56 days in East Asia Itinerary

56 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sapporo
— 5 nights
Fly to Sendai Airport, Drive to Hiraizumi-cho
2
Hiraizumi-cho
— 1 night
+2
Drive to Sendai Airport, Fly to Komatsu Airport / JASDF Komatsu Air Base, Drive to Kanazawa
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Kanazawa
— 6 nights
Drive
4
Nagoya
— 6 nights
Train
5
Kyoto
— 8 nights
Train
6
Osaka
— 4 nights
Train
7
Hiroshima
— 5 nights
Train
8
Fukuoka
— 7 nights
Fly
9
Kochi
— 4 nights
Fly
10
Tokyo
— 8 nights
Fly

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Sapporo

— 5 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 out of the city life by going to Niseko Hanazono Resort and Okurayama Lookout. Let the collections at Royce' Chocolate World and The Hokkaido University Museum capture your imagination. Get out of town with these interesting Sapporo side-trips: Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery (in Yoichi-cho), Niseko-cho (Niseko Outdoor Center & Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area) and Nidom Classic Course (in Tomakomai). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hokkaido Jingu, get a sense of history and politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, make a trip to Otaru Canal, and steep yourself in history at Sapporo Clock Tower.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Sapporo trip planning site.

San Francisco, USA to Sapporo is an approximately 17-hour flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 17 hour difference. While traveling from San Francisco, expect cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Sapporo, ranging from highs of 47°F to lows of 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Hiraizumi-cho.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Nature

Side Trips

Hiraizumi-cho

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 7th (Wed): take in the spiritual surroundings of Takkoku no Iwaya, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chuson-ji Konjiki-do, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chuson-ji Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Motsu-ji Temple.

For reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Hiraizumi-cho trip itinerary planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Sapporo to Hiraizumi-cho. Traveling from Sapporo in April, expect nights in Hiraizumi-cho to be about the same, around 46°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) early enough to travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Hiraizumi-cho

Historic Sites

Kanazawa

— 6 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Takayama Showa Museum and Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen will appeal to museum buffs. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory and Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui), Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, Wada House, &more) and Maruoka Castle (in Sakai). There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine, stop by Gokayama, and steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House.

For reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kanazawa trip itinerary tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Hiraizumi-cho to Kanazawa. In April, daytime highs in Kanazawa are 63°F, while nighttime lows are 45°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Nagoya.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nagoya

— 6 nights
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology and Hikone Castle. Do some cultural sightseeing at Atsuta Jingu Shrine and SCMAGLEV and Railway Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Nagoya: Nakatsugawa (Nakasendo Magome-juku & Nakatsugawa Mineral Museum), Ise (Sarutahiko Shrine, Oharai-machi, &more) and Nakasendo Tsumagojuku (in Nagiso-machi). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryotan-ji Temple, learn about all things military at Hamamatsu Air Park, steep yourself in history at Nagoya Higashiyamaso, and engage your brain at Nagoya City Science Museum.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, use the Nagoya online journey planner.

Getting from Kanazawa to Nagoya by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Kanazawa in April, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 53°F in Nagoya. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nagoya

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 8 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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple for their historical value. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Kinkaku-ji and Toji. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Todai-ji Temple (in Nara) and Jindoji Temple (in Kizugawa). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenryuji Temple, contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, make a trip to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

Discover how to plan a Kyoto trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can take a train from Nagoya to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Nagoya in April, plan for somewhat warmer days in Kyoto, with highs around 67°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 50°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

Osaka

— 4 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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Nigatsu-do Temple and Himeji Castle. Discover out-of-the-way places like Otsuka Museum of Art and Izanagi Shrine. Venture out of the city with trips to Nara (Kofuku-ji Temple, Kasuga Grand Shrine, &more), Koko-en (in Himeji) and Akamon Oneribei (in Nishinomiya). There's much more to do: step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and wander the streets of Dotombori District.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Osaka day trip tool.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 68°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trips

Hiroshima

— 5 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.
Get some historical perspective at Daishoin Temple and Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Yamato Museum and JMSDF Kure Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Kintaikyo Bridge (in Iwakuni), Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine & Senjokaku) and Momijidani Park (in Miyajima). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple, pause for some photo ops at Peace Bell, take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Hiroshima planning tool.

Take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In May, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 75°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Fukuoka

— 7 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.
Get some cultural insight at Kushida Shrine and Kyushu Railway History Museum. Museum-lovers will appreciate Fukuoka City Museum and Kyushu National Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Fukuoka: Nagoya Castle Ruins (in Karatsu), Hompuku-ji Temple (in Kiyama-cho) and Dazaifu (Komyozen-ji Temple & Dazaifu Tenman-gu). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nanzoin, admire the striking features of Hakata Station, get to know the fascinating history of Yoshinogari Historical Park, and head off the coast to Nokonoshima Island.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Fukuoka vacation builder site.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Fukuoka in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of ferry and flight. Expect a daytime high around 76°F in May, and nighttime lows around 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can fly to Kochi.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Classes

Side Trips

Kochi

— 4 nights
The port city of Kochi has a rich and varied history that has left its mark on the look and feel of the urban area.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kotohira-gu and Kami City Takashi Yanase Memorial Museum Anpanman Museum. Get some historical perspective at Kochi Castle and Old Samurai Residence of Rojyu Doi. Get out of town with these interesting Kochi side-trips: Zentsu-ji Temple (in Zentsuji), Ryoma History Museam (in Konan) and Izutama Shrine (in Kotohira-cho). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Chikurinji Temple, hunt for treasures at Sunday Market, kick back and relax at Katsura Hama, and take in nature's colorful creations at The Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Kochi trip planner.

You can fly from Fukuoka to Kochi in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In May in Kochi, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 61°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kochi

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Tokyo

— 8 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.
Popular historic sites such as Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin) are in your itinerary. Do some cultural sightseeing at Hase-dera Temple and Asakusa Shrine. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kōtoku-in (in Kamakura) and Naritasan Omote Sando (in Narita). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Zojo-ji Temple, visit Odaiba District, get engrossed in the history at Tokyo National Museum, and see the interesting displays at Ghibli Museum Mitaka.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo online tour builder.

Getting from Kochi to Tokyo by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In May, daytime highs in Tokyo are 76°F, while nighttime lows are 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Hokkaido travel guide

4
Bodies of Water · Landmarks · Parks
The northernmost of Japan's big four islands, Hokkaido seems a world apart from the rest of the country, with nearly a quarter of its total land area and only five percent of the population. To the Japanese, this island is synonymous with photogenic mountains and abundant wildlife. To most foreign visitors, a vacation in Hokkaido means exploring an area reminiscent of northern Europe, abundant in waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes, mossy canyons, and peaceful lakes. Hokkaido also boasts the world's longest railway tunnel, the only land connection between this and Japan's main island Honshu.

Tohoku travel guide

4.1
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Bodies of Water
Long a poor rural area known for its harsh climate, Tohoku remained off the tourist radar for most of modern Japanese history. Today, tourism in Tohoku remains refreshingly subdued, offering the chance to discover some of the country's finest natural scenery without the crowds. The area encompasses many scenic hot springs, developed ski areas, picturesque lakes, and historic castles and former samurai residences. Tohoku also serves as an ideal spot for that quintessential Japanese activity, the cherry blossom viewing: the trees bloom later here than elsewhere in the country, making the region a great alternative if you arrive a bit late in the season.

Chubu travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Specialty Museums
In the middle of Japan's largest island, the region of Chubu remains best known for its picturesque natural scenery and numerous hot springs. The region contains the rugged Japanese Alps, which separate the country's sunny Pacific from the snowy Sea of Japan side. Thanks to this high mountain range, most vacations in Chubu include skiing in the cold months and hiking in the warmer part of the year. Don't miss a tour of Mount Fuji, Japan's enduring symbol and a hugely popular attraction, both for climbing and viewing. When you need to add some urban flair to your Chubu itinerary, the large city of Nagoya holds plenty of appeal with museums, shrines, and parks.

Kansai travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
The center of Japan's military and political power for many centuries, the region of Kinki (or Kansai) contains most of the country's major cities. The majority of vacations in Kinki begin in Kyoto--the Japanese capital for nearly 1,000 years. This old city with a modern flare contains hundreds of ancient temples, 13 of which claim spots on the World Heritage List. Kinki's attractions stretch beyond just historical shrines and temples--the area's big claim to fame is its outstanding cuisine and a range of outdoor activities and shopping options. Convenient train routes linking three major regional centers--Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto--make sightseeing in Kinki easy and pleasant.

Chugoku travel guide

4.4
Sacred & Religious Sites · Historic Sites · History Museums
The western portion of the island of Honshu, Chugoku features two distinct seacoasts. The area along the Seto Inland Sea represents one of Japan's most industrialized and urbanized sections, while the coastline lapped by the Sea of Japan remains more rural--as well as less touristy. Both areas offer plenty of vacation ideas in Chugoku, with pilgrimages to see over 30 historic temples among the most popular things to do here. The region also contains Hiroshima, which is not only the site of the infamous atomic bombing, but also a modern urban center with a busy nightlife and a cosmopolitan atmosphere that appeals to foreign tourists.

Kyushu travel guide

3.9
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
Enthusiastic shutterