37 days in Japan Itinerary

37 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Canberra
Fly:  15​h
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Train:  2​h
2
Sendai
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
3
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
4
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Train:  2​h 30​min
5
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
6
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
7
Asahikawa
— 2 nights
+2
Train + Taxi + Fly:  4​h 30​min
8
Hakodate
— 12 nights
Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: Canberra


Learn more about your trip

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.
Go for a jaunt from Tokyo to Hakone-machi to see The Hakone Open-Air Museum about 1h 40 min away. There's still lots to do: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, and take some stellar pictures from Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planning website .

Canberra, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Canberra to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Canberra in December, you will find days in Tokyo are much colder (14°C), and nights are slightly colder (4°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Sendai.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Theme Parks

Side Trips

The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Tokyo Disneyland
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

2
nights
Sendai

Sendai ©
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Thu): step off the mainland to explore Fukuurajima, go for a stroll along the water at Matsushima Bay, explore the historical opulence of Sendaijo Ato, then take an in-depth tour of Zuihoden, then make a trip to Sendai Station, and finally make a trip to Jozenji-dori Avenue. On your second day here, get engrossed in the history at Michinoku Date Masamune Historical Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zuiganji, take in the spiritual surroundings of Entsu-in Temple, then steep yourself in history at Godaido, and finally contemplate the long history of Osaki Hachiman Shrine.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Sendai online tour builder .

Take a train from Tokyo to Sendai in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in December, expect nights in Sendai to be about the same, around 5°C, while days are little chillier, around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Sendai

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

Matsushima-machi
Highlights from your plan
Sendaijo Ato ©
Sendaijo Ato
Entsu-in Temple ©
Entsu-in Temple

2
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): walk around Odori Park, steep yourself in history at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus, then make a trip to Otaru Canal, and finally make a trip to JR Otaru Station. On the next day, contemplate the long history of Sapporo Clock Tower, take a stroll around Sapporo Underground Shopping Centre Aurora Town, get great views at Sapporo TV Tower, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokkaido Jingu, then get great views at Mt. Moiwa, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Okurayama Lookout.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Sapporo trip itinerary builder tool .

Getting from Sendai to Sapporo by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Sendai in January: high temperatures in Sapporo hover around -3°C and lows are around -6°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Otaru
Highlights from your plan
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha (in Hida), Takayama (Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato) & Takayama Jinya) and Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, &more). And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple, and wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town.

To find maps, traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and other tourist information, use the Kanazawa day trip site .

Fly from Sapporo to Kanazawa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Sapporo in January; daily highs in Kanazawa reach 7°C and lows reach 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Takayama, Ainokura Observatory, Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden

5
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.
Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana) and Osaka (Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, &more). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Koshojibetsuin Ryozenhobyo, wander the streets of Gion, and make a trip to Arashiyama.

To find other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto online travel planner .

Traveling by train from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

3
nights
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
Explore Nagasaki's surroundings by going to Sasebo (Domtoren & Huis Ten Bosch). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden, ponder the world of politics at Nagasaki Prefectural Government Observation Deck, and make a trip to World Peace Symbol Zone.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Nagasaki online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Kyoto to Nagasaki takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In January in Nagasaki, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to travel to Asahikawa.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Theme Parks Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Sasebo
Highlights from your plan
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden

2
nights
Asahikawa

Asahikawa ©
Perched on the confluence of four rivers and surrounded by green hills, Asahikawa combines a modern city experience with the pristine nature nearby.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): examine the collection at Otokoyama Sakezukuri Museum, find something for the whole family at Asahikawa Ramen Village, get to know the resident critters at Asahiyama Zoo, then relax in the rural setting at Ueno Farm, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hokkaido Gokoku Shrine, and finally don't miss a visit to Asahikawa Station. On your second day here, take in the dramatic scenery at Shirahige Falls, look for all kinds of wild species at Shirogane Blue Pond, explore the world behind art at Snow Crystal Museum, then head outdoors with Asahikawa Kamui Ski Resort, and finally get great views at Kamuikotan.

For reviews, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Asahikawa road trip planner .

You can fly from Nagasaki to Asahikawa in 7.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Nagasaki in January, with highs in Asahikawa at -6°C and lows at -9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Hakodate.

Things to do in Asahikawa

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trip

Biei-cho
Highlights from your plan
Asahiyama Zoo ©
Asahiyama Zoo
Shirogane Blue Pond ©
Shirogane Blue Pond
Asahikawa Kamui Ski Resort ©
Asahikawa Kamui Ski Resort

12
nights
Hakodate

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
Get out of town with these interesting Hakodate side-trips: Shiriyazaki (in Higashidori-mura), Nanae-cho (Hakodate Nanae Snow Park, Onuma Park Walking Path, &more) and Hokuto (Trappist Monasteries, Houkiji Temple, &more). There's lots more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Hakodate, boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, contemplate the long history of The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, and take a stroll through Motomachi.

To see topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Hakodate road trip planning website .

Do a combination of train and flight from Asahikawa to Hakodate in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. When traveling from Asahikawa in January, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Hakodate: temperatures range from 0°C by day to -6°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Nanae-cho, Hokuto, Matsumae-cho, Michi-no-Eki Uzushio Shikabe Kanketsusen Park, Shiriyazaki
Highlights from your plan
Goryokaku Park ©
Goryokaku Park
Mount Hakodate ©
Mount Hakodate
Goryokaku Tower ©
Goryokaku Tower

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