But the Great Britain skip does not regret the decision to go for broke in a 5-3 loss at Gangneung Curling Centre which meant her side finished outside the medals in fourth place.
“The shot was there for the game and as a skip you’re going to try to play that shot to win,” Muirhead said.
“The shot was definitely there. I played a nice one with my first. Unfortunately I just needed it to curl another centimetre and I had it.
“Curling comes down to the inch and unfortunately we were on the wrong side of it. I’m absolutely gutted.”
Defeat to Sweden in Friday’s semi-final saw Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray fall into the battle for bronze, which they won at Sochi 2014.
In a tactical encounter, Japan were 3-2 down and blanked the sixth and seventh ends to retain possession of the hammer before drawing level in the eighth end.
A fine shot by Japan skip Satsuki Fujisawa piled the pressure on Muirhead in the ninth, but the 27-year-old missed her attempted takeout. Britain had the scoring stone as Muirhead threw the last stone of the 10th end, but instead of scoring two points for the victory – or even one to force an extra end – her shot pushed a Japanese stone further into the house to seal defeat.
Muirhead said: “Every game you lose is hard. This time around it is very hard. It’s really difficult to reflect on it just now.”