32 days in Japan Itinerary

32 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

32 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Singapore
Fly:  10 h
1
Osaka
— 14 nights
Train:  45 min
2
Nara
— 2 nights
Train:  45 min
3
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
4
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
5
Shirakawa-mura
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
6
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h
7
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train:  30 min
8
Kobe
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  10 h 15 min
End: Singapore

14
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Miyama no Sato Shinrin Park (in Hidakagawa-cho), Koya-cho (Koyasan Danjo Garan, Mt. Koya, &more) and Yoshino-cho (Mt. Yoshino, Chikurinin Gumpoen, &more). There's lots more to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, stroll around Kiminocho Kamifureai Park, have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe, and explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

For reviews, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka itinerary planner.

Singapore, Singapore to Osaka is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. The time zone changes from Singapore Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Singapore in March; daily highs in Osaka reach 16°C and lows reach 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Yoshino-cho, Sakai, The World Money Box Museum, Expo '70 Commemorative Park
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

2
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.
On the 4th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, then appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kofuku-ji Temple, and finally examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then admire the verdant scenery at Iwakura Valley, and then make a trip to Byodoin.

To find topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Nara road trip planner .

Traveling by train from Osaka to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In April, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Iwakura Valley, Byodoin
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Nanzen-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Heian Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then take a stroll through Gion.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Nara to Kyoto by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and subway. Traveling from Nara in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Kyoto, with lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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 8th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Oyama Shrine, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, don't miss a visit to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro, walk around Kenrokuen Garden, then step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, and finally admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, see the interesting displays at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts, make a trip to Omicho Market, then admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, then wander the streets of Nagamachi Neighborhood, and finally contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa trip itinerary maker app .

Take a train from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Kyoto in April, plan for a bit cooler nights in Kanazawa, with lows around 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

3
nights
Shirakawa-mura

Shirakawa-mura ©
Set amid quintessentially Japanese landscape, Shirakawa-mura consists of 16 quaint villages, including a historic village of farm houses, now designated a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): don't miss a visit to The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, contemplate the long history of Wada House, take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, then take in the views from Deai Bridge, then stop by Gokayama, and finally contemplate the long history of Suganuma Gassho Community. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Sat): examine the collection at Shirakawago Tajimake Yosan Sericulture Museum, steep yourself in history at Kanda house, then enjoy breathtaking views from Tenshukakau Observatory, and finally contemplate the long history of Shirakawago.

To find maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Shirakawa-mura trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Shirakawa-mura takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April in Shirakawa-mura, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 8°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Takayama.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Nanto
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Nagase house ©
Nagase house

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya and then awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Mon): learn more about the world around you at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, then take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, and finally step into the grandiose world of Matsumoto Castle.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Takayama journey builder app .

You can drive from Shirakawa-mura to Takayama in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April in Takayama, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 9°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Takayama

Scenic Drive Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Matsumoto Castle
Highlights from your plan
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route ©
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

2
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Wakayama (Wakayama Castle & Momijidani Garden), Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda (in Ikeda) and Rinku Premium Outlets (in Izumisano). See even more of Osaka: ponder the world of politics at Mint Museum, make a trip to Hep Five Ferris Wheel, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Tennoji Zoo, and look for gifts at Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Osaka day trip planning app .

Getting from Takayama to Osaka by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Wakayama, Rinku Premium Outlets, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Museum of Housing and Living ©
Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
Mint Museum ©
Mint Museum
Momijidani Garden ©
Momijidani Garden

3
nights
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Get out of town with these interesting Kobe side-trips: Himeji (Koko-en & Himeji Castle) and Otsuka Museum of Art (in Naruto). There's still lots to do: stop by Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown), get a taste of the local shopping with Kobe Harborland, examine the collection at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, and admire the verdant scenery at Arima Onsen.

For reviews, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Kobe itinerary maker tool .

Kobe is just a stone's throw from Osaka. While traveling from Osaka, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Kobe, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 14°C. You'll have a few hours on the 20th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Kobe

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Himeji, Otsuka Museum of Art
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown) ©
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)

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