42 days in Japan Itinerary

42 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

42 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Frankfurt
Fly:  16​h 30​min
1
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Naha
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
3
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture
— 2 nights
Train:  3​h 30​min
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train:  1​h
5
Himeji
— 2 nights
Train:  45​min
6
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Train:  2​h 30​min
7
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
8
Matsumoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Fujikawaguchiko-machi
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
10
Nikko
— 4 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
11
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Frankfurt

3
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Ishigaki is known for nature, beaches, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Kabira Bay, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, get outside with Yonehara Beach, and walk around Kabira Park.

For ratings, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Ishigaki road trip planning app .

Frankfurt, Germany to Ishigaki is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Frankfurt to Ishigaki is 8 hours. When traveling from Frankfurt in April, plan for somewhat warmer days in Ishigaki, with highs around 30°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel to Naha.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

3
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Get out of town with these interesting Naha side-trips: Blue Sky (in Nakagusuku-son), Scuba & Snorkeling (in Onna-son) and Motobu-cho (Tropical Dream Center, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, &more). There's still lots to do: explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle, see the interesting displays at Okinawa Prefecture Karate Museum, sample the fine beverages at Sakimoto Shuzo Distillers, and don't miss a visit to Kokusaidori.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Naha day trip website .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Naha in 3 hours. In April, daily temperatures in Naha can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Outdoors Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Motobu-cho, Blue Sky, Scuba & Snorkeling, Okinawa Prefecture Karate Museum
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Church Hongouchi, snap pictures at Megane Bridge, examine the collection at Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, then stroll around Nagasaki Peace Park, and finally appreciate the history behind Hypocenter of Atomic Bombing. On the next day, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sōfuku-ji Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Glover Garden, look for gifts at Tatematsuru, take in panoramic vistas at Inasayama Observation Deck, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Inasa, and finally don't miss a visit to Nagasaki Prefectural Government Observation Deck.

To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Nagasaki trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Naha to Nagasaki by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of ferry and train. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Naha in April, with highs in Nagasaki at 22°C and lows at 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Nagasaki Peace Park ©
Nagasaki Peace Park

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Get out of town with these interesting Hiroshima side-trips: Okayama Korakuen Garden (in Okayama), Mt. Misen (in Miyajima) and Kurashiki (Japanese Rural Toy Museum, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, &more). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome.

To find traveler tips, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip planner.

Traveling by train from Nagasaki to Hiroshima takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in April, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Kurashiki, Hatsukaichi, Okayama Korakuen Garden, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

2
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, make a trip to Nishi no Maru Nagatsubone, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Yoneda Taishiji Temple, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Takamikura. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head outdoors with Mt Shosha hiking, make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, then walk around Otokoyama Haisuiike Park, and finally contemplate the long history of Nishi no Maru.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Himeji online road trip planner .

Take a train from Hiroshima to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In April, daytime highs in Himeji are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Historic Sites Trails

Side Trips

Mt. Takamikura, Yoneda Taishiji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji

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 the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana) and Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Haradanien, head outdoors with Kyoto Isshu Trail, Higahiyama Fuahimi Inari Course, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto attractions tool .

You can take a train from Himeji to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

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
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Takayama (Wine Tours & Tastings, Takayama Jinya, &more), Gokayama (in Nanto) and Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, &more). Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, don't miss a visit to Kanazawa Station, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and steep yourself in history at Kanazawa Castle.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Kanazawa trip planner.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Kanazawa when traveling from Kyoto in April, with lows around 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Takayama, Shirakawa-mura, Gokayama, Shishiku Park
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

4
nights
Matsumoto

Matsumoto ©
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Venture out of the city with trips to Takayama (Higashiyama Walking Course, Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, &more), Yashimagahara Marsh (in Shimosuwa-machi) and Kirigamine Marshland (in Suwa). There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Matsumoto Castle, see the interesting displays at Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum (Matsumoto Mingei-kan), head outdoors with Happo-one Nature Study Course, and identify plant and animal life at Ike no Taira Shitsugen.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Matsumoto journey planning tool .

You can drive from Kanazawa to Matsumoto in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In April in Matsumoto, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Fujikawaguchiko-machi.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Hakuba-mura, Takayama, Kirigamine Marshland, Yashimagahara Marsh, Ike no Taira Shitsugen
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle

3
nights
Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Fujikawaguchiko-machi ©
A resort town located in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Fujikawaguchiko-machi acts as a base for many who plan to take one of the trails up the iconic volcano.
Change things up with these side-trips from Fujikawaguchiko-machi: Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine (in Fujinomiya) and Hakone-machi (Hakone Ropeway, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, &more). Spend the 7th (Thu) exploring nature at Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Fuji, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Kawaguchi, and take in panoramic vistas at Nakanokura Pass Observation Point.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Fujikawaguchiko-machi online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Fujikawaguchiko-machi takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a train. When traveling from Matsumoto in May, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Fujikawaguchiko-machi: temperatures range from 21°C by day to 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can go by car to Nikko.

Things to do in Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Nakanokura Pass Observation Point, Mount Fuji, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Mount Fuji ©
Mount Fuji
Lake Kawaguchi ©
Lake Kawaguchi
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum

4
nights
Nikko

Nikko ©
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Nikko side-trips: Oe Wetlands (in Minamiaizu-machi), Katashina-mura (Oze Plant Research Specimen Garden, Shigehachi, &more) and Ryushun Fall (in Nasushiobara). The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, contemplate the long history of Taiyuimbyo Shrine, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Sakana to Mori no Kansatsuen, and hike along Nasu Nature Study Paths.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Nikko trip planner.

Getting from Fujikawaguchiko-machi to Nikko by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in May, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Katashina-mura, Nasu-machi, Ryushun Fall, Nikko National Park, Oe Wetlands
Highlights from your plan
Nikko National Park ©
Nikko National Park
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu

6
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) & Joukoumyouji Temple). There's much more to do: stroll through Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, make a trip to Tokyo Skytree, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planning app .

Traveling by train from Nikko to Tokyo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. When traveling from Nikko in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 28°C by day to 19°C at night. On the 17th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Kamakura
Highlights from your plan
Samurai Armor Photo Studio ©
Samurai Armor Photo Studio
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine

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