36 days in East Asia Itinerary

36 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

Make it your trip
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
Train
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Nara
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Osaka
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train
7
Himeji
— 2 nights
Train
8
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
9
Kitakyushu
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Kotohira-cho
— 3 nights
Drive
11
Takamatsu
— 3 nights
Train
12
Kobe
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Koya-cho
— 3 nights
Drive
14
Kochi
— 3 nights
Fly

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Tokyo

— 3 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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Asakusa Shrine and Kencho-ji Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Nezu Shrine and Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple). Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Mt. Takao (in Hachioji) and Mitsumine Shrine (in Chichibu). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, take a stroll through Yanaka District, visit Ueno District, and contemplate the long history of Hie Jinjya.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo road trip planner.

If you are flying in from United States, the closest major aiports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport, Ibaraki Airport / JASDF Hyakuri Air Base and Yokota Air Base. In March in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 58°F during the day and 43°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Hakone-machi

— 2 nights
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): test the waters at a local thermal spa, admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), then see the interesting displays at Lalique Museum Hakone, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Choanji Temple. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja, explore the world behind art at Okada Museum of Art, and then steep yourself in history at Kiunkaku.

For other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Hakone-machi online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Hakone-machi takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in March, expect nights in Hakone-machi to be about the same, around 43°F, while days are little chillier, around 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums · Historic Sites · Spas · Nature

Side Trips

Takayama

— 2 nights
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 29th (Sun): indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine, then admire the landmark architecture of Takayama Jinya, and finally visit Sanmachi Suji. On the next day, appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, then steep yourself in history at Kanda house, then admire the landmark architecture of Yoshijima Heritage House, and finally see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum.

For more things to do, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Takayama tour itinerary builder app.

Traveling by train from Hakone-machi to Takayama takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in March, Takayama is slightly colder at night with lows of 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can drive to Nara.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites · Spas · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trip

Nara

— 2 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.
Get some historical perspective at Nigatsu-do Temple and Omiwa Shrine. Do some cultural sightseeing at Horyu-ji Temple and Hase-dera Temple. Step out of Nara with an excursion to Muroji Temple in Uda--about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodai-ji Temple, wander the streets of Sanjodori Street, stroll around Nara Park, and sample the tasty concoctions at Harushika Brewery.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Nara takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Takayama in March since evenings lows in Nara dip to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Osaka

— 3 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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): have some family-friendly fun at Ninja-Do and then wander the streets of Dotombori District. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Kinpusenji Temple and then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Yoshino.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Osaka visit planning app.

Drive from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Nara in April since evenings lows in Osaka dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Fun & Games

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nishi Honganji, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jonangu Shrine, then admire the landmark architecture of Ninna-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. On your second day here, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja, get to know the fascinating history of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Hiei, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanzen-in Temple, then get great views at Mt. Kurama, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamigamo Shrine.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto day trip website.

Traveling by car from Osaka to Kyoto takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 50°F. You'll have a few hours on the 7th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Himeji

— 2 nights
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.
On the 7th (Tue), step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hiromine Shrine, and then contemplate the long history of Aga Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, get outside with Mt Shosha hiking, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Katashibo Bamboo Forest.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Himeji travel app.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Himeji takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 63°F in April, and nighttime lows around 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Hiroshima

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): delve into the lush surroundings at Misen Wild Woods, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daishoin Temple, then step off the mainland to explore Miyajima, and finally don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. On your second day here, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple, then get outside with Mikasahama Beach, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mashikeitsukushima Shrine.

To find traveler tips and tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip planner.

Take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In April, daily temperatures in Hiroshima can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. On the 11th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kitakyushu.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Spas

Side Trips

Kitakyushu

— 2 nights
An important gateway for trade and travel between Honshu and Kyushu, the city of Kitakyushu has an old industrial waterfront and provides access to a number of natural sites across the wider region.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): stroll around Green Park, then contemplate the long history of Old Ito Denemon House, and then catch the contagious excitement of Kokura Horse Tracks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Kawachi Reservoir, head outdoors with Mt Sarakura, then steep yourself in history at Old Kyushu Railroad Head Quarters, then admire the landmark architecture of Old Moji Zeikan, and finally take a stroll through Mojiko Retro.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Kitakyushu route tool.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kitakyushu takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In April, daily temperatures in Kitakyushu can reach 63°F, while at night they dip to 53°F. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kotohira-cho.

Things to do in Kitakyushu

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Outdoors

Side Trip

Kotohira-cho

— 3 nights
Known only for being the home of the Kompirasan Shrine Complex, the tiny town of Kotohira-cho remains a popular day trip destination from larger nearby cities.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Kotohira-gu and Abuto Kannon (Bandai-ji Temple Kannondo). Step off the beaten path and head to Takatoro and The Central Shrine of Ishizuchi Jinja. Explore Kotohira-cho's surroundings by going to Onsen Resorts (in Miyoshi) and Fukuyama (Io-ji Temple & Fukuzen-ji Temple). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sugawara Shirine, contemplate the long history of Izutama Shrine, and examine the collection at Kotohira-gu Shrine Omoteshoin.

For reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Kotohira-cho holiday site.

You can drive from Kitakyushu to Kotohira-cho in 5.5 hours. In April, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Takamatsu.

Things to do in Kotohira-cho

Historic Sites · Spas · Baths · Museums

Side Trips

Takamatsu

— 3 nights

Gateway to Shikoku

A modern city and a major transport hub facing Seto Inland Sea, Takamatsu offers a bustling city lifestyle contrasted with carefully manicured, tranquil green areas at the foot of the mountains and the lava plateau.
On the 16th (Thu), take in the spiritual surroundings of Tamura Shrine and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Honenji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Kikugetsutei, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakuriji Temple, then contemplate the long history of Kinojo Iwaya, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Negoroji Temple.

To find other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Takamatsu day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Kotohira-cho to Takamatsu in an hour. In April, daily temperatures in Takamatsu can reach 64°F, while at night they dip to 50°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Kobe.

Things to do in Takamatsu

Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kobe

— 2 nights
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tomogashima Island and Kobe Municipal Arboretum. Get some historical perspective at Nishinomiya Shrine and Minatogawa Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Kobe: Shukugawa Catholic Church (in Nishinomiya) and Kiyoshikojin Seichoji (in Takarazuka). The adventure continues: soak in some Japanese tradition at Arima Onsen, examine the collection at Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, appreciate the views at Mukogawa Valley, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kobe Muslim Mosque.

To see photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Kobe holiday maker site.

You can take a train from Takamatsu to Kobe in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 63°F, and evening lows to 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Kobe

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Koya-cho

— 3 nights
Step off the beaten path and head to Rokkaku Kyozo and Ruins of Takatori Castle. Take a break from the city and head to Mt. Omine and Katsuragi Highlands.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Koya-cho trip maker.

Drive from Kobe to Koya-cho in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a train. In April, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 52°F. On the 24th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Kochi.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Kochi

— 3 nights
The port city of Kochi has a rich and varied history that has left its mark on the look and feel of the urban area.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Chikurinji Temple and Konomineji Temple. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Katsura Hama and Zenshibuji Temple. Venture out of the city with trips to Shoryuji Temple (in Tosa), Niyodogawa-cho (Nakatsu Valley & Yasuike Valley) and Konomine Shrine (in Yasuda-cho). It doesn't end there: explore the historical opulence of Kochi Castle and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asakura Shrine.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Kochi road trip planning site.

You can drive from Koya-cho to Kochi in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. April in Kochi sees daily highs of 67°F and lows of 54°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kochi

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips