16 days in Japan Itinerary

16 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Austin
Drive + Fly:  18 h 45 min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train:  3 h
2
Matsumoto
— Few hours
Train:  4 h
3
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Train:  30 min
4
Osaka
— 3 nights
Train:  30 min
5
Kobe
— 1 day
Train:  1 h 15 min
6
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Fly:  23 h
End: Austin

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.
Let the collections at Edo-Tokyo Museum and National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan capture your imagination. Get a sense of the local culture at Tokyo National Museum and Odaiba. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Enoshima Island (in Fujisawa) and Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine & Kamakura Hiking Trails). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Ginza, ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace, stop by Akihabara, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the Tokyo day trip planner.

Austin, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 19- hour combination of car and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of bus and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 15 hours traveling from Austin to Tokyo. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Austin in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 54°F and lows are around 39°F. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kamakura, Enoshima Island
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

few
hours
Matsumoto

Matsumoto ©
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): contemplate the long history of Yohashira Shrine, make a trip to Matsumoto Castle, then admire the masterpieces at Matsumoto City Art Museum, then wander the streets of Nakamachi Street, and finally wander the streets of Nawate Shopping District.

For reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Matsumoto trip planning app.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Matsumoto in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Tokyo in December: high temperatures in Matsumoto hover around 43°F and lows are around 32°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto City Art Museum ©
Matsumoto City Art Museum
Yohashira Shrine ©
Yohashira Shrine

6
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.
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Shop till you drop at Nishiki Market Shopping District and Kyoto Kimono Rental Sakura. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Otsu (Seta Golf Course West Course, Seta Golf Course North Course, &more) and Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art (in Oyamazaki-cho). There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Gion, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, wander the streets of Arashiyama, and take an in-depth tour of Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Kyoto vacation app.

Traveling by train from Matsumoto to Kyoto takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, Kyoto is somewhat warmer than Matsumoto - with highs of 52°F and lows of 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Otsu, Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Dotombori and Nara Park. Let the collections at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center and Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda capture your imagination. Explore Osaka's surroundings by going to Nara (Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum, Tokondo, &more) and Ibaraki Municipal Kawabata Yasunari Literature Museum (in Ibaraki). The adventure continues: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, take an in-depth tour of Peace Osaka, and wander the streets of Minami (Namba).

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka trip tool.

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. In December, daytime highs in Osaka are 52°F, while nighttime lows are 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Nara, The World Money Box Museum, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda, National Museum of Ethnology, Ibaraki Municipal Kawabata Yasunari Literature Museum
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
day
Kobe

Kobe ©
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.
On the 1st (Sat), soak in some Japanese tradition at Arima Onsen, examine the collection at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, see the interesting displays at UCC Coffee Museum, see the interesting displays at Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, then contemplate the long history of House of Line, and finally make a trip to Kobe Kitano Museum (Ijinkan-gai).

To find maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Kobe trip planning app.

Kobe is very close to Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 48°F in January, and nighttime lows around 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kobe

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum ©
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown) ©
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland

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 2nd (Sun): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then steep yourself in history at Peace Flame, then take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and finally steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima trip planner.

You can take a train from Kobe to Hiroshima in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 49°F in January, and nighttime lows around 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Spas
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

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