21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  13​h
1
Osaka
— 5 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
2
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
3
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Train:  3​h 45​min
4
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Bus + Train:  1​h 15​min
5
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  12​h 30​min
End: Sydney

5
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 the numerous day-trip ideas around Osaka: Nara (Todaiji Temple Cultural Center & Nara Park), Himeji (Koko-en Garden & Himeji Castle) and Koya-cho (Mt. Koya, Koyasan Okunoin, & more). The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, take a stroll through Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, take in the architecture and atmosphere at United Church of Christ in Japan, Naniwa Church, and make a trip to Kuromon Market.

To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Osaka route planner.

Sydney, Australia to Osaka is an approximately 13-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. In November, Osaka is slightly colder than Sydney - with highs of 20°C and lows of 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Nara, Himeji
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine & Miyajima) and Mt. Misen (in Miyajima). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, appreciate the history behind The Cenotaph, take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, and step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle.

To see photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima road trip site .

Getting from Osaka to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In November, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to 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
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

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.
Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Todai-ji Temple in Nara--about 1 hour away. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, make a trip to Gion, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In November in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 10°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
On the 30th (Sat), explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, get great views at Hakone Ropeway, then make a trip to Owaku-dani Valley, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Tenkakudai. Here are some ideas for day two: sample the tasty concoctions at Baird Brewery Gardens Shusenji, then admire the masterpieces at Narukawa Art Museum, then explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and finally contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu.

Before you visit Hakone-machi, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Kyoto in November, you will find days in Hakone-machi are little chillier (13°C), and nights are about the same (11°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Nature Parks

Side Trip

Baird Brewery Gardens Shusenji
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
Narukawa Art Museum ©
Narukawa Art Museum

5
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 out of Tokyo to go to Maihama and see Tokyo DisneySea, which is approximately 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and steep yourself in history at Tokyo National Museum.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip planner .

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Hakone-machi to Tokyo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in December, plan for somewhat warmer days in Tokyo, with highs around 14°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Urayasu
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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