39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Nikko
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Kyoto
— 9 nights
Train
5
Uji
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Nara
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Sakurai
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Osaka
— 5 nights
Train
9
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Train
10
Himeji
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Tottori
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
+2
Train to Hamamatsucho, Tram to Tokyo Haneda, Fly to Portland

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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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tokyo National Museum and The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin). Step off the beaten path and head to Ueno District and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, wander the streets of Odaiba District, visit Akihabara, and take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

To see photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip planner.

Portland, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 14-hour flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 17 hour difference. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Tokyo when traveling from Portland in September, with lows around 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to drive to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping

Nikko

— 2 nights
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 24th (Mon): soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, then get engrossed in the history at Kanaya Hotel History House, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Taiyuimbyo Shrine.

To find ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Nikko tour planner.

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Nikko takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Nikko are 77°F, while nighttime lows are 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Nikko

Baths · Spas · Historic Sites · Museums

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 26th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Kusakabe Folk Museum, admire the striking features of Yoshijima Heritage House, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Funasaka Shuzo Brewery, contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, then take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, and finally examine the collection at Takayama Showa Museum. On your second day here, make a trip to The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses and then contemplate the long history of Myozenji Temple.

For photos and other tourist information, use the Takayama trip builder site.

You can drive from Nikko to Takayama in 5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nikko in September, expect little chillier with lows of 66°F in Takayama. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

Kyoto

— 9 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Sanzen-in Temple and Nishi Honganji. Popular historic sites such as Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Nijo Castle are in your itinerary. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Miyazu (Kanabiki Waterfall & Amanohashidate View Land) and Hachiman-bori (in Omihachiman). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, wander the streets of Gion, and don't miss a visit to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto journey builder tool.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kyoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 83°F in September, and nighttime lows around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Uji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Theme Parks · Parks

Side Trips

Uji

— 2 nights
Lying between Kyoto and Nara, the small city of Uji stands as a place of culture and history.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): explore the world behind art at Miho Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mimurotoji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ujigami Shrine, then look for gifts at Notonojo Inafusa Yasukane, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Byodoin Omote-sando. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shuonan Ikkyuji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Byodoin, and then explore the activities along Uji River.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Uji trip itinerary planner.

Uji is just a stone's throw from Kyoto. In October, daytime highs in Uji are 74°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Nara.

Things to do in Uji

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Todai-ji Temple, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Wakakusa, then stroll around Nara Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine. Keep things going the next day: admire the natural beauty at Isuien Garden, then don't miss a visit to Naramachi Koshino Ie, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Horyu-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodai-ji Temple.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Uji to Nara by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a train. In October, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can go by car to Sakurai.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

Sakurai

— 2 nights
Sakurai is a city located in Nara Prefecture, Japan.As of March 31, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 58,386, and 24,629 households. Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Omiwa Shrine, test the waters at a local thermal spa, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Muroji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Uda Mikumari Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hase-dera Temple. On your second day here, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tanzan Shrine, don't miss a visit to Ishibutai Tomb, don't miss a visit to Ruins of Takatori Castle, then get engrossed in the history at Kitora Tomb Hekiga Taikenkan Shijin no Yakata, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kashihara Jingu.

For more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Sakurai trip maker website.

Getting from Nara to Sakurai by car takes about an hour. In October, daily temperatures in Sakurai can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Sakurai

Historic Sites · Spas · Museums

Side Trips

Osaka

— 5 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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Koyasan Okunoin and Kids Plaza Osaka. Popular historic sites such as Osaka Castle and Osaka City Central Hall are in your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Kobe (Kobe Harborland & Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)), Wakayama (Tomogashima Island & Onsen Resorts) and Minoo Park (in Mino). Next up on the itinerary: visit Dotombori District, take a stroll through Minami (Namba), take in the spiritual surroundings of Hōzen-ji Temple, and get a taste of the local shopping with Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka tour itinerary maker website.

Getting from Sakurai to Osaka by car takes about 1.5 hours. Traveling from Sakurai in October, Osaka is little chillier at night with lows of 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trips

Hiroshima

— 3 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.
You've now added Miyajima to your itinerary. Explore hidden gems such as Senjokaku and Mikasahama Beach. Get some historical perspective at Itsukushima Shrine and Hiroshima Castle. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Hiroshima road trip planning site.

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In October, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Shimmaiko Beach, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, and then sample the tasty concoctions at Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon): step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle and then stroll through Amore Beach.

For other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Himeji journey maker site.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Himeji in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can drive to Tottori.

Things to do in Himeji

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip

Tottori

— 2 nights
A highlight of the west of the country, Tottori sits along the coast of the Sea of Japan.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): make a trip to Tottori City Shikano Orai Koryukan Dream, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitokusan Sanbutuji Temple, then enjoy the sand and surf at Hakuto Beach, and finally admire the masterpieces at The Sand Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Wed): examine the collection at Warabekan, then examine the collection at Watanabe Art Museum, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kannonin.

Planning Tottori trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

You can drive from Himeji to Tottori in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. Traveling from Himeji in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Tottori, with lows of 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tottori

Museums · Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

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.
On the 25th (Thu), steep yourself in history at Suganuma Gassho Community, then wander the streets of Gokayama, then steep yourself in history at Ainokura Gassho Community, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Natadera Temple. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at D. T. Suzuki Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, don't miss a visit to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro, steep yourself in history at Shima, then wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, and finally admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

Plan a Kanazawa trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Tottori to Kanazawa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. In October, daily temperatures in Kanazawa can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. On the 27th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trips

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
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.