20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Gold Coast
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
3
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  6​h
4
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
5
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
6
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  3​h
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h
8
Nihonmatsu
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  25​h
End: Gold Coast

1
night
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.
On the 11th (Wed), admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tokyo online vacation planner .

Gold Coast, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Gold Coast to Tokyo is minus 1 hour. Prepare for cooler weather when traveling from Gold Coast in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 4°C. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks
Highlights from your plan
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

2
nights
Fukuoka

Fukuoka ©
The largest city on the island, Fukuoka formed through the merger of two former cities that had grown up either side of the Naka River.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): get your game on at Fukuro no Mise, Hakata, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinryuji Temple, and then buy something for everyone on your list at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kushida Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Dazaifu Temmangu, then let the kids burn off some steam at Ohori Park, and finally admire the striking features of Hakata Station.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Fukuoka trip planning site .

Fly from Tokyo to Fukuoka in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Parks Nature Fun & Games

Side Trip

Dazaifu Temmangu
Highlights from your plan
Ohori Park ©
Ohori Park
Nokonoshima Island ©
Nokonoshima Island
Fukuro no Mise, Hakata ©
Fukuro no Mise, Hakata

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, then step off the mainland to explore Miyajima, and then look for gifts at Itsukushima Gekijyo. On your second day here, examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and then explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Hiroshima visit planner.

Traveling by train from Fukuoka to Hiroshima takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can take a train to Takayama.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

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

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 17th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya and then appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Wed): fly down the slopes at Norikura Kogen.

To see reviews, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Takayama trip planner .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Takayama in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Hiroshima in December, plan for little chillier days in Takayama, with highs around 9°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Takayama

Nature Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Matsumoto, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
Highlights from your plan
Norikura Kogen (Highland) ©
Norikura Kogen (Highland)
Taisho Pond ©
Taisho Pond

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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): wander the streets of Dotonbori and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. Here are some ideas for day two: step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, then walk around Nara Park, and then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Osaka trip planner .

You can drive from Takayama to Osaka in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Takayama in December, expect nights in Osaka to be about the same, around 4°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time for the train ride to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nara
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Keep things going the next day: step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, find something for the whole family at Toei Kyoto Studio Park, and then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

To find maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto online day trip planner .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Osaka. In December in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Toei Kyoto Studio Park ©
Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
On the 25th (Wed), make an unforgettable trip to Tokyo Disneyland. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: discover the magic at Tokyo DisneySea and then take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo road trip planning site .

Take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Nihonmatsu.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks

Side Trip

Urayasu
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea ©
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings ©

2
nights
Nihonmatsu

Nihonmatsu ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Dake Onsen. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): contemplate the long history of The ruins of Nihonmatsu Castle, then take in the awesome beauty at Mount Adatara, then make a trip to Adatara Valley Okudake Natural Trail, and finally soak in some Japanese tradition at Dake Onsen.

To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Nihonmatsu trip itinerary maker .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Tokyo to Nihonmatsu. Traveling from Tokyo in December, expect Nihonmatsu to be slightly colder, temps between 7°C and 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Nihonmatsu

Nature Parks Baths
Highlights from your plan
Mount Adatara ©
Mount Adatara
Kassenba no Shidare Zakura (Sakura) ©
Dake Onsen ©
Dake Onsen

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