13 days in Japan Itinerary

13 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly to Tokyo Haneda, Train to Kyoto
1
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Nara
— 1 night
Drive
3
Osaka
— 1 night
Drive
4
Kobe
— 1 night
Drive
5
Himeji
— 1 night
Train
6
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
7
Okayama
— 1 night
Fly
8
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Fly

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Kyoto

— 2 nights
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Sanjusangendo Temple. Your inner history buff will appreciate Kinkaku-ji and Ryoanji Temple. There's much more to do: make a trip to Nijo Castle, cast your line with Hero Tour Japan, take a stroll through Gion, and contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip itinerary maker.

Chicago, USA to Kyoto is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 15 hours traveling from Chicago to Kyoto. Traveling from Chicago in May, things will get somewhat warmer in Kyoto: highs are around 77°F and lows about 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Nara

— 1 night

Ancient City

The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
On the 9th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, take in the spiritual surroundings of Todai-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, then stroll around Nara Park, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Nara online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Kyoto in May since evenings lows in Nara dip to 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Wildlife · Parks · Museums

Osaka

— 1 night
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
On the 10th (Mon), step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, then stop by Naniwa Meibutsu Ichibirian Dotombori, then wander the streets of Dotombori District, and finally take a stroll through Minami (Namba).

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Osaka trip itinerary maker tool.

Getting from Nara to Osaka by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a train. Traveling from Nara in May, plan for a bit cooler nights in Osaka, with lows around 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Kobe

— 1 night
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): shop like a local with Art Nomura, get outside with Suma Beach, see the interesting displays at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, then pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Kobe Chuo Church, and finally wander the streets of Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown).

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Kobe itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Osaka to Kobe takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. While traveling from Osaka, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Kobe, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Himeji.

Things to do in Kobe

Shopping · Museums · Beaches · Parks

Himeji

— 1 night
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
On the 12th (Wed), admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, make a trip to Himeji Castle, then contemplate the long history of Nishi no Maru, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Yoneda Taishiji Temple.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Himeji holiday builder site.

Traveling by car from Kobe to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In May, plan for daily highs up to 71°F, and evening lows to 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trip

Hiroshima

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
On the 13th (Thu), admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, then contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, then take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome. On the next day, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, then examine the collection at Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip maker app.

You can take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In May in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can take a train to Okayama.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Okayama

— 1 night
A major transit hub in western Japan, Okayama provides a convenient mid-point between Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kibitsu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kibitsuhiko Shrine, then grab your bike and head to Kibi Plain Bicycle Route, then step into the grandiose world of Okayama Castle, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Okayama Korakuen Garden.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Okayama trip itinerary planning site.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Okayama in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or take a bus. May in Okayama sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 57°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Okayama

Historic Sites · Parks · Trails · Outdoors

Side Trip

Tokyo

— 2 nights
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then take a stroll through Odaiba District, and then don't miss a visit to Shibuya Crossing. On the next day, wander the streets of Ginza, then explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and finally stop by Akihabara.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo trip planning app.

Getting from Okayama to Tokyo by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In May in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 76°F during the day and 61°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.