20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly + Drive:  19 h 15 min
1
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  45 min
3
Nara
— 2 nights
Train:  45 min
4
Osaka
— 1 night
Train:  1 h 45 min
5
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
+2
Train + Subway + Fly:  5 h 15 min
6
Ishigaki
— 1 night
Ferry:  1 h
7
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
+4
Ferry + Bus + Foot + Fly + Train:  8 h 15 min
8
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Bus + Train:  1 h 15 min
9
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  15 h 45 min
End: Newark

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
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 20th (Fri): step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, explore the activities along Amaharashi Coast, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple, then take a stroll through Gokayama, and finally steep yourself in history at Suganuma Gassho Community. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, see the interesting displays at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Natadera Temple, then step into the grandiose world of Maruoka Castle, and finally explore the world behind art at Kanazawa Noh Museum.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip planner .

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. You'll lose 14 hours traveling from Newark to Kanazawa due to the time zone difference. March in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 37°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nanto, Natadera Temple, Maruoka Castle, Amaharashi Coast
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community

3
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Discover out-of-the-way places like Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. And it doesn't end there: step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Chion-in Temple, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Hiei, and make a trip to Gion.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto vacation planning website .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Kyoto are 57°F, while nighttime lows are 40°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple)
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

2
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.
Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Horyu-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hase-dera Temple, get engrossed in the history at Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of subway and train. In March in Nara, expect temperatures between 57°F during the day and 45°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Joruri Temple, Hase-dera Temple, Horyu-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji 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 find photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Osaka trip itinerary site .

You can take a train from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 57°F in March, and nighttime lows around 41°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Mint Museum ©
Mint Museum

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.
On the 28th (Sat), don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, appreciate the history behind Peace Flame, appreciate the history behind Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, then pause for some photo ops at Peace Bell, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of To no Oka, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senjokaku, enjoy the sand and surf at Mikasahama Beach, step off the mainland to explore Miyajima, then take a peaceful walk through Misen Wild Woods, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitaki Temple.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Osaka to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In March, plan for daily highs up to 57°F, and evening lows to 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

1
night
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
On the 30th (Mon), visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, then explore the gorgeous colors at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kabira Kannon-do, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Ishigaki trip planner.

Getting from Hiroshima to Ishigaki by combination of train and flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of ferry and flight. While traveling from Hiroshima, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Ishigaki, ranging from highs of 73°F to lows of 65°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to catch the ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble ©
Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble
Nosoko Mape ©
Nosoko Mape

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Mizuochi Falls, identify plant and animal life at Funauki Village, head outdoors with Todomari Beach, then look for all kinds of wild species at Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Nakama-river Protected Region, and finally steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi.

To see traveler tips and tourist information, use the Iriomote-jima online journey planner .

Getting from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about an hour. In March in Iriomote-jima, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 65°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Todomari Beach ©
Todomari Beach
Shirahama Port ©
Shirahama Port

1
night
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi ©
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 2nd (Thu): test the waters at a local thermal spa, admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Choanji Temple, then head outdoors with Atami Sun Beach, and finally contemplate the long history of Kiunkaku. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at Okada Museum of Art, take in the pleasant sights at Hakone Stone‐paved Road, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the Hakone-machi tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and flight from Iriomote-jima to Hakone-machi takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. When traveling from Iriomote-jima in April, plan for colder days in Hakone-machi, with highs around 55°F, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 52°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Atami, Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Kiunkaku ©
Kiunkaku
Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja ©
Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja

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 Nezu Shrine and Ueno. Get some historical perspective at Kencho-ji Temple and Senso-ji Temple. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Kiyose Sunflower Farm (in Kiyose) and Mt. Takao (in Hachioji). There's still lots to do: take a stroll through Yanaka, make a trip to National Maritime Research Institute, take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, and stop by Odaiba.

To see photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo day trip site .

Getting from Hakone-machi to Tokyo by combination of bus and train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in April, plan for a bit warmer days in Tokyo, with highs around 67°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kencho-ji Temple, National Maritime Research Institute, Kiyose Sunflower Farm, Mt. Takao
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine

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