41 days in Japan Itinerary

41 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

41 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Valletta, Island of Malta
Fly:  22​h
1
Nagasaki
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Kumamoto
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
3
Kagoshima
— 2 nights
train:  3​h 15​min
4
Beppu
— 2 nights
train:  2​h
5
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
6
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  2​h
7
Osaka
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
8
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  4​h
9
Takayama
— 2 nights
train:  3​h
10
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
11
Tokyo
— 9 nights
Drive:  2​h
12
Narusawa-mura
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  21​h 15​min
End: Valletta, Island of Malta

3
nights
Nagasaki

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.
On the 27th (Sun), take an in-depth tour of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, then see the interesting displays at Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, then enjoy breathtaking views from Inasayama Observation Deck, and finally stroll through Takahama Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Suwa Shrine, get engrossed in the history at 26 Martyrs Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden, then explore the world behind art at Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, and finally take a stroll through Shinchi Chinatown.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Nagasaki day trip planning site .

Valletta, Malta to Nagasaki is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Valletta to Nagasaki is 8 hours. In October in Nagasaki, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Kumamoto.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Suwa Shrine ©
Suwa Shrine

2
nights
Kumamoto

Kumamoto ©
Centered around its castle, Kumamoto stands as a historic city with plenty of modern-day appeal to add to the mix.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Tue): get advice or help at Sakuranobaba Josaien, admire the landmark architecture of Second Sight, then take in nature's colorful creations at Suizenji Jojuen Garden, and finally explore the historical opulence of Kumamoto Castle. On the 30th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Okoshiki Beach, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Tetori Church.

For ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Kumamoto visit planning app .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Nagasaki to Kumamoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Kumamoto are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. You'll have a few hours on the 31st (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Kagoshima.

Things to do in Kumamoto

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Okoshiki Beach, Onsen Resorts
Highlights from your plan
Kumamoto Castle ©
Kumamoto Castle
Kato Shrine ©
Kato Shrine
Catholic Tetori Church ©
Catholic Tetori Church

2
nights
Kagoshima

Kagoshima ©
Kagoshima sits across the bay from Sakurajima, an active volcano that serves as a symbol of the city and works its way into many aspects of life here.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Thu): go for a walk through Sengan-en Garden and then boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa. Keep things going the next day: brush up on your military savvy at Chiran Peace Museum, then contemplate the long history of Chiran Samurai Residence Garden, then take an in-depth tour of Museum of the Meiji Restoration, and finally explore the world behind art at Nagashima Museum.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Kagoshima online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Kumamoto to Kagoshima by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Kagoshima are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Beppu.

Things to do in Kagoshima

Museums Historic Sites Spas

Side Trip

Minamikyushu
Highlights from your plan
Chiran Peace Museum ©
Chiran Peace Museum
Sengan-en ©
Sengan-en
Chiran Samurai Residence Garden ©
Chiran Samurai Residence Garden

2
nights
Beppu

Beppu ©
The resort town of Beppu puts the geothermal nature of the region to good use.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Anrakuji Temple, then take in the natural beauty of Hells of Beppu, then contemplate the long history of Kumano Magaibutsu, and finally contemplate the long history of Usajingu Shrine. On the next day, get a taste of the local shopping with Angel Kimono Rental Beppu, then explore the activities along Lake Kinrin, and then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read Beppu road trip website .

You can take a train from Kagoshima to Beppu in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In November, daytime highs in Beppu are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can drive to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Beppu

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Usajingu Shrine, Kumano Magaibutsu, Lake Kinrin
Highlights from your plan
Usajingu Shrine ©
Usajingu Shrine
Kumano Magaibutsu ©
Kumano Magaibutsu
Onsen Resorts

2
nights
Fukuoka

Fukuoka ©
The largest city on the island, Fukuoka formed through the merger of two former cities that had grown up either side of the Naka River.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Nijino Matsubara, then get to know the fascinating history of Yoshinogari Historical Park, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kushida Shrine. On the 5th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nanzoin, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamado Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dazaifu Temmangu, then take an in-depth tour of Fukuoka City Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hakozaki-gu.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Fukuoka itinerary website .

