16 days in Japan Itinerary

16 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  13 h 15 min
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Drive:  6 h 15 min
2
Sakata
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Yonezawa
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  6 h 15 min
4
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
5
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Train + Fly:  13 h 30 min
End: Sydney

5
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama (about 30 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planner .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Sydney to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Sydney in December, things will get cooler in Tokyo: highs are around 14°C and lows about 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Sakata.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Theme Parks

Side Trip

Urayasu
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

1
night
Sakata

Sakata ©
Sakata is a city located in Yamagata Prefecture, in the Tohoku region of northern Japan.As of October 2015, the city has an estimated population of 105,022 and a population density of 174 persons per kmĀ². Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): stop by Sakata Yumenokura, explore the world behind art at Ken Domon Museum of Photography, get engrossed in the history at Hatsumago Shuzo Shiryokan Kura Tambokan, then stroll around Hachimori Nature Park, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Tamasudare Fall.

Plan a Sakata trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Drive from Tokyo to Sakata in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car. When traveling from Tokyo in December, plan for little chillier days in Sakata, with highs around 7°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Yonezawa.

Things to do in Sakata

Museums Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Ken Domon Museum of Photography ©
Ken Domon Museum of Photography
Tamasudare Fall ©
Tamasudare Fall

2
nights
Yonezawa

Yonezawa ©
Yonezawa is a city in Yamagata Prefecture, in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): make a trip to Sumomoyama Tannan Yamanokami, hit the slopes at Shichikasyuku Ski Areas, then head outdoors with Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort, then look for gifts at Yoneori Tourist Information, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Daishoji Temple. On your second day here, admire the natural beauty at Rien no Rose Garden, admire the verdant scenery at Fudosawa Bridge / Tsubakurodani, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Azuma Mountain Range, and finally head outdoors with Nishiazuma Sky Valley.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the Yonezawa road trip site .

Traveling by car from Sakata to Yonezawa takes 2.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 4°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Yonezawa

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Fukushima, Takahata-machi, Shichikasyuku Ski Areas, Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort
Highlights from your plan
Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort ©
Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, then examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine, head off the coast to Miyajima, and then step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima day trip site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yonezawa to Hiroshima. Traveling from Yonezawa in December, things will get a bit warmer in Hiroshima: highs are around 13°C and lows about 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

5
nights
Kyoto

Kyoto ©
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.
Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori) and Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate the long history of Heian Shrine, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

To see traveler tips and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip planner .

Getting from Hiroshima to Kyoto by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 10°C, while at night they dip to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

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