18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
2
Fuji
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
5
Nara
— Few hours
train:  2​h 30​min
6
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  2​h
7
Osaka
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Hashimoto
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  15​h 45​min
End: Auckland

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Enoshima Island and Mother Farm. Venture out of the city with trips to Yokosuka (Akiya, Tateishi Coast & Tateishi Park), Taiyo no Kisetsu Monument (in Zushi) and Isshiki Beach (in Hayama-machi).

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

Auckland, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Auckland to Tokyo, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Auckland in July, expect Tokyo to be much hotter, temps between 36°C and 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Fuji.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Yokosuka, Mother Farm, Taiyo no Kisetsu Monument, Enoshima Island, Isshiki Beach
Highlights from your plan
Enoshima Island ©
Enoshima Island
Mother Farm ©
Mother Farm
Tateishi Park ©
Tateishi Park

2
nights
Fuji

Fuji
Fuji is a city in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. On the 12th (Fri), take in the dramatic scenery at Odana Falls.

To find ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Fuji route builder tool .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Fuji in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. When traveling from Tokyo in July, plan for little chillier days in Fuji, with highs around 32°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Fuji

Outdoors Parks Nature

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sun): take in the dramatic scenery at Osakacho Waterfalls, then wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, then contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Daiouji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, enjoy breathtaking views from Tenshukakau Observatory, then enjoy breathtaking views from Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, and finally don't miss a visit to The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses.

For maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Takayama trip planner .

Traveling by car from Fuji to Takayama takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Takayama can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Osakacho Waterfalls
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Osakacho Waterfalls ©
Osakacho Waterfalls

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Komyoin, and then don't miss a visit to Fushimi Sake Village. Keep things going the next day: admire the striking features of Daigo-ji Temple Goju Tower, take in the spiritual surroundings of Takebe Taisha Shrine, make a trip to Hokai-ji Temple, then make a trip to Hyakujoyama Sekiho Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yokokuji Temple, and finally take an in-depth tour of Muko City Cultural Museum.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Kyoto travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kyoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Takebe Taisha Shrine, Muko City Cultural Museum, Yokokuji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Takebe Taisha Shrine ©
Takebe Taisha Shrine
Daigo-ji Temple Goju Tower ©
Daigo-ji Temple Goju Tower

few
hours
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 18th (Thu): make a trip to Shoryakuji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Gango-ji Temple, then steep yourself in history at Nishinokyo District, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Nara trip planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of subway and train. In July, daytime highs in Nara are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 31°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Shoryakuji Temple ©
Shoryakuji Temple
Gango-ji Temple ©
Gango-ji Temple

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Fri): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Ogonzan, stroll around Motoujina Park, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Setonaikai.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima trip planning website .

You can take a train from Nara to Hiroshima in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Setonaikai ©
Setonaikai
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Miyajima ©
Miyajima

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Horaku-ji Temple. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, examine the collection at Alphonse Mucha Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumata Shrine, and take in panoramic vistas at Osaka Prefectural Government Sakishima Building Observatory.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Osaka trip app .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Osaka takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In July in Osaka, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can travel to Hashimoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Parks Fun & Games

Side Trips

Sakai, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine ©
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge ©
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

1
night
Hashimoto

Hashimoto ©
Hashimoto is a city located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Wed): admire the landmark architecture of Kamuro Karukayado, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, take in the spiritual surroundings of Saito, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumagai-ji Temple, and finally admire the striking features of Koyasan Kondomae.

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Hashimoto trip maker .

You can drive from Osaka to Hashimoto in 1.5 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 31°C. On the 25th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hashimoto

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Toro Cave
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Koya ©
Mt. Koya
Kamuro Karukayado ©
Kamuro Karukayado

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