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
1
Osaka
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
2
Kobe
— 1 day
train:  30​min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
train:  4​h 30​min
4
Takayama
— 3 nights
train:  4​h 45​min
5
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
6
Nikko
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  12​h 30​min
End: Sydney

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Tue): get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan and then shop like a local with Dotonbori.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Osaka online tour itinerary planner .

Sydney, Australia to Osaka is an approximately 13-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Sydney to Osaka, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In May, Osaka is a bit warmer than Sydney - with highs of 29°C and lows of 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): admire the verdant scenery at Arima Onsen, wander the streets of Kobe Harborland, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kobe Muslim Mosque, and finally wander the streets of Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown).

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Kobe trip itinerary maker tool .

Kobe is just a short distance from Osaka. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Osaka in May: highs in Kobe hover around 25°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Shopping Neighborhoods Baths
Highlights from your plan
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland
Kobe Muslim Mosque ©
Kobe Muslim Mosque

2
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): make a trip to Hōzen-ji Temple, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. On the 15th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Osaka trip itinerary planner .

Osaka is very close to Kobe. Traveling from Kobe in May, expect nights in Osaka to be about the same, around 18°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kyoto, Nara, Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple)
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Appreciate the collections at Takayama Showa Museum and Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato). Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Ainokura Gassho Community and Shirakabe Dozogai. Venture out of the city with trips to Norikura Kogen (Highland) (in Matsumoto) and Kanda house (in Shirakawa-mura). The adventure continues: admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, see the interesting displays at Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and take an in-depth tour of Takayama Museum of History and Art.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Takayama online travel route planner .

You can drive from Osaka to Takayama in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tokyo.

Things to do in Takayama

Parks Wildlife Winter Sports

Side Trips

Norikura Kogen (Highland), Kanda house, Ainokura Gassho Community, Shirakabe Dozogai
Highlights from your plan
Norikura Kogen (Highland) ©
Norikura Kogen (Highland)
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): explore the world behind art at Nezu Museum and then take a stroll through Odaiba. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the long history of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ikegami Hommon-ji Temple, then admire the masterpieces at The National Art Center, Tokyo, and finally make a trip to Naritasan Omote Sando.

To see more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo tour builder .

Getting from Takayama to Tokyo by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Naritasan Omote Sando, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Museum ©
Nezu Museum
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine ©
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Naritasan Omote Sando ©
Naritasan Omote Sando

2
nights
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Kanaya Hotel History House, contemplate the long history of Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi Shrine, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Nantai, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nikko Futarasan jinja, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Cryptomeria Avenue. On your second day here, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Kawamata Onsen, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Onsenji Temple, and then trek along Odashirogahara.

For ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the Nikko online tour builder .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Nikko in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Tokyo in May: highs in Nikko hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Odashirogahara ©
Odashirogahara
Onsenji Temple ©
Onsenji Temple
Kanaya Hotel History House ©
Kanaya Hotel History House

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Appreciate the collections at Fire Museum and Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Sensō-ji and Asakusa Shrine. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Kamakura (Kencho-ji Temple, Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), & more). Explore Tokyo further: steep yourself in history at Nezu Shrine, take a stroll through Ueno, and don't miss a visit to Shibuya Crossing.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip maker site .

You can take a train from Nikko to Tokyo in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Nikko in May, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 19°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Kamakura
Highlights from your plan
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine

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