21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan route maker

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  45​min
3
Nara
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
4
Osaka
— 4 nights
train:  2​h
5
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 30​min
6
Nagasaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
End: Tokyo


Learn more about your trip

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Moroiso Shores and Kimono Me. Get some historical perspective at Sensō-ji and Imperial Palace. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Ginza, make a trip to Takeshita Street, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, and admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Tokyo. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in August, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Moroiso Shores
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa ©
Asakusa
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

4
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.
Do your shopping at Nishiki Market Shopping District and Fuuka-Kimono. Get a sense of the local culture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Sanjusangendo Temple. There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, wander the streets of Gion, and don't miss a visit to Arashiyama.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In August in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Nara Park and Kazugayama Genshirin. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Todai-ji Temple and Toshodaiji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Nara side-trips: Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall (in Nabari) and Mt.Takami (in Matsusaka). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, look for gifts at Naramachi Nakanishi Yosaburo, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, and explore the activities along Saho River.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Nara trip itinerary maker .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of subway and train. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in August, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall, Mt.Takami
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

4
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Dotonbori and Himeji Castle. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street and Minami (Namba). Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Osaka: Arima Onsen (in Kita) and Mt. Koya (in Koya-cho). And it doesn't end there: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Osaka trip planner.

Getting from Nara to Osaka by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. August in Osaka sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 29°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Himeji Castle, Mt. Koya, Arima Onsen
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Koya ©
Mt. Koya
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka 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.
Get some historical perspective at Miyajima and Atomic Bomb Dome. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Itsukushima Shrine and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Kirei Sake Brewery (in Higashihiroshima) and Hatsukaichi (Mikasahama Beach & Itsukushima Shrine Torii). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, and step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Hiroshima attractions planner.

Traveling by train from Osaka to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In August, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can take a train to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kirei Sake Brewery
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

3
nights
Nagasaki

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Glover Garden and Ōura Church. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Peace Park are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from Nagasaki with a short trip to Dolphin & Whale Watching in Amakusa, about 1h 20 min away. And it doesn't end there: cool off at Takahama Beach, examine the collection at Dejima, head off the coast to Hashima Island, and take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Inasa.

To find where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Nagasaki road trip planning tool .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Nagasaki in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. August in Nagasaki sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 30°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Inasa ©
Mt. Inasa
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

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