26 days in Japan Itinerary

26 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train + bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
3
Nagoya
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train:  30​min
6
Osaka
— 5 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
7
Koya-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Wakayama
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  16​h
End: Melbourne

4
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 Tokyo with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama, about 30 minutes away. Have a day of magic on the 18th (Wed) at Tokyo Disneyland. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get your game on at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou, admire the landmark architecture of Imperial Palace, and get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

For maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Tokyo trip itinerary maker website .

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major airports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport and Hyakuri Airport. In December, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 14°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

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

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): take an in-depth tour of Hakone Shrine Homotsuden.

To see traveler tips, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi trip planner.

Traveling by combination of train and bus from Tokyo to Hakone-machi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Hakone-machi, ranging from highs of 8°C to lows of 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Nagoya.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
Owaku-dani Valley ©
Owaku-dani Valley

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Nagoya Castle, examine the collection at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, then make a trip to Osu Shopping Street, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Atsuta Jingu Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Hikone Castle, make a trip to Inuyama Castle, and then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Nagoya visit planner.

Traveling by train from Hakone-machi to Nagoya takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Nagoya

Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums Parks

Side Trips

Inuyama Castle, Hikone Castle
Highlights from your plan
Nagoya Castle ©
Nagoya Castle
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium ©
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium

3
nights
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Matsumoto Castle (in Matsumoto), Kanazawa (Omicho Market, Kenrokuen Garden, & more) and The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses (in Shirakawa-mura). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, and get answers to all your questions at Takayama City Hall.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read Takayama holiday planner .

Getting from Nagoya to Takayama by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Takayama can reach 9°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Kanazawa, Matsumoto Castle, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle

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.
Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Nara to see Todai-ji Temple about 1 hour away. There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, shop like a local with Nishiki Market Shopping District, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkakuji Temple.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Kyoto online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Takayama to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. While traveling from Takayama, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Kyoto, ranging from highs of 13°C to lows of 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

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

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 Osaka's surroundings by going to Chuo (Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution & Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)), Himeji (Himeji Castle & Koko-en Garden) and Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara Park, & more). There's much more to do: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, see the interesting displays at Mizuno Sportology Gallery, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and take a stroll through Dotonbori.

For reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Osaka trip itinerary planning tool .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. December in Osaka sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 4th (Sat) before leaving for Koya-cho.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Kobe, Himeji
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
night
Koya-cho

Koya-cho ©
On the 4th (Sat), take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya and then explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Sun): make a trip to Tanizeno Tsuribashi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Torodo Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongobu-ji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Koyasan Danjo Garan, and finally contemplate the long history of Koyasan Daimon.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Koya-cho vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can take a train from Osaka to Koya-cho in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In January, daily temperatures in Koya-cho can reach 10°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car to Wakayama.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Tanizeno Tsuribashi
Highlights from your plan
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple
Mt. Koya ©
Mt. Koya
Torodo Temple ©
Torodo Temple

2
nights
Wakayama

Wakayama ©
Split into two parts by the Kinokawa River, the city of Wakayama stands nestled in the eponymous plain, overlooked by a historic hilltop castle that was rebuilt after World War II.
On the 6th (Mon), hunt for treasures at Kuroshio Market, get in on the family fun at Porto Europe, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kimiidera Temple, steep yourself in history at Wakayama Castle, then take in nature's colorful creations at Momijidani Garden, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Awashima Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Kanku Observation Hall Sky View, get some fabulous bargains at Rinku Premium Outlets, take in the spiritual surroundings of Negoro-ji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Tama Museum Kishi Station, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kishu Toshogu Shrine.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Wakayama online visit planner .

Getting from Koya-cho to Wakayama by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Wakayama

Historic Sites Shopping Theme Parks

Side Trips

Izumisano, Tama Museum Kishi Station, Negoro-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Wakayama Castle ©
Wakayama Castle
Negoro-ji Temple ©
Negoro-ji Temple
Kimiidera Temple ©
Kimiidera Temple

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