17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

Start: Tokyo
Train:  1 h
1
Karuizawa-machi
— 1 night
Train + Drive:  3 h 15 min
2
Shirakawa-mura
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 15 min
3
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive:  6 h
4
Izumo
— 1 night
Train:  3 h
5
Kurashiki
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h 30 min
6
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train + Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
Shirakawa-mura
— 3 nights
Drive + Train:  3 h 45 min
End: Tokyo

1
night
Karuizawa-machi

Karuizawa-machi ©
The only city in the world to have hosted both summer and winter Olympics, the resort town of Karuizawa-machi boasts clean air, impressive mountain scenery, and many outdoor activities and hot springs.
On the 30th (Sat), explore the activities along Kumoba Pond, then don't miss a visit to Karuizawa Hoshino Area, then pause for some photo ops at Stone Church, and finally identify plant and animal life at Ike no Taira Shitsugen. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: play a few rounds at Seizan Golf Course, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shinkaisansha Shrine, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nunobiki Kannon.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Karuizawa-machi travel itinerary planner.

Tokyo to Karuizawa-machi is an approximately 1.5- hour train ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in March, things will get little chillier in Karuizawa-machi: highs are around 11°C and lows about 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can travel to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Karuizawa-machi

Golf Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Ike no Taira Shitsugen, Shinkaisansha Shrine, Nunobiki Kannon
Highlights from your plan
Seizan Golf Course ©
Seizan Golf Course
Karuizawa Hoshino Area ©
Karuizawa Hoshino Area
Stone Church ©
Stone Church

1
night
Shirakawa-mura

Shirakawa-mura ©
Set amid quintessentially Japanese landscape, Shirakawa-mura consists of 16 quaint villages, including a historic village of farm houses, now designated a World Heritage Site.
On the 1st (Mon), steep yourself in history at Wada House and then take a stroll through Ogimachi.

To see other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Shirakawa-mura trip itinerary maker app.

You can do a combination of train and car from Karuizawa-machi to Shirakawa-mura in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In March in Shirakawa-mura, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Ogimachi ©
Ogimachi
Wada House ©
Wada House

3
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Motorcar Museum of Japan and Nanao Castle Ruins. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Yatsuo no Machinami (in Toyama), Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice (in Kaga) and Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple (in Nanto). There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shirayama Hime Shrine, stroll around Kanazawa Castle Park, and look for gifts at Amanatto Kawamura.

To find other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa online travel route planner.

You can drive from Shirakawa-mura to Kanazawa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in April, and nighttime lows around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to drive to Izumo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Museums Historic Sites Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Shirayama Hime Shrine, Yatsuo no Machinami, Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice, Nanao Castle Ruins, Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Motorcar Museum of Japan ©
Motorcar Museum of Japan
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum ©
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum
Nanao Castle Ruins ©
Nanao Castle Ruins

1
night
Izumo

Izumo ©
Nestled in the shadows of the Chugoku Mountains, historic Izumo boasts one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines.
On the 5th (Fri), contemplate the long history of Karakama Shrine, then learn more about the world around you at Sanbe Azukihara Burried Trees Park, and then take in the awesome beauty at Daisen-Oki National Park Mt. Sambe. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Suga Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sada Shrine, then visit a coastal fixture at Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, and finally explore the activities along Hinomisaki Coast.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Izumo travel planner.

You can drive from Kanazawa to Izumo in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. April in Izumo sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Kurashiki.

Things to do in Izumo

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Oda, Suga Shrine, Sada Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Sanbe Azukihara Burried Trees Park ©
Sanbe Azukihara Burried Trees Park
Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse ©
Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse
Hinomisaki Coast ©
Hinomisaki Coast

3
nights
Kurashiki

Kurashiki ©
A town once known for its industriousness, today Kurashiki enjoys a reputation for its architecture and art.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kibitsu Shrine and Akakabocha. Get out of town with these interesting Kurashiki side-trips: Okayama (Kibitsuhiko Shrine & Tatsunokuchi Green Shower Forest), Fukuyama (Tomo Park & Fukuzen-ji Temple) and Takahashi (Bitchu Matsuyama Castle & Bitchu Matsuyama Castle Observatory). The adventure continues: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Washu, steep yourself in history at Former Nozakike House, and stop by Naoshima Bath.

For where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Kurashiki journey website.

You can drive from Izumo to Kurashiki in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in April, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kurashiki

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Okayama, Naoshima-cho, Fukuyama, Takahashi
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Washu ©
Mt. Washu
Kibitsu Shrine ©
Kibitsu Shrine
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle ©
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

3
nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kyoto Gyoen National Garden and Keage Incline. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Miho Museum (in Koka), Ishiyamadera Temple (in Otsu) and Nantan (Kayabuki-no-sato Kitamura & The Little Indigo Museum). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple), indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto travel route planner.

Traveling by train from Kurashiki to Kyoto takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, daytime highs in Kyoto are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to travel to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Kyoto

Tours Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Otsu, Nantan, Miho Museum
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden ©
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden
Keage Incline ©
Keage Incline

3
nights
Shirakawa-mura

Shirakawa-mura ©
On the 13th (Sat), get engrossed in the history at MIBORO Dam Side Park MIBORO Electricity Museum/Shokawa Zakura Memorial, get engrossed in the history at Hataya Textile Factory Memorial Hall, then make a trip to Hongan Shozu Itoyo no Sato, and finally admire the sheer force of Ryusogadaki Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Old Toyama Folk House Museum, then contemplate the long history of Shirakawago, and then admire the masterpieces at Shirakawago Gasshozukuri Homurajin Museum.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Shirakawa-mura trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of train and car from Kyoto to Shirakawa-mura takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Kyoto in April, expect little chillier with lows of 8°C in Shirakawa-mura. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Hongan Shozu Itoyo no Sato, Hataya Textile Factory Memorial Hall, Ryusogadaki Falls
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gasshozukuri Homurajin Museum ©
Shirakawago Gasshozukuri Homurajin Museum
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Deai Bridge ©
Deai Bridge

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