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Japan, with its rich culture and varied geography, has much to offer the curious visitor, not only in and around the major cities but in many of the outlying regions as well. If you want to see everything, you should plan on spending at least a year in Japan. More likely, your time will be limited to a week or two, so you'll have to be selective; this section will help you decide on an itinerary.

If you're in Japan for several weeks, you can fashion a personalized tour by combining several of these suggested itineraries, along with recommended routes provided for the Japan Alps and Kyushu. But regardless of what itinerary you plan, I am adamant about one thing: Kyoto is a must. It served as the nation's capital for more than 1,000 years and has more temples, shrines, and historic sights than any other Japanese city.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.