27 days in Japan Itinerary

27 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

27 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Zurich
Fly:  20​h 45​min
1
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  4​h 45​min
2
Onna-son
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  5​h 45​min
3
Matsuyama
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h
5
Himeji
— 2 nights
Train:  45​min
6
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
7
Fujikawaguchiko-machi
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
8
Yamanouchi-machi
— 2 nights
Taxi + Train:  2​h 30​min
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Zurich

2
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Get in touch with nature at Kabira Bay and Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble. There's much more to do: visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape, snap pictures at Nagurao Bridge, and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki travel planning site .

Zurich, Switzerland to Ishigaki is an approximately 21-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 8 hours traveling from Zurich to Ishigaki. While traveling from Zurich, expect a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Ishigaki, ranging from highs of 30°C to lows of 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay

3
nights
Onna-son

Onna-son ©
Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Shurijo Castle and Nakijin Castle Ruins. Escape the urban bustle at Scuba & Snorkeling and Daisekirinzan. Get out of town with these interesting Onna-son side-trips: Iejima Beach Side Horse Park (in Ie-son), Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (in Motobu-cho) and Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo (in Nanjo). There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Cape Manzamo, find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and look for all kinds of wild species at Gallirallus Okinawae Learning Center.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Onna-son trip tool .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Ishigaki to Onna-son in 5 hours. Traveling from Ishigaki in April, Onna-son is slightly colder at night with lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Matsuyama.

Things to do in Onna-son

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Kunigami-son, Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo, Shurijo Castle, Iejima Beach Side Horse Park, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Highlights from your plan
Cape Manzamo ©
Cape Manzamo
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Matsuyama

Matsuyama ©
Matsuyama features a number of historical sites and acts as a gateway for exploring the rest of Shikoku.
Get outdoors at Namekawakeikoku and Kamegamori Forest. Get out of town with these interesting Matsuyama side-trips: Shikoku Karst Onogahara (in Seiyo), Omogo Valley (in Kumakogen-cho) and Izumidani Terraces (in Uchiko-cho). There's much more to do: explore the historical opulence of Matsuyama Castle, explore the activities along Shirai Fall, and stroll through Ehime Tobe Zoo.

To see reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Matsuyama itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Onna-son to Matsuyama in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. Traveling from Onna-son in April, things will get little chillier in Matsuyama: highs are around 20°C and lows about 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Matsuyama

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Saijo, Toon, Izumidani Terraces, Omogo Valley, Shikoku Karst Onogahara
Highlights from your plan
Ehime Tobe Zoo ©
Ehime Tobe Zoo
Matsuyama Castle ©
Matsuyama Castle

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
On the 11th (Thu), steep yourself in history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, then contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, and then step off the mainland to explore Miyajima. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, then pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Dome, and finally see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima tour itinerary builder .

You can ride a ferry from Matsuyama to Hiroshima in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

2
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): stroll through Mt Shosha hiking, explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en Garden. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple, trek along Harima Alps, and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takamikura.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our Himeji holiday planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Takasago, Mt. Takamikura
Highlights from your plan
Mt Shosha hiking ©
Mt Shosha hiking
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

3
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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji. Do some cultural sightseeing at Nara Park and Gion. Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Todai-ji Temple in Nara--about 1 hour away. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Koshojibetsuin Ryozenhobyo, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and make a trip to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip builder site .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. April in Kyoto sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Fujikawaguchiko-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Tours Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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

3
nights
Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Fujikawaguchiko-machi ©
A resort town located in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Fujikawaguchiko-machi acts as a base for many who plan to take one of the trails up the iconic volcano.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Mount Fuji and Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. Get in touch with nature at Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Iwamoto. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fujikawaguchiko-machi: Nature & Wildlife Tours (in Fuji) and Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine (in Fujiyoshida). Spend the 19th (Fri) exploring nature at Fuji Hakone Izu National Park.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Fujikawaguchiko-machi planning tool .

You can drive from Kyoto to Fujikawaguchiko-machi in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. When traveling from Kyoto in April, plan for little chillier days in Fujikawaguchiko-machi, with highs around 15°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to drive to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Fuji, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, Mount Fuji, Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Highlights from your plan
Mount Fuji ©
Mount Fuji
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park ©
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Lake Kawaguchi ©
Lake Kawaguchi

2
nights
Yamanouchi-machi

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sun): fly down the slopes at Shiga Kogen and then look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: fly down the slopes at Shigakogen Yakebitaiyama Ski Area.

To find more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Yamanouchi-machi travel route tool .

Traveling by car from Fujikawaguchiko-machi to Yamanouchi-machi takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a train. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Fujikawaguchiko-machi in April: highs in Yamanouchi-machi hover around 19°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area ©
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area

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.
Get some historical perspective at Sensō-ji and Tokyo National Museum. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Odaiba and Hase-dera Temple. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Sankeien Gardens (in Naka), Sojiji (in Nishitokyo) and Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine & Kōtoku-in). There's much more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Ueno Zoo, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and get a sense of history and politics at Imperial Palace.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo attractions planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and train from Yamanouchi-machi to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In April, daytime highs in Tokyo are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Kamakura, Sojiji, Sankeien Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Kōtoku-in ©
Kōtoku-in

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