18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Drive
3
Nagano
— 1 night
Train
4
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Drive
5
Takayama
— 1 night
Drive
6
Nagoya
— 1 night
Train
7
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train
9
Himeji
— 1 night
Train
10
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Fly
11
Narita
— 1 night
Drive to Narita International Airport, Fly to Washington

S M T W T F S
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1

Tokyo

— 3 nights
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.
When in Tokyo, make a side trip to see Tokyo Disneyland in Maihama, approximately Maihama away. The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, take a stroll through Odaiba District, stroll around Ueno Park, and don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

For other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary builder tool.

Washington, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 19-hour flight. You'll lose 14 hours traveling from Washington to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Washington in March since evenings lows in Tokyo dip to 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks · Neighborhoods · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Hakone-machi

— 1 night
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, make a trip to Owaku-dani Valley, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashinoko, and finally contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi trip planning website.

You can drive from Tokyo to Hakone-machi in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in March, you will find days in Hakone-machi are a bit cooler (47°F), and nights are about the same (43°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Nagano.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Nature

Nagano

— 1 night
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 21st (Tue): get a dose of the wild on Snow Monkey Resorts, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenko-ji Temple, then steep yourself in history at Minochi Soja Hiyoshidai Shrine, and finally contemplate the long history of Matsushiro.

To see ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Nagano online visit planner.

Getting from Hakone-machi to Nagano by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in March, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Nagano, with lows of 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nagano

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites

Kanazawa

— 1 night
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 22nd (Wed): take a stroll through Higashichaya Old Town, don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, then steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House, then take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, and finally explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Kanazawa trip planner.

Traveling by train from Nagano to Kanazawa takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 52°F in March, and nighttime lows around 37°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods

Takayama

— 1 night
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 23rd (Thu): learn more about the world around you at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, take an in-depth tour of Hida Folk Archeological Museum (Hida Minzoku Kokokan), admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, then look for gifts at Hida Jizakekura Honten, and finally examine the collection at Fujii Art Gallery (Fujii Bijutsu Mingei-Kan).

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Takayama tour itinerary builder website.

Getting from Kanazawa to Takayama by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train; or take a bus. March in Takayama sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 38°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can drive to Nagoya.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Nagoya

— 1 night
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Nagoya Castle, examine the collection at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, admire the masterpieces at Tokugawa Art Museum, then look for all kinds of wild species at Yamazaki River, and finally contemplate the long history of Nagoya Higashiyamaso.

To see ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Nagoya trip planning app.

You can drive from Takayama to Nagoya in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Takayama in March, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 44°F in Nagoya. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nagoya

Museums · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Parks

Kyoto

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Gion, make a trip to Nijo Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Koshojibetsuin Ryozenhobyo.

For photos, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto travel route planner.

Take a train from Nagoya to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or take a bus. March in Kyoto sees daily highs of 57°F and lows of 40°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Osaka

— 2 nights
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 27th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Dotombori District, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and finally see the interesting displays at Namban Culture Center.

For reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Osaka holiday builder site.

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Osaka takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 57°F, and evening lows to 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks · Historic Sites · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Himeji

— 1 night
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Engyo-ji Temple Mitsunodo, admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, then steep yourself in history at Nishi no Maru, and finally steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Himeji trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Osaka to Himeji by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Himeji are 54°F, while nighttime lows are 44°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trip

Hiroshima

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden and then make a trip to Miyajima. Keep things going the next day: don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, and finally pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Hiroshima route website.

You can take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In March, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 57°F, while nighttime lows are 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can fly to Narita.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Narita

— 1 night
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 1st (Sat): steep yourself in history at Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, stroll around Naritasan Park, steep yourself in history at Naritasan Omote Sando, then walk around Sakura no yama Park, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Narita International Airport Terminal 1.

For reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Narita online day trip planner.

Fly from Hiroshima to Narita in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train; or drive. In March, daytime highs in Narita are 56°F, while nighttime lows are 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Narita

Historic Sites · Parks

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.