43 days in Japan Itinerary

43 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Narita
Drive
2
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Nikko
— 1 night
Drive
4
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Tateyama
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
8
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
Train
9
Nagoya
— 2 nights
Train
10
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train
11
Himeji
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Shikokuchuo
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
14
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
Train
15
Kobe
— 2 nights
Drive
16
Osaka
— 3 nights
Drive
17
Nara
— 2 nights
Drive
18
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive
19
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Train
20
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Fly
21
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Fly

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Narita

Pilgrims and aviators come to Narita, a town known during the Edo period for its temple, and now known primarily for its airport.
To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Narita trip itinerary planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Narita is an approximately 13-hour flight. Traveling from Melbourne to Narita, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for cooler weather when traveling from Melbourne in December: high temperatures in Narita hover around 13°C and lows are around 1°C. On the 24th (Thu), you'll travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Narita

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Shopping

Tokyo

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Thu): enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo International Airport International Terminal Observation Deck. Here are some ideas for day two: indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, stroll around Meiji Jingu Gaien, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, make a trip to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, then have some family-friendly fun at Samurai Armor Photo Studio, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hie Jinjya.

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

You can drive from Narita to Tokyo in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 14°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. On the 26th (Sat), you're off to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Tours · Parks · Historic Sites · Fun & Games

Nikko

— 1 night
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 27th (Sun): trek along Odashirogahara, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Nantai, steep yourself in history at Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi Shrine, snap pictures at Shinkyo Bridge, then get engrossed in the history at Kanaya Hotel History House, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakushido.

To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Nikko trip planner.

You can drive from Tokyo to Nikko in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Tokyo in December: highs in Nikko hover around 11°C, while lows dip to 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Trails

Tokyo

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sun): stop by Kagurazaka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Mon): learn something new at Happo-en Garden, steep yourself in history at Sengaku-ji Temple, go all around town with Street Kart Tokyo Bay, then admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, then steep yourself in history at Kawasaki Daishi, and finally get all the information you need at Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Tokyo attractions planner.

You can drive from Nikko to Tokyo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nikko in December, expect a bit cooler with lows of 4°C in Tokyo. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tateyama.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Tateyama

— 2 nights
Tateyama is a city located in southern Chiba Prefecture, Japan. On the 29th (Tue), walk around Shiroyama Park. On the 30th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsurugaya Hachimangu, experience rural life at Tateyama Strawberry Picking Center, enjoy the sand and surf at Hojo Beach, explore the historical opulence of Tateyama Castle (Hakkenden Museum), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tateyama Shrine, and finally get outside with Boso Flower Line.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tateyama day trip planning website.

Drive from Tokyo to Tateyama in 2 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Tokyo in December since evenings lows in Tateyama dip to 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) so you can drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tateyama

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Beaches

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 31st (Thu): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On your second day here, get great views at Hakone Ropeway, admire the masterpieces at Hakone Museum of Art, explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, take a memorable drive along Otome Toge, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Kintoki, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Choanji Temple.

To find maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Hakone-machi trip site.

Drive from Tateyama to Hakone-machi in 3 hours. Traveling from Tateyama in December, expect Hakone-machi to be a bit cooler, temps between 8°C and 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Nature

Matsumoto

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Matsumoto Shrine. On the 3rd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the activities along Lake Azusa-ko, admire the sheer force of Zengoro Fall, get outside with Mt. Norikura Snow Resort, hit the slopes at Norikura Kogen, then soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Fukashi Shrine.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Matsumoto day trip tool.

Getting from Hakone-machi to Matsumoto by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in January, plan for little chillier nights in Matsumoto, with lows around -3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Winter Sports

Matsumoto

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 4th (Mon): stop by Matsumoto Castletown Springs, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Jorinji Temple, and then admire the landmark architecture of Matsumoto i Design Fashion Institute of Technology. On the next day, explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, steep yourself in history at Takahashi Family Residence, explore the activities along Taisho Pond, contemplate the waterfront views at Pond Tashiro, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hodaka Shrine Okumiya, and finally take in the views from Myojin Bridge.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Matsumoto online travel planner.

Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Nagoya.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Nature

Nagoya

— 2 nights
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): enjoy breathtaking views from Nagoya TV Tower, walk around Central Park, and then don't miss a visit to Yumekyobashi Castel Road. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at Nagoya Shisei Shiryokan, don't miss a visit to Nagoya Castle, explore the world behind art at The Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Art, admire the masterpieces at Furukawa Art Museum, then see the interesting displays at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and finally let little ones run wild at Todagawa Kodomo Land.

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

You can take a train from Matsumoto to Nagoya in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Matsumoto in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Nagoya, with lows of 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nagoya

Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites

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 9th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, don't miss a visit to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shinnyodo Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shimogamo Jinja, then contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamigamo Shrine. On your second day here, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, get your game on at NINJA VR KYOTO, take some stellar pictures from Sagano, then take in nature's colorful creations at Okochi Sanso Garden, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jojakkoji Temple.

To see ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto route maker website.

You can take a train from Nagoya to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. January in Kyoto sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 1°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Fun & Games · Classes · Parks

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 10th (Sun), stroll through Sunken Garden, Castle Garden and then make a trip to Viewing Deck, Himeji Station Square. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Mt Shosha hiking, steep yourself in history at Himeji Castle, take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en, then steep yourself in history at Nishi no Maru, then admire the landmark architecture of Hiromine Shrine, and finally make a trip to Shoshazan Ropeway.

To see other places to visit and other tourist information, you can read our Himeji trip site.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Himeji takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can travel to Shikokuchuo.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Shikokuchuo

— 2 nights
Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Paper Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sankaku Shrine, make a trip to Senryuji Temple, visit Umatate Parking Area Up Line, then take in the awesome beauty at Shiozuka Highland, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Unbenji Temple.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Shikokuchuo visit planner.

You can drive from Himeji to Shikokuchuo in 3 hours. January in Shikokuchuo sees daily highs of 8°C and lows of 1°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Shikokuchuo

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

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.
Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, snap pictures at Aioi Bridge, appreciate the history behind Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, make a trip to Peace Flame, then appreciate the history behind Peace Bell, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Hiroshima visit planning app.

Drive from Shikokuchuo to Hiroshima in 3 hours. In January in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 2°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Spas

Side Trip

Fukuoka

— 2 nights

City of Yatai

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 16th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ankokuji Temple and then browse the different shops at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: go for a walk through Ohori Park, admire the natural beauty at Ohorikoen Japanese Garden, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Asahi Breweries Hakata Brewery, stroll around Momochi Seaside Park, then examine the collection at Fukuoka Citizen’s Disaster Prevention Center, and finally take an in-depth tour of Fukuoka City Museum.

To find more things to do and tourist information, refer to the Fukuoka day trip planner.

Take a train from Hiroshima to Fukuoka in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

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.
On the 19th (Tue), don't miss a visit to The Former Foreign Settlement of Kobe, wander the streets of Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown), take in nature's colorful creations at Sorakuen Garden, see the interesting displays at Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Ashiya Rock Garden, and finally walk around Kabutoyama Shinrin Park. On the next day, admire the landmark architecture of Minatogawa Shrine, take a stroll through Kobe Harborland, take an in-depth tour of Kobe City Museum (Kobe Shiritsu Hakubutsukan), then gain insight at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, then admire the natural beauty at Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, and finally explore the striking landscape at Kazefukiiwa.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Kobe online day trip planner.

Getting from Fukuoka to Kobe by train takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. January in Kobe sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Shopping

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Minoo Park and Nakanoshima Park. And it doesn't end there: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, stroll around Expo '70 Commemorative Park, wander the streets of Dotombori District, and ponder the world of politics at Mint Museum.

For traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Osaka travel planner.

You can drive from Kobe to Osaka in an hour. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In January in Osaka, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can drive to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks · Historic Sites · Parks · 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.
On the 23rd (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Kashihara Jingu, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Asuka-dera Temple, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tanzan Shrine. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodai-ji Temple, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, sample the tasty concoctions at Harushika Brewery, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Wakakusa, then appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Nara National Museum.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Nara online itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Osaka to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in January, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trips

Ise

— 2 nights
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
On the 25th (Mon), get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Yokoyama, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Izawanomiya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kazahinominomiya, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Grand Shrine, then make a trip to Jingu Chokokan Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Okage Yokocho.

To find maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Ise online trip planner.

Drive from Nara to Ise in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Traveling from Nara in January, plan for a bit warmer nights in Ise, with lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Kanazawa

— 2 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
On the 27th (Wed), look for gifts at Sakuda Honten and then wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town. On the next day, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ishiura Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple, enjoy breathtaking views from Ainokura Observatory, wander the streets of Gokayama, then don't miss a visit to Suganuma Gassho Community, and finally contemplate the long history of Kanda house.

To see where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa online travel route planner.

Drive from Ise to Kanazawa in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in January, Kanazawa is slightly colder at night with lows of 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trips

Tokyo

— 2 nights
On the 30th (Sat), admire the natural beauty at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Garden, steep yourself in history at Toshogu Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, contemplate the long history of Hozomon, then take a memorable tour with Street Kart Tokyo Bay, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Atago Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Sun): take an in-depth tour of Memorial Warships Mikasa, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), steep yourself in history at Kencho-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kishamichi Promenade, and finally take in the views from Yokohama Bay Bridge.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planning website.

Take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Kanazawa in January, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 1°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) to allow time to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Sapporo

— 2 nights

CIty of Ramen

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Sapporo Teine and The Hokkaido University Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Sapporo side-trips: Rusutsu Resort Ski (in Rusutsu-mura) and Otaru Canal (in Otaru). And it doesn't end there: fly down the slopes at Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, walk around Odori Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari Shrine, and get into the urban bustle at Sapporo Underground Shopping Centre Aurora Town.

For traveler tips and other tourist information, read Sapporo trip builder site.

Getting from Tokyo to Sapporo by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in February, you will find days in Sapporo are colder (-1°C), and nights are a bit cooler (-5°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
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.