Traveling by car from Beppu to Fukuoka takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Fukuoka can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Historic Sites Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Dazaifu, Nijino Matsubara, Nanzoin, Yoshinogari Historical Park
Highlights from your plan
Yoshinogari Historical Park ©
Yoshinogari Historical Park
Nanzoin ©
Nanzoin
Kushida Shrine ©
Kushida Shrine

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Popular historic sites such as Itsukushima Shrine and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park are in your itinerary. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Daishoin Temple and Peace Bell. Venture out of the city with trips to Hatsukaichi (Mikasahama Beach, Miyajima, & more), Kamoizumi Sake Brewery (in Higashihiroshima) and Mashike Itsukushima Shrine (in Mashike-cho). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Hiroshima trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by train from Fukuoka to Hiroshima takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Breweries & Distilleries Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Mashikeitsukushima Shrine, Kamoizumi Sake Brewery, JMSDF Kure Museum
Highlights from your plan
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

4
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.
Get some cultural insight at Koyasan Okunoin and Osaka Castle. Visit Koyasan Danjo Garan and Torodo Temple for their historical value. Change things up with these side-trips from Osaka: Niutsuhime Shrine (in Katsuragi-cho), Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara Park, & more) and Koya-cho (Kongobu-ji Temple & Mt. Koya). There's still lots to do: take a stroll through Dotonbori and find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Osaka online journey builder .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Osaka in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and flight. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in November, and nighttime lows around 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Nara, Niutsuhime Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple
Koyasan Danjo Garan ©
Koyasan Danjo Garan
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Ninna-ji Temple and Heian Shrine. Get some cultural insight at Gion and Nijo Castle. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, and go for a walk through Arashiyama.

For maps and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto online route planner .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in November, and nighttime lows around 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Shimogamo Jinja ©
Shimogamo Jinja
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, then admire the landmark architecture of Takayama Jinya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine, and finally get your bearings at Takayama City Hall. Here are some ideas for day two: get to know the fascinating history of Shirakabe Dozogai, examine the collection at Takayama Showa Museum, boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, examine the collection at Hida Great Limestone Cave and Ohashi Collection Kan Museum, then sample the tasty concoctions at Funasaka Shuzo Brewery, and finally wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji.

For reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Takayama trip maker website .

Getting from Kyoto to Takayama by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In November in Takayama, expect temperatures between 17°C during the day and 9°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Spas Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Shirakabe Dozogai, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Natadera Temple, then contemplate the long history of Suganuma Gassho Community, and finally wander the streets of Gokayama. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at D. T. Suzuki Museum, contemplate the long history of Kanazawa Castle, explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, then contemplate the long history of Higashichaya Old Town, then make a trip to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninja Temple.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa day trip planning website .

Getting from Takayama to Kanazawa by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In November, daytime highs in Kanazawa are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nanto, Natadera Temple
Highlights from your plan
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community
Ninja Temple ©
Ninja Temple

9
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Kencho-ji Temple and Asakusa Shrine. Step off the beaten path and head to Ueno and Nezu Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara), Kamakura (Shugenji Temple, Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), & more) and Kashima Jingu (in Kashima). And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Yanaka, steep yourself in history at Hozomon, make a trip to Kiunkaku, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Katori Jingu Shrine.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tokyo day trip planning app .

Take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. November in Tokyo sees daily highs of 19°C and lows of 11°C at night. On the 30th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Narusawa-mura.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Fun & Games

Side Trips

Kamakura, Atami, Katori, Oyama Afuri Shrine, Semba Boadwalk
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

3
nights
Narusawa-mura

Narusawa-mura ©
A village at the foothills of Mt.
You've now added Mt. Fuji 5th Station to your itinerary. Discover out-of-the-way places like Tokueizan Myohoji Temple and Shojyuzan Naisen-ji Temple. Ichinomiya Sengen Shrine and Narusawa Mt. Fuji Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting Narusawa-mura side-trips: Himuro Shrine (in Fujikawa-cho), Hoju-in Temple (in Ichikawamisato-cho) and Ando Residence (in Minami Alps). The adventure continues: play a few rounds at Narusawa Golf Club, pause for some photo ops at Japan's Highest Peak Fujisan Kengamine Monument, examine the collection at Kawaguchiko Zero Fighter Museum, and take in panoramic vistas at Fuji Subaru Line Osawa Carpark View Point.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Narusawa-mura online trip maker .

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Narusawa-mura takes 2 hours. When traveling from Tokyo in November, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Narusawa-mura: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 11°C at night. On the 3rd (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Narusawa-mura

Historic Sites Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Nishiyatsushiro-gun, Ando Residence, Shojyuzan Naisen-ji Temple, Himuro Shrine, Tokueizan Myohoji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Himuro Shrine ©
Himuro Shrine
Narusawa Mt. Fuji Museum ©
Narusawa Mt. Fuji Museum
Kawaguchiko Motor Museum ©
Kawaguchiko Motor Museum

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