Here is a sightseeing map of Japan I created that hits up some of the most popular cultural sites in Tokyo and Kyoto. If it's your first time and you're not sure what to do, this is a great start. But as always, going a bit off the beaten path will reward you with some beautiful vistas, local specialty foods, rich culture and a warm and welcoming people.

If you're planning to travel regularly by local or bullet train, consider getting a JR-PASS (non-affiliate).

Benefits of a JR Pass:

  • Save countless dollars on JR train travel
  • Unlimited travel on JR branded local and bullet trains for 7, 14 or 21 days

Things to consider about the JR Pass:

  • It is only purchasable outside Japan
  • It is only available to non-Japanese Citizens after March 2017