18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Dubai
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train:  1​h 30​min
2
Nagano
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h 30​min
3
Matsumoto
— 1 night
Bus:  2​h 30​min
4
Takayama
— 1 night
Train:  2​h 30​min
5
Nagoya
— 1 night
Train:  2​h 30​min
6
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  2​h
7
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train:  30​min
8
Osaka
— 1 night
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: Dubai

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 list of things to see and do now includes Takeshita Street, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku Station, and other attractions. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Asakusa Shrine and Nezu Museum.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the Tokyo trip planner.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Dubai to Tokyo is 5 hours. Traveling from Dubai in August, expect nights in Tokyo to be slightly colder, around 28°C, while days are colder, around 36°C. You'll have a few hours on the 9th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Nagano.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Outdoors Tours
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Nezu Museum ©
Nezu Museum
Hozomon ©
Hozomon

2
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. On the 9th (Sun), take in the spiritual surroundings of Zenkoji Sesonin Shakado Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenko-ji Temple, then admire the masterpieces at Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum Higashiyama Kaii Gallery, and finally stop by Yawataya Isogoro Honten. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Shrine Okusha, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Togakushi Jinja Hokosha, then get engrossed in the history at Togakushi Folk Museum Togakushi Ninja Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Saiho-ji Temple.

To find photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Nagano trip planner .

Getting from Tokyo to Nagano by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Highlights from your plan
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

1
night
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.
For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Matsumoto holiday maker website .

Traveling by train from Nagano to Matsumoto takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In August, daytime highs in Matsumoto are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Zengoro Fall ©
Zengoro Fall

1
night
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.
On the 13th (Thu), admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, then see the interesting displays at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), then explore the galleries of Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), and finally examine the collection at Hikaru Museum.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read Takayama road trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Takayama takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In August in Takayama, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can drive to Nagoya.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine ©
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

1
night
Nagoya

Nagoya ©
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Sakae, SCMAGLEV and Railway Park and Nagoya Castle. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Fri): step into the grandiose world of Nagoya Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Atsuta Jingu Shrine, see the interesting displays at SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, then examine the collection at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and finally take a stroll through Sakae.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Nagoya travel itinerary planner .

Drive from Takayama to Nagoya in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Nagoya can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Nagoya

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Atsuta Jingu Shrine ©
Atsuta Jingu Shrine
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park ©
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Atomic Bomb Dome, Shukkei-en Garden and Hiroshima Castle. On the 15th (Sat), step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, then see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of Miyajima, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senjokaku, then see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip itinerary planning website .

You can take a train from Nagoya to Hiroshima in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In August in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 29°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, JMSDF Kure Museum
Highlights from your plan
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

4
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've added Nara Park, Bamboo Forest Street, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and other attractions to your itinerary. Get a sense of the local culture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Shimogamo Jinja. Get some historical perspective at Kinkaku-ji and Nijo Castle. Step out of Kyoto to go to Nara and see Toshodai-ji Temple, which is approximately 44 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki), don't miss a visit to Nishiki Market Shopping District, contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and admire the striking features of Ninna-ji Temple.

To see photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planning website .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Thu) to allow time for the train ride to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Nara
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

1
night
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.
To see maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka sightseeing planning tool .

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. In August, daytime highs in Osaka are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

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