18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Athens
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h
2
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
train:  4​h
3
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
4
Kobe
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Nara
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Kanazawa
— 1 night
train:  1​h 30​min
7
Nagano
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
8
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
9
Narita
— 1 night
train + Fly:  19​h
End: Athens

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.
You've added Imperial Palace, Ueno, Akihabara, and other attractions to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo City View Observation Deck (Roppongihills).

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

Athens, Greece to Tokyo is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 7 hours traveling from Athens to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Athens in November, expect Tokyo to be a bit cooler, temps between 19°C and 11°C. On the 25th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Ueno ©
Ueno

2
nights
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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Little Prince Museum, Onshi Hakone Park, Hakone Yuryo, and other attractions. Get a sense of the local culture at Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu and Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja. Step out of the city life by going to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Mt. Marudake. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hakone-machi: Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine (in Fujiyoshida), Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine (in Fujinomiya) and Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (Doryoson) (in Minamiashigara). There's lots more to do: explore the world behind art at Hakone Museum of Art, take in the spiritual surroundings of Choanji Temple, appreciate the extensive heritage of Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle Historic Park, and take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Sengen (Hakone-machi).

To find reviews and other tourist information, read our Hakone-machi online road trip planner .

Getting from Tokyo to Hakone-machi by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Hakone-machi, ranging from highs of 13°C to lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Fujiyoshida, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (Doryoson), Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle Historic Park, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Choanji Temple ©
Choanji Temple
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©
Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine ©
Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ninna-ji Temple and Kennin-ji Temple. Visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Shimogamo Jinja for their historical value. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Uji to see Obakusan Manpuku - ji Temple about 34 minutes away. There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jojakkoji Temple, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

Plan a Kyoto trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Take a train from Hakone-machi to Kyoto in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. When traveling from Hakone-machi in November, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Kyoto: temperatures range from 19°C by day to 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Nature

Side Trips

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Obakusan Manpuku - ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Ninna-ji Temple ©
Ninna-ji Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

few
hours
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.
To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Kobe tour itinerary maker .

Kobe is just a short distance from Kyoto. In December in Kobe, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 6°C at night. On the 1st (Sun), you're off toNara.

Things to do in Kobe

Historic Sites Parks Museums

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 1st (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Horyu-ji Temple, get engrossed in the history at Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, walk around Nara Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Harushika Brewery. On the 2nd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Omiwa Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hase-dera Temple, then take in nature's colorful creations at Yoshikien, and finally admire the striking features of Nara National Museum.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Nara trip maker tool .

You can drive from Kobe to Nara in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a train. In December, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 6°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Sakurai, Horyu-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Shirayama Hime Shrine and then make a trip to Higashichaya Old Town.

To find traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa trip maker .

Getting from Nara to Kanazawa by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nara in December, plan for a bit cooler nights in Kanazawa, with lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Shirayama Hime Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town
Shirayama Hime Shrine ©
Shirayama Hime Shrine

2
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): contemplate the long history of Matsushiro, steep yourself in history at Sanada House, fly down the slopes at Myoko Kogen, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Togakushi Shrine Okusha, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenko-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenkoji Sesonin Shakado Temple. On the 4th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Saiho-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Jinja Hokosha, get engrossed in the history at Togakushi Folk Museum Togakushi Ninja Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Joko-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ganshoin Temple, and finally hit the slopes at Shiga Kogen.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Nagano day trip tool .

Getting from Kanazawa to Nagano by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or drive. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Kanazawa in December; daily highs in Nagano reach 7°C and lows reach 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nagano

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Obuse-machi, Myoko Kogen
Highlights from your plan
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Myoko Kogen ©
Myoko Kogen
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Your list of things to see and do now includes Rikugien Garden, Shibuya Crossing, Kichijoji, and other attractions. Do some cultural sightseeing at Engaku-ji Temple and Hozomon. Explore hidden gems such as Nezu Shrine and Kanda Myojin. Step out of Tokyo to go to Sakae and see Yokohama Nature Sanctuary, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. See even more of Tokyo: take a stroll through Yanaka, stroll around Kokyo Gaien National Garden, and explore the world behind art at National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Tokyo holiday planning app .

Take a train from Nagano to Tokyo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, Tokyo is a bit warmer than Nagano - with highs of 14°C and lows of 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Narita.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Musashino, Ghibli Museum Mitaka, Engaku-ji Temple, Yokohama Nature Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Yokohama Nature Sanctuary ©
Yokohama Nature Sanctuary
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Engaku-ji Temple ©
Engaku-ji Temple

1
night
Narita

Narita ©
Pilgrims and aviators come to Narita, a town known during the Edo period for its temple, and now known primarily for its airport.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Dakini Tendo (Shusse Inari), take in the spiritual surroundings of Three-storied Pagoda, then don't miss a visit to Naritasan Omote Sando, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Makata Shrine, and finally get engrossed in the history at National Museum of Japanese History.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Narita day trip website .

Take a train from Tokyo to Narita in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Narita when traveling from Tokyo in December, with lows around 1°C. You will have some time to spend on the 9th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Narita

Historic Sites Spas Wildlife

Side Trip

Sakura
Highlights from your plan
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple ©
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple
Naritasan Omote Sando ©
Naritasan Omote Sando
Makata Shrine ©
Makata Shrine

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