16 days in Japan Itinerary

16 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train + bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
train:  5​h
3
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
5
Nara
— 1 night
train:  45​min
6
Osaka
— 4 nights
Fly:  13​h 45​min
End: San Francisco

3
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tokyo National Museum and Takeshita Street. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, make a trip to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, and admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower.

For traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tokyo online day trip planner .

San Francisco, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 17 hour difference. In October, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

1
night
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi planning tool .

Getting from Tokyo to Hakone-machi by combination of train and bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Tokyo in October: highs in Hakone-machi hover around 62°F, while lows dip to 59°F. On the 6th (Tue), you're off toHiroshima.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Parks Historic Sites Museums

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 7th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome. On the next day, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, head off the coast to Miyajima, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Itsukushima Shrine.

For where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima trip itinerary website .

Traveling by train from Hakone-machi to Hiroshima takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. While traveling from Hakone-machi, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Hiroshima, ranging from highs of 73°F to lows of 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

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

3
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.
Get some historical perspective at Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Get some cultural insight at Nijo Castle and Gion. Take a break from Kyoto with a short trip to Ritsuin Temple in Otsu, about 32 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Nishiki Market Shopping District, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkakuji Temple, and steep yourself in history at Kyoto Imperial Palace.

To find maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 74°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Ritsuin Temple
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

1
night
Nara

Nara ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): stop by Yu Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten Japan City Nara Sanjo, see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Nara trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of subway and train. In October, daytime highs in Nara are 74°F, while nighttime lows are 64°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

4
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
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.
For shopping fun, head to Dotonbori or Jikko Japanese Knife Shop Namba Skyo. Himeji Castle and Osaka Castle are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Osaka's surroundings by going to Koya-cho (Koyasan Okunoin & Torodo Temple). There's much more to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, take a stroll around Daimaru Museum Umeda, see the interesting displays at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, and take a stroll through Minami (Namba).

To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka trip itinerary site .

Traveling by train from Nara to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Nara in October, Osaka is a bit cooler at night with lows of 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Himeji Castle
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

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