20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train:  4​h 15​min
2
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
3
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
4
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture
— 2 nights
+2
Train + Subway + Fly:  6​h
5
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Nara
— 3 nights
Train + Fly:  13​h 45​min
End: Sydney

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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get your game on at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tokyo vacation maker .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. In December, Tokyo is cooler than Sydney - with highs of 14°C and lows of 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, then step off the mainland to explore Miyajima, and then look for gifts at Itsukushima Gekijyo.

To see reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Hiroshima day trip planning website .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Hiroshima in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine

5
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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, classes, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, shop like a local with Nishiki Market Shopping District, don't miss a visit to Arashiyama, and take a stroll through Gion.

To see photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto journey planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

2
nights
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
Change things up with a short trip to Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo (about 1h 15 min away). Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kazagashira Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Glover Garden, and make a trip to The Virgin Mary Statue on the Cape.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Nagasaki vacation builder tool .

Getting from Kyoto to Nagasaki by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Parks Theme Parks Nature

Side Trip

Huis Ten Bosch
Highlights from your plan
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

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.
On the 17th (Tue), get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, then get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, and then admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden. On the next day, explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, contemplate the long history of Kanazawa Castle, then admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, then make a trip to Omicho Market, and finally steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa sightseeing planning tool .

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Nagasaki to Kanazawa takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Nagasaki in December, plan for little chillier nights in Kanazawa, with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Nara.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

3
nights
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.
Explore Nara's surroundings by going to Koya-cho (Koyasan Okunoin, Mt. Koya, & more) and Byodoin (in Uji). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Todai-ji Temple, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kofuku-ji Temple, and stroll around Nara Park.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read our Nara road trip planning site .

You can drive from Kanazawa to Nara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Jindoji Temple, Byodoin
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Mt. Koya ©
Mt. Koya

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