21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tel Aviv
Fly + bus:  16​h 45​min
1
Kobe
— 1 night
train:  30​min
2
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
3
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
4
Nara
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Nagoya
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Fukui
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 45​min
7
Takayama
— 1 night
train:  2​h 45​min
8
Nagano
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
9
Shibukawa
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 45​min
10
Nikko
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
11
Aizuwakamatsu
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
12
Zao-machi
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h
13
Sendai
— 1 night
train:  4​h 15​min
14
Hakodate
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  1​h 30​min
15
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
16
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Tel Aviv

1
night
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): admire the sheer force of Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki), see the interesting displays at Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Sorakuen Garden, and finally wander the streets of Chinatown (Nankinmachi).

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Kobe day trip app .

Tel Aviv, Israel to Kobe is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or fly. You'll lose 7 hours traveling from Tel Aviv to Kobe due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Tel Aviv in December, things will get slightly colder in Kobe: highs are around 13°C and lows about 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks Nature Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki) ©
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)
Sorakuen Garden ©
Sorakuen Garden
Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum ©
Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Walking tours and Koyasan Danjo Garan. Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Mino (Minoo Park & Waterfall of Mino). There's much more to do: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, enjoy breathtaking views from Harukas 300 Observation Deck, get your game on at Sunset Owl Cafe, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozenji Yokocho.

To see more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Osaka holiday builder site .

Osaka is just a stone's throw from Kobe. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mino, Koyasan Danjo Garan
Highlights from your plan
Waterfall of Mino ©
Waterfall of Mino
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Minoo Park ©
Minoo 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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and then contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To see other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip planner .

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. In December, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Tours
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Walking tours

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, don't miss a visit to Nara National Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, then look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Joruri Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read Nara travel planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Nara by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of subway and train. In December, daytime highs in Nara are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Nagoya.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Joruri Temple
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum

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.
To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Nagoya travel route planning app .

Drive from Nara to Nagoya in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nara in December, you will find days in Nagoya are slightly colder (9°C), and nights are about the same (3°C). You will leave for Fukui on the 18th (Wed).

Things to do in Nagoya

Historic Sites Parks Museums

1
day
Fukui

Fukui ©
Fukui is the capital city of Fukui Prefecture, Japan. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): make a trip to Ichijodani Fukugenmachinami, steep yourself in history at Ichijodani Asakurashi Ruin, contemplate the long history of Suwa Yakata Remains Garden, then learn more about the world around you at Fukui City Museum of Natural History, and finally take an in-depth tour of Fukui Prefectural Museum of Cultural History.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Fukui trip planner .

Drive from Nagoya to Fukui in 2.5 hours. December in Fukui sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 3°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Fukui

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Ichijodani Asakurashi Ruin ©
Ichijodani Asakurashi Ruin
Fukui City Museum of Natural History ©

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.
To see photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Takayama sightseeing site .

Traveling by car from Fukui to Takayama takes 3 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 9°C, and evening lows to 3°C. On the 19th (Thu), you're off toNagano.

Things to do in Takayama

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

1
night
Nagano

Nagano ©
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 19th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Jinja Hokosha and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Zenko-ji Temple.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Nagano trip planner.

Take a train from Takayama to Nagano in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect slightly colder evenings in Nagano when traveling from Takayama in December, with lows around 0°C. You will have some time to spend on the 20th (Fri) before leaving for Shibukawa.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Matsushiro ©
Matsushiro
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

1
day
Shibukawa

Shibukawa ©
Often referred to as the "Belly Button of Japan," the city of Shibukawa celebrates its status as the country's geographical center by hosting the Heso Matsuri, or Belly Button Festival.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): explore the world behind art at Hara Museum Arc, get to know the fascinating history of Ikaho Stone Steps, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mizusawaji.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Shibukawa trip builder app .

You can take a train from Nagano to Shibukawa in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Nagano in December; daily highs in Shibukawa reach 11°C and lows reach 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can go by car to Nikko.

Things to do in Shibukawa

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Ikaho Stone Steps ©
Ikaho Stone Steps
Hara Museum Arc ©
Hara Museum Arc

1
night
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Taiyuimbyo Shrine, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Nantai, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi Shrine.

For where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Nikko itinerary website .

You can drive from Shibukawa to Nikko in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. December in Nikko sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 8°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 22nd (Sun) before leaving for Aizuwakamatsu.

Things to do in Nikko

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine
Nikko Futarasan jinja ©
Nikko Futarasan jinja

1
night
Aizuwakamatsu

Aizuwakamatsu ©
Rich in culture and history, Aizuwakamatsu has retained much of its traditional character from its days as a feudal capital.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): contemplate the long history of Sazaedo, then explore the historical opulence of Tsuruga Castle, and then browse the exhibits of Castle Tower Local Museum of Wakamatsu Castle.

Discover how to plan a Aizuwakamatsu trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Nikko to Aizuwakamatsu by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or take a train. In December, Aizuwakamatsu is little chillier than Nikko - with highs of 7°C and lows of 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can go by car to Zao-machi.

Things to do in Aizuwakamatsu

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tsuruga Castle ©
Tsuruga Castle
Sazaedo ©
Sazaedo

1
day
Zao-machi

Zao-machi ©
On the 23rd (Mon), take in panoramic vistas at Takimidai Lookout, explore the striking landscape at Okama Crater, don't miss a visit to O-torii, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Katta, then head outdoors with Zao Echo Line, and finally admire all the interesting features of Zao Dairy Farm.

To find ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Zao-machi trip itinerary builder tool .

Drive from Aizuwakamatsu to Zao-machi in 2.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Zao-machi are 9°C, while nighttime lows are 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Sendai.

Things to do in Zao-machi

Parks Nature Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Okama Crater ©
Okama Crater
Zao Dairy Farm ©
Zao Dairy Farm
Mt. Katta ©
Mt. Katta

1
night
Sendai

Sendai ©
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
On the 24th (Tue), make a trip to Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake Sedai Arahama Elementary School, then get engrossed in the history at Zuihoden, then make a trip to Sendai Station, and finally make a trip to Jozenji-dori Avenue.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Sendai trip maker tool .

Getting from Zao-machi to Sendai by car takes about an hour. Traveling from Zao-machi in December, Sendai is a bit warmer at night with lows of 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Hakodate.

Things to do in Sendai

Museums
Highlights from your plan
Zuihoden ©
Zuihoden
Jozenji-dori Avenue ©
Jozenji-dori Avenue
Sendai Station
Sendai Station

1
night
Hakodate

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
On the 25th (Wed), admire the striking features of Goryokaku Park, then enjoy breathtaking views from Goryokaku Tower, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Hakodate, and finally make a trip to Hachimanzaka.

To find photos and tourist information, read our Hakodate trip maker site .

You can take a train from Sendai to Hakodate in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Sendai in December, things will get slightly colder in Hakodate: highs are around 3°C and lows about -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Hakodate

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Mount Hakodate ©
Mount Hakodate
Hachimanzaka ©
Hachimanzaka
Goryokaku Tower ©
Goryokaku Tower

2
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): fly down the slopes at Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort and then pause for some photo ops at Statue of Pioneer Mother.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Sapporo trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Hakodate to Sapporo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. When traveling from Hakodate in December, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Sapporo: temperatures range from 0°C by day to -2°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort ©
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Samurai Armor Photo Studio and Yokohama Port Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Mt. Takao in Hachioji--about 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, take a stroll through Ueno, and take in panoramic vistas at Observatory, Seaside Top.

To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip builder app .

You can fly from Sapporo to Tokyo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Sapporo in December, plan for warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 14°C by day to 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Mt. Takao, Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal
Highlights from your plan
Samurai Armor Photo Studio ©
Samurai Armor Photo Studio
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal ©
Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal

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