA) Fukuoka to Hiroshima: £87 or $110

Day 4-7: We stayed at J-Hoppers Guest House in Hiroshima – 3 nights: £90 or $115

We took the tram and ferry over to Miyajima Island using our prepaid Suica Cards.

Day 7-10: We flew from Hiroshima to Tokyo: £60 or $75

We stayed Hotel Monterey Akasaka in Tokyo – 3 nights: £240 or $308

Day 10-13: We flew from Tokyo to Osaka: £80 or $100

We stayed at The Holiday Inn Osaka Namba Hotel in Osaka – 2-nights: Free on IHG Loyalty Points

Day 14: One night at Kansai Airport Washington Hotel at Osaka Airport: £70 or $100

Departure: We flew on one-way tickets with Air Asia from Osaka to Penang Malaysia:  £140 or $180 (an amazing price btw).

Total cost of all transport and accommodation for two people for two weeks in Japan exploring Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Tokyo and Osaka: £990 or $1,245

Less than £1000!!

Have you found these costing helpful?

Have you found my posts on Japan informative?

Are you planning a trip to Japan?

What cities do you plan to visit?

Let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Affiliated Declaration The Backpacking Housewife

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Sharon (56) -

Hi Janice

I would find it useful to know things like how much an average lunch/dinner cost as these are the things that make up a true budget. I also notice none of the posts have dates, would you be able to add dates on future ones? I find it useful to know how up to date the information is. I’m completely inspired and one day this will be me 🙂


Hi Sharon – thanks so much for your message and for your requests regarding food budgets and dates on posts. I do explain in my post – on our two week trip to Japan – that food costs are not included in my budget because of two factors: you have to eat wherever you are so its not really an optional extra and also everyone’s food budget and dietary requirements are different. Regarding dates on posts – I agree that this would be helpful – and so I’m now looking into dating posts with the additional information on dates of updates as all the posts on my site are evergreen and also regularly updated. Thank you for telling me you find my website inspiring – that has absolutely made my day! Janice xx


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