33 days in Japan Itinerary

33 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Kansai International Airport, Drive to Koya-cho
1
Koya-cho
— 1 night
Drive
2
Nara
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Osaka
— 4 nights
Train
4
Hiroshima
— 1 night
Train
5
Himeji
— 1 night
Train
6
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Drive
7
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Train
8
Nikko
— 1 night
Drive
9
Shimoda
— 3 nights
Drive
10
Tokyo
— 7 nights
Fly

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Koya-cho

— 1 night
On the 30th (Mon), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Koya, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jokiin, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kongobu-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ichijo-in Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Fugen-in Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryusen-in Temple. On the 31st (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin, take in the spiritual surroundings of Torodo Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shojoshin-in Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumagai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Fukuchi-in Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-in Temple.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Koya-cho trip itinerary planner.

Bremen, Germany to Koya-cho is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Bremen to Koya-cho due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Bremen in August, plan for a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Koya-cho: temperatures range from 38°C by day to 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Nara

— 4 nights

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall and Isuien Garden. Explore Nara's surroundings by going to Hase-dera Temple (in Sakurai) and Horyu-ji Temple (in Ikaruga-cho). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodai-ji Temple, don't miss a visit to Todaiji Keidaicho, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, and get the lay of the land with Walking tours.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Nara tour itinerary builder site.

Drive from Koya-cho to Nara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in August, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Osaka

— 4 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Harukas 300 Observation Deck and Hozenji Yokocho. Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Koshien History Museum (in Nishinomiya), Itami Sky Park (in Itami) and Kobe (Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki) & Kobe Muslim Mosque). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Osaka Castle, ponder the world of politics at Mint Museum, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, and walk around Nakanoshima Park.

For photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka route builder.

You can drive from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. September in Osaka sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Tours · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Hiroshima

— 1 night

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
On the 9th (Thu), steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, learn something new at SHA-RAKU Archery Experience, then appreciate the history behind Peace Flame, then pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students, and finally contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Hiroshima road trip planning tool.

Getting from Osaka to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in September, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Fun & Games · Classes

Himeji

— 1 night
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 10th (Fri): step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, then make a trip to Nishi no Maru Nagatsubone, and then admire the natural beauty at Koko-en.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Himeji trip planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Himeji takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In September in Himeji, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Parks

Kyoto

— 6 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Sannenzaka Ninenzaka and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. When in Kyoto, make a side trip to see Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine in Otsu, approximately Otsu away. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, contemplate the waterfront views at Kamogawa River, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nishi Honganji, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto online trip planner.

Traveling by train from Himeji to Kyoto takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Himeji in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Kyoto, with lows of 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Tours · Parks · Museums

Side Trip

Kanazawa

— 3 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Step off the beaten path and head to Ainokura Gassho Community and Gokayama. Step out of Kanazawa with an excursion to Ainokura Observatory in Nanto--about 52 minutes away. The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, admire the striking features of Kanazawa Station, explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, and wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town.

To find maps, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Kanazawa route planner.

You can drive from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Kyoto in September: highs in Kanazawa hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Nikko

— 1 night
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): take in the dramatic scenery at Kegon Falls, then explore the activities along Lake Chuzenji, then head outdoors with Odashirogahara, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Cryptomeria Avenue.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Nikko trip itinerary builder.

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Nikko in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Kanazawa in September, Nikko is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Shimoda.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks · Nature · Trails · Historic Sites

Shimoda

— 3 nights
On a trip to Shimoda, a small town nestled on the tip of the Izu peninsula, you can take advantage of the scenic sandy beaches and soak in the laid-back atmosphere.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shirahama Beach and Iritahama Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Shimoda side-trips: Izu (Shuzen-ji Temple & Joren Waterfall) and Kawazu Nanadaru Waterfalls (in Kawazu-cho). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Kujupama Beach, see the interesting displays at Izu Naranda no Sato Kawazu Heian Buddha Statue Pavilion, get outside with Nabetahama Beach, and stroll around Ryugu Park.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Shimoda road trip planning website.

