26 days in East Asia Itinerary

26 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Aomori
— 2 nights
Train
2
Akita
— 1 night
Train
3
Yamagata
— 2 nights
Train
4
Sendai
— 1 night
Train
5
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Train
6
Nagoya
— 1 night
Train
7
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train
8
Nara
— 1 night
Train
9
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly to Niigata Airport, Drive to Sado
10
Sado
— 1 night
Drive
11
Niigata
— 1 night
Fly

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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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Aomori: Goshogawara (Shayokan & Tachineputa No Yakata). And it doesn't end there: explore the ancient world of Sannai-Maruyama Site, see the interesting displays at Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru, browse the different shops at A-FACTORY, and admire the masterpieces at Aomori Museum of Art.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Aomori trip planner.

Minneapolis, USA to Aomori is an approximately 20-hour flight. Traveling from Minneapolis to Aomori, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. In August, daily temperatures in Aomori can reach 78°F, while at night they dip to 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can drive to Akita.

Things to do in Aomori

Museums · Shopping · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Akita

— 1 night
The coastal city of Akita has gained a wider reputation for its Kanto Matsuri, or "pole lantern festival," where skilled performers balance long bamboo poles on their foreheads with glowing paper lanterns attached to the end.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Senshu Park, pause for some photo ops at Satake Yoshitaka Statue, step into the grandiose world of Kubota Castle, then admire the masterpieces at Akita Museum Of Art, and finally take some stellar pictures from Michi-no-Eki Akita Port.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Akita driving holiday planner.

Getting from Aomori to Akita by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train. August in Akita sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 71°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can go by car to Yamagata.

Things to do in Akita

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites

Yamagata

— 2 nights
The town of Yamagata and its surrounding prefecture have a wealth of attractions, both man-made and natural.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Fri): get outside with Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort, test the waters at a local thermal spa, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sugawa Onsen Shrine, walk around Kajo Park, then step into the grandiose world of Yamagata castle, and finally step into the grandiose world of Yamagatajoato Ninomaruhigashi Otemon. Keep things going the next day: admire the striking features of Bunshokan, admire the masterpieces at Yamagata Museum of Art, take an in-depth tour of Yamadera Basho Memorial Hall, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Risshaku-ji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Large Ginkgo Tree in Yamadera, and finally pause for some photo ops at Basho Monument.

For photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Yamagata tour planner.

You can drive from Akita to Yamagata in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Yamagata can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Sendai.

Things to do in Yamagata

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Spas

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.
On the 8th (Sun), don't miss a visit to Jozenji-dori Avenue, contemplate the long history of Osaki Hachiman Shrine, make a trip to Sendaijo Ato, then don't miss a visit to Zuihoden, then don't miss a visit to Sendai Station, and finally get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Sendai Uminomori Aquarium.

For photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Sendai route site.

Traveling by car from Yamagata to Sendai takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Yamagata in August, you will find days in Sendai are a bit cooler (79°F), and nights are about the same (75°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Sendai

Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Museums

Tokyo

— 6 nights
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Maihama (Tokyo DisneySea & Tokyo Disneyland). There's much more to do: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planning tool.

Traveling by train from Sendai to Tokyo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Sendai in August, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 76°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 88°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel to Nagoya.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Theme Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Nagoya

— 1 night
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Nagoya Castle, examine the collection at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Atsuta Jingu Shrine, and finally get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Nagoya trip planner.

Take a train from Tokyo to Nagoya in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. In August in Nagoya, expect temperatures between 85°F during the day and 76°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nagoya

Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Museums · Historic Sites

Kyoto

— 4 nights
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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, and hunt for treasures at Nishiki Market Shopping District.

For reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto online tour itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Nagoya to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Nagoya in August, you will find days in Kyoto are a bit warmer (92°F), and nights are about the same (77°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Outdoors

Nara

— 1 night

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.
On the 20th (Fri), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Todai-ji Temple, then examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Nara trip site.

You can drive from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 91°F in August, and nighttime lows around 81°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Museums

Osaka

— 2 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.
On the 21st (Sat), contemplate the long history of Osaka Castle, then meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market, and finally wander the streets of Dotombori District. On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the world behind art at Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan.

To find ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Osaka travel route builder site.

Traveling by car from Nara to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 92°F in August, and nighttime lows around 77°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Sado.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks

Sado

— 1 night
Experience remote island living in Sado, a city in Niigata Prefecture encompassing all of the inhabited areas of Sado Island.
On the 23rd (Mon), visit Sado Steamship, head outdoors with Osado Skyline, then explore the activities along Senkakuwan, then contemplate the long history of Historic Relic Sado Gold Mine, and finally discover the riches below the earth's surface at Kitazawa Fuyusenkojo Remains.

For where to stay and other tourist information, go to the Sado trip maker.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Osaka to Sado. Traveling from Osaka in August, you will find days in Sado are slightly colder (84°F), and nights are about the same (75°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Niigata.

Things to do in Sado

Historic Sites · Scenic Drive · Nature · Outdoors

Niigata

— 1 night
The port city of Niigata has an association with tourism, but not really one to do with the city itself.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): observe the fascinating underwater world at Marinepia Nihonkai, sample the tasty concoctions at Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery, visit Pia Bandai, enjoy breathtaking views from Befco Bakauke Observatory Room, then snap pictures at Bandai Bridge, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hakusan Shrine. On the 25th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: make a trip to Hakusan Park, make a trip to Niigata Nippo Media Ship, then stop by Ponshukan Niigata Station, then bet on a winner at Niigata Horse Racetrack, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yahiko Shrine.

For reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Niigata online trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Sado to Niigata in 3.5 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 84°F, and evening lows to 75°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Niigata

Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Shopping

Side Trip

Niigata Prefecture travel guide

3.9
Ski Areas · Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks
Niigata Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Honshu on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The capital is the city of Niigata with which it shares the same name.HistoryUntil after the Meiji Restoration, the area that is now Niigata Prefecture was divided into Echigo Province (on the mainland) and Sado Province. During the Sengoku period, the Nagao clan, who were at times vassals to the Uesugi, ruled a fief in the western part of modern Niigata from Kasugayama Castle. The most notable member of the Nagao clan was Nagao Kagetora, later and better known as Uesugi Kenshin. He unified the leaders of Echigo Province and became its sole ruler. By taking the surname Uesugi, he also became the head of the Uesugi clan and effectively brought their realm under his control.The city of Niigata is now the third largest Japanese city facing the Sea of Japan, after Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. It was the first Japanese port on the Sea of Japan to be opened to foreign trade following the opening of Japan by Matthew Perry. It has since played an important role in trade with Russia and Korea. A freighter from North Korea visits Niigata once a month, in one of the few forms of direct contact between Japan and that country.

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