30 days in Japan Itinerary

30 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

30 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  15 h 15 min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Fujikawaguchiko-machi
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
3
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
4
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h 30 min
5
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Subway + Train:  5 h 15 min
6
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
7
Himeji
— 3 nights
Train:  45 min
8
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Train + Fly:  17 h 15 min
End: Chicago

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.
When in Tokyo, make a side trip to see Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama, approximately Maihama away. The adventure continues: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, visit Akihabara, and examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo day trip planner.

Chicago, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 15 hours. Traveling from Chicago in August, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Tokyo, with lows around 76°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Fujikawaguchiko-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Tokyo DisneySea
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Fujikawaguchiko-machi side-trips: Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine (in Fujinomiya), Fureai Pool Tamaho (in Gotemba) and Izu (Toi Beach, Joren Waterfall, &more). There's lots more to do: get impressive views of Mount Fuji, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Kawaguchi, admire the sheer force of Haha no Shirataki Waterfall, and enjoy breathtaking views from Nakanokura Pass Observation Point.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Fujikawaguchiko-machi vacation planning app.

You can drive from Tokyo to Fujikawaguchiko-machi in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. When traveling from Tokyo in August, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Fujikawaguchiko-machi: temperatures range from 77°F by day to 73°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Parks Nature Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Izu, Fureai Pool Tamaho, Waku Pond, Nakanokura Pass Observation Point, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Mount Fuji ©
Mount Fuji
Lake Kawaguchi ©
Lake Kawaguchi
Joren Waterfall ©
Joren Waterfall

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Takayama: Shirakawa-mura (Tenshukakau Observatory, Wada House, &more) and Matsumoto (Suzuki Shin-ichi Talent Education Institute, Matsumoto Castle, &more). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, visit Sanmachi Suji, explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, and awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Takayama trip itinerary builder app.

Getting from Fujikawaguchiko-machi to Takayama by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Fujikawaguchiko-machi in August, you will find days in Takayama are a bit warmer (87°F), and nights are about the same (75°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Matsumoto
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Thu): make a trip to Omicho Market, steep yourself in history at Kanazawa Castle, admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, then see the interesting displays at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts, and finally steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House. On your second day here, make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, then sample the tasty concoctions at Yachiya Sake Brewery, then head outdoors with Gongenmori Beach, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Angoji Temple.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Kanazawa online visit planner.

You can drive from Takayama to Kanazawa in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. August in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 86°F and lows of 74°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Gongenmori Beach, Angoji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

3
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.
Ishigaki is known for nature, beaches, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Kabira Bay, visit Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal, enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Kanazawa to Ishigaki takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Kanazawa in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Ishigaki, with lows of 81°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Kondoi Beach, Taketomi Submarine Hot Spring
Highlights from your plan
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Kayaking & Canoeing
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Mt. Misen (in Miyajima) and Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Itsukushima Shrine Torii, &more). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima road trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and train from Ishigaki to Hiroshima in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and ferry. August in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 77°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can take a train to Himeji.

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

3
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.
Explore Himeji's surroundings by going to Jodoji Temple (in Ono), Yabu (Tarumino Ozakura & Tendaki Falls) and Okayama (Okayama Castle & Okayama Korakuen Garden). There's lots more to do: explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takamikura, take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en, and contemplate the long history of Nishi no Maru.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Himeji trip planner.

Take a train from Hiroshima to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. August in Himeji sees daily highs of 86°F and lows of 80°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Okayama, Yabu, Jodoji Temple, Mt. Takamikura, Otabu Gyoko Genroku Bohatei
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

6
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana) and Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and wander the streets of Gion.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Kyoto visit planning website.

Getting from Himeji to Kyoto by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Himeji in August, plan for a bit warmer days in Kyoto, with highs around 92°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 77°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Theme Parks

Side Trip

Osaka
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

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