21 days in East Asia Itinerary

21 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan visit planner

Make it your trip
Train
1
Kyoto
— 1 night
Drive
2
Nara
— 1 day
Drive
3
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Osaka
— 4 nights
Train
5
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
6
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
Train
7
Kumamoto
— 1 day
Train
8
Fukuoka
— 4 nights
Train
9
Kagoshima
— 1 night
Fly
10
Aomori
— 2 nights
Train
11
Sendai
— 1 night
Train

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Kyoto

— 1 night
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 20th (Mon): steep yourself in history at Kifune Shrine, get great views at Mt. Kurama, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shimogamo Jinja, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then get your game on at NINJA VR KYOTO, and finally don't miss a visit to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

Tokyo to Kyoto is an approximately 3.5-hour train ride. You can also fly; or drive. In July, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Fun & Games · Classes · Nature

Nara

— 1 day

Ancient City

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 21st (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodai-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Joruri Temple, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Wakakusa, then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Yoshikien, and finally admire the striking features of Nara National Museum.

For ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Nara online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. In July in Nara, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 31°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trip

Kyoto

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): explore the activities along Kamogawa River, wander the streets of Shinbashi Dori, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninna-ji Temple, then take in nature's colorful creations at Okochi Sanso Garden, and finally take some stellar pictures from Sagano. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, examine the collection at Kyoto Railway Museum, admire the landmark architecture of Chishaku-in, then steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Mimurotoji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Obakusan Manpuku - ji Temple.

Plan my day in Kyoto using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from Nara to Kyoto in an hour. Another option is to take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka

— 4 nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Koyasan Danjo Garan and Kongobu-ji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Himeji (Shoshazan Engyoji & Himeji Castle) and Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda (in Ikeda). And it doesn't end there: explore the engaging exhibits at Kids Plaza Osaka, observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, get your game on at Sunset Owl Cafe, and get a taste of the local shopping with Hankyu Umeda Honten.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Osaka visit planner.

You can drive from Kyoto to Osaka in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in July, and nighttime lows around 28°C. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Hiroshima

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Tue): make a trip to Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, then take in the views from Aioi Bridge, then pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, and finally don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, steep yourself in history at Peace Flame, appreciate the history behind Peace Bell, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, then pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students, and finally explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle.

To see where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read Hiroshima road trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In July in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks

Fukuoka

— 2 nights

City of Yatai

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): head outdoors with Katsuma Beach, head off the coast to Shika Island, browse the different shops at JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Hakata, admire the striking features of Hakata Station, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sumiyoshi Shrine, and finally walk around Kego Park. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Shintencho Shopping Street, stroll around Maizuru Park, wander the streets of Nishijin Shopping District, contemplate the waterfront views at Muromi River, then admire the masterpieces at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal Observation Room.

To find traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Fukuoka trip itinerary builder.

Take a train from Hiroshima to Fukuoka in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in July, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Kumamoto.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Parks · Shopping · Neighborhoods · Nature

Kumamoto

— 1 day
Centered around its castle, Kumamoto stands as a historic city with plenty of modern-day appeal to add to the mix.
On the 1st (Sat), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kato Shrine, explore the historical opulence of Kumamoto Castle, buy something for everyone on your list at Shimotori Shotengai, explore the world behind art at Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, then don't miss a visit to Kumamon Square, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Tetori Church.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Kumamoto road trip website.

You can take a train from Fukuoka to Kumamoto in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In August, daytime highs in Kumamoto are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Kumamoto

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks

Fukuoka

— 4 nights

City of Yatai

Step off the beaten path and head to Kushida Shrine and Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human History. Step out of Fukuoka to go to Kitakyushu and see Kyushu Railway History Museum, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. See some other sides of Fukuoka: admire the landmark architecture of Hakata Station, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Atago Jinja Shrine, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Marine World umino-nakamichi, and see the interesting displays at OH Sadaharu Baseball Museum.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Fukuoka tour app.

Take a train from Kumamoto to Fukuoka in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Kagoshima.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

Kagoshima

— 1 night

Naples of the East

Kagoshima sits across the bay from Sakurajima, an active volcano that serves as a symbol of the city and works its way into many aspects of life here.
On the 5th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Iso Beach, meet the residents at Kagoshima City Aquarium, go for a walk through Sengan-en, get engrossed in the history at Museum of the Meiji Restoration, then don't miss a visit to Temmonkan Mujyaki, and finally make a trip to Tenmonkan.

To find out how to plan a trip to Kagoshima, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by train from Fukuoka to Kagoshima takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. In August, daytime highs in Kagoshima are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Aomori.

Things to do in Kagoshima

Historic Sites · Parks · Spas · Zoos & Aquariums

Aomori

— 2 nights
Facing Mutsu Bay on the northernmost tip of Honshu, Aomori is a bustling regional capital known for its fresh seafood and modern architecture.
On the 6th (Thu), witness a stunning natural landmark at Manjufukashi, examine the collection at Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru, make a trip to Nebuta Museum Wa Rasse, take in the spiritual surroundings of Utou Jinja, then admire the masterpieces at Aomori Museum of Art, and finally don't miss a visit to Jomon Jiyukan. On the 7th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head outdoors with Sunset Beach Asamushi, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Aomori Asamushi Aquarium, kick back and relax at Asamushi Beach, then hike along Hakkoda Gourda Line, then make a trip to Snow Corridor, and finally explore the activities along Jogakura Stream.

Start your trip to Aomori by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by flight from Kagoshima to Aomori takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Kagoshima in August, expect Aomori to be a bit cooler, temps between 30°C and 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Sendai.

Things to do in Aomori

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Nature

Sendai

— 1 night
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kosho-ji Temple, take an in-depth tour of Zuihoden, get to know the resident critters at Yagiyama Zoological Park, contemplate the long history of Sendaijo Ato, then explore the galleries of Aoba Castle Museum, and finally admire the natural beauty at Sendai City Wild Plants Garden. On the next day, admire the verdant scenery at Rairaikyo Gorge, get a new perspective on nature at Tohoku University of Natural History, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rinnoji Temple, engage your brain at 3M Sendai Science Museum, then don't miss a visit to Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake Sedai Arahama Elementary School, and finally steep yourself in history at Funaoka Castle Ruins.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Sendai vacation builder tool.

Traveling by train from Aomori to Sendai takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Aomori in August, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 28°C in Sendai. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sendai

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums

Side Trips