A Japan Itinerary That Hits All the Must-See Spots

Jewelry designer Maya Brenner and her foodie boyfriend did all the legwork for you.

A Japan Itinerary That Hits All the Must-See Spots

The only not-fun thing about traveling is planning. Maybe some people like that process—researching, whittling down your options, making an itinerary—but we’re the sort that just wants to gooo! Nowww!

So when someone whose taste we trust, like jewelry designer Maya Brenner and her restaurateur boyfriend Dustin Lancaster, offered to share their kid-friendly trip to Tokyo and Kyoto, we were all too ready to accept.

If you’re planning your own trip to Japan, read the below for where to stay, what to see, eat, and do—and of course, where to shop.

“‘Where do you guys want to go on spring break? We each get to name two places. Go.’ That was the question my boyfriend Dustin and I posed to my 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. We hadn’t traveled out of the country together in years and learned the hard way last spring break that not having something to do for those two weeks wasn’t an option. There were some usual suspects that made the cut—Paris and Hawaii—but the only constant that made all four of our lists was Japan.

“I’m not sure if it was the allure of the refined and somewhat mysterious culture, the endless Instagram shots of incredible cuisine, or maybe the opportunity to catch the sakura (cherry blossoms) in full effect. I guess it was a bit of everything combined, but regardless, we had our destination, and the research and planning were in full effect. We bought our tickets, booked our hotel accommodations and connected with a personal concierge service to help steer us in the right direction.

“The latter is highly recommended, by the way, as it’s not easy to traverse the country if you don’t speak the language. Not only did Japan exceed our expectations, which were astronomically high already, but it was transformative emotionally and beyond. So much so that my son asked when we got back if he could go to college there. How’s that for a trip?”

“Harajuku is an area known for fashion-forward youth, shopping, and the Totti Candy factory that had cotton candy bigger than our heads.”
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