52 days in Japan Itinerary

52 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan journey planner

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Route & dates

52 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  21 h 45 min
1
Sapporo
— 5 nights
Fly:  4 h 30 min
2
Kanazawa
— 5 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
3
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Train:  45 min
4
Himeji
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
5
Hiroshima
— 5 nights
Train:  1 h 15 min
6
Fukuoka
— 5 nights
Fly:  4 h 15 min
7
Ishigaki
— 5 nights
Fly:  5 h
8
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Drive:  2 h
9
Fujikawaguchiko-machi
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
10
Nikko
— 5 nights
Train + Fly:  18 h
End: Houston

5
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.
Explore Sapporo's surroundings by going to Noboribetsu (Jigokudani & Noboribetsu Date Historic Village), Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery (in Yoichi-cho) and Otaru (Asakusa Bridge, Otaru Canal, &more). There's lots more to do: stroll around Odori Park, make a trip to Sapporo Clock Tower, take in the architecture and design of Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus, and steep yourself in history at Hokkaido Jingu.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Sapporo online trip planner .

Houston, USA to Sapporo is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 15 hour difference. While traveling from Houston, expect much colder days and little chillier nights in Sapporo, ranging from highs of 68°F to lows of 63°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Otaru, Noboribetsu, Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Highlights from your plan
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Jigokudani ©
Jigokudani
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal

5
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses & Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen), Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (in Tateyama-machi) and Takayama (Takayama Jinya, Sanmachi Suji, &more). There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple.

To find topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Kanazawa road trip planner.

You can fly from Sapporo to Kanazawa in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. When traveling from Sapporo in September, plan for somewhat warmer days in Kanazawa, with highs around 78°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 65°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Takayama, Shirakawa-mura, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden

6
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 Osaka (Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka Castle, &more) and Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Kanazawa to Kyoto by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; 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 4th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Osaka, Enryaku-ji Shakado
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
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Himeji: Takeda Castle Ruins (in Asago), Yabu (Tarumino Ozakura & Tendaki Falls) and Okayama (Okayama Castle & Okayama Korakuen Garden). And it doesn't end there: explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, make a trip to Shoshazan Ropeway, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takamikura, and take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en.

To see maps, traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, read Himeji travel route website .

Take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in October, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Yabu, Okayama, Mt. Takamikura, Takeda Castle Ruins
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

5
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Miyajima (Mt. Misen & Shishiiwa Tenbodai), Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Itsukushima Shrine Torii, &more) and Yamato Museum (in Kure). There's much more to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden, and appreciate the history behind Children's Peace Monument.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima road trip planning site .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Hiroshima takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. October in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 61°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Yamato 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

5
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fukuoka: Huis Ten Bosch (in Sasebo), Dazaifu (Komyozen-ji Temple & Dazaifu Tenman-gu) and Kumamoto (Suizenji Jojuen Garden & Kumamoto Castle). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, take in panoramic vistas at Komenoyama Obsevatory, admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden, and have fun at Ohori Park.

To plan Fukuoka vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Take a train from Hiroshima to Fukuoka in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in October, and nighttime lows around 61°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trips

Nagasaki, Dazaifu, Kumamoto, Komenoyama Obsevatory, Huis Ten Bosch
Highlights from your plan
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Iriomote-jima (Canyoning & Rappelling Tours & Stand-Up Paddleboarding). The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Kabira Bay, walk around Kabira Park, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape.

For maps, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and other tourist information, read Ishigaki trip builder tool .

You can fly from Fukuoka to Ishigaki in 4.5 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Fukuoka in October: high temperatures in Ishigaki hover around 85°F and lows are around 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Iriomote-jima
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal ©
Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal

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 Tokyo's surroundings by going to Kamakura (KĊtoku-in & Hase-dera Temple). The adventure continues: admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and make a trip to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To find traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo travel planner.

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Tokyo takes 5 hours. Traveling from Ishigaki in October, things will get slightly colder in Tokyo: highs are around 72°F and lows about 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) so you can go by car to Fujikawaguchiko-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Kamakura, Tokyo Disneyland
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Matsumoto Castle (in Matsumoto), Hakone-machi (The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), &more) and Kengamine (in Fujinomiya). There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Mount Fuji, stroll around Oishi Park, make a trip to Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nemba, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To see other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Fujikawaguchiko-machi trip itinerary maker app .

Getting from Tokyo to Fujikawaguchiko-machi by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Fujikawaguchiko-machi, ranging from highs of 62°F to lows of 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Nikko.

Things to do in Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Mount Fuji, Kengamine, Matsumoto Castle
Highlights from your plan
Lake Kawaguchi ©
Lake Kawaguchi
Mount Fuji ©
Mount Fuji
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle

5
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.
Take a break from Nikko with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Minakami-machi, about 2 hours away. Next up on the itinerary: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Nikko National Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Taiyuimbyo Shrine, find something for the whole family at Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, and take in the dramatic scenery at Ryuzu Waterfall.

For topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Nikko online tour planner .

You can drive from Fujikawaguchiko-machi to Nikko in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a train. In November, daily temperatures in Nikko can reach 55°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Nikko National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
Lake Chuzenji ©
Lake Chuzenji
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Nikko National Park ©
Nikko National Park

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