You can drive from Nikko to Shimoda in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In September in Shimoda, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can go by car to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shimoda

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Tokyo

— 7 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Waho-An NATURE Tokyo and Madame Tussauds Tokyo. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal (in Yokohama), Minatomirai (Nipponmaru Memorial Park, Sky Garden, &more) and Kinchakuda Manjushage Park (in Hidaka). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Fujiko F Fujio Museum, engage your brain at National Museum of Nature and Science, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, and don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Tokyo trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Shimoda to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In September in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Tours

Side Trips

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.

Nara Prefecture travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Monuments · Wildlife Areas
Nara Prefecture is a prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The capital is the city of Nara. Nara Prefecture has the distinction of having more UNESCO World Heritage Listings than any other prefecture.HistoryNara Prefecture region is considered one of the oldest regions in Japan spanning thousands of years. The present-day Nara Prefecture as it exists now officially was created in 1887, making it independent of Osaka Prefecture.Historically, Nara Prefecture was also known as Yamato-no-kuni or Yamato Province.Up to Nara PeriodIt is certain that there was a political force established at the foot of Mount Miwa in the east of Nara Basin, seeking unification of most parts in Japan from the third century until the fourth century, though the process was not well documented. At the dawn of history, Yamato was clearly the political center of Japan.Ancient capitals of Japan were built on the land of Nara, namely Asuka-kyō, Fujiwara-kyō (694–710) and Heijō-kyō (most of 710–784). The capital cities of Fujiwara and Heijō are believed to have been modeled after Chinese capitals at the time, incorporating grid layout patterns. The royal court also established relations with Sui and then Tang Dynasty China and sent students to the Middle Kingdom to learn high civilization. By 7th century, Nara accepted the many immigrants including refugees of Baekje who had escaped from war disturbances of the southern part of the Korean peninsula. The first high civilization with royal patronage of Buddhism flourished in today's Nara city (710–784 AD).

Source

Osaka Prefecture travel guide

3.8
Landmarks · Theme Parks · Parks
Osaka Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshu, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area. Osaka is one of the two "urban prefectures" of Japan, Kyoto being the other (Tokyo became a "metropolitan prefecture", or to, in 1941).HistoryUntil the Meiji Restoration, the area of Osaka prefecture was known as Kawachi, Izumi, and Settsu provinces.Osaka Prefecture was created on June 21, 1868, at the very beginning of the Meiji era. During the instigation of Fuhanken Sanchisei in 1868, the prefecture received its suffix fu, designating it as an urban prefecture.On September 1, 1956, the city of Osaka was promoted to a city designated by government ordinance and thereby divided into 24 wards.In 2000, Fusae Ota became Japan's first female governor when she replaced Knock Yokoyama, who resigned after prosecution for sexual harassment.

Source

Kyoto Prefecture travel guide

4.3
Historic Sites · Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks
Kyoto Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.HistoryUntil the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto Prefecture was known as Yamashiro.For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was Japan's Imperial capital. The city's history can be traced back as far as the 6th century. In 544, the Aoi Matsuri was held in Kyoto to pray for good harvest and good weather.Kyoto did not start out as Japan's capital. A noteworthy earlier capital was Nara. In 741, Emperor Shōmu moved the capital briefly to Kuni-kyo, between the cities of Nara and Kyoto, in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaokakyō, also in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 794, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyo, and this was the beginning of the current-day city of Kyoto. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.Although in 1192 real political power shifted to Kamakura, where a samurai clan established the shogunate, Kyoto remained the imperial capital as the powerless emperors and their court continued to be seated in the city. Imperial rule was briefly restored in 1333, but another samurai clan established a new shogunate in Kyoto three years later.

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Tokyo Prefecture travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
A tour of Tokyo Prefecture reveals many eateries, markets, and museums, with sightseeing opportunities available for every type of traveler. Bright bursts of lights and billboards on modern buildings contrast the ornate, traditional architecture there. Don't forget to visit Izu Islands, easily accessible from the capital as an ideal day trip option.