17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  15​h
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Matsumoto
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Kanazawa
— 1 night
train:  2​h 30​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
5
Osaka
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
6
Okayama
— 1 night
train:  4​h 30​min
7
Kirishima
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 15​min
8
Yakushima-cho
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  6​h
9
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: London

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 day-by-day itinerary now includes Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku as well as Robot Restaurant. Kick off your visit on the 8th (Tue): take in a show at Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then view the masterpieces at Tokyo Little House, and finally appreciate the history behind Hachiko. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, admire the striking features of Tokyo Skytree, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sensō-ji, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

London, UK to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Japan Standard Time is 9 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from London in October: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 26°C and lows are around 18°C. You will have some time to spend on the 10th (Thu) before leaving for Matsumoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Nightlife Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Matsumoto day trip site .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Matsumoto in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In October, Matsumoto is little chillier than Tokyo - with highs of 21°C and lows of 14°C. On the 11th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks Historic Sites Museums

1
night
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple.

To see reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Kanazawa route planner.

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Kanazawa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

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.
On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Daigo-ji Temple, contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

To see maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

Take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
On the 15th (Tue), get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan and then take in panoramic vistas at Kuchu Teien Observatory. On the 16th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and finally shop like a local with Dotonbori.

To find photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka online itinerary maker .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. In October in Osaka, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Okayama.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
night
Okayama

Okayama ©
A major transit hub in western Japan, Okayama provides a convenient mid-point between Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
You've now added Naoshima to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): stroll around Nishigawa Canal Park, step off the mainland to explore Naoshima, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kibitsuhiko Shrine.

To find traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Okayama trip planner .

You can take a train from Osaka to Okayama in an hour. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Okayama are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can take a train to Kirishima.

Things to do in Okayama

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Naoshima
Highlights from your plan
Naoshima ©
Naoshima
Kibitsuhiko Shrine ©
Kibitsuhiko Shrine

2
nights
Kirishima

Kirishima ©
The city of Kirishima, established in 2005 by the merging of several smaller towns, makes a popular base for exploring the volcanic mountain range of the surrounding national park.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): don't miss a visit to Kareigawa Station, admire the sheer force of Maruo Falls, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kirishima Shrine. On your second day here, wander the wide-open spaces of Takachiho Ranch, then walk around Kirishima Shinwanosato Park, then test the waters at a local thermal spa, and finally make a trip to Kagoshima Airport (KOJ).

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Kirishima trip planner.

You can take a train from Okayama to Kirishima in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in October, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Kirishima

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Takachiho Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Maruo Falls ©
Maruo Falls
Kirishima Shrine ©
Kirishima Shrine
Kareigawa Station ©
Kareigawa Station

1
night
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sun): make a trip to Wilson Stump, then take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, then make a trip to Jōmon Sugi, and finally indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens. On the next day, explore the striking landscape of Yakusugi Land.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho online route builder .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Kirishima to Yakushima-cho in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and taxi. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Kirishima in October since evenings lows in Yakushima-cho dip to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Wilson Stump ©
Wilson Stump

2
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku as well as Robot Restaurant. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, take in a show at Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku, then see the interesting displays at Samurai Museum, and finally take in a show at Robot Restaurant.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo trip itinerary site .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Yakushima-cho to Tokyo in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and flight. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Yakushima-cho in October, with highs in Tokyo at 26°C and lows at 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Nightlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Robot Restaurant ©
Robot Restaurant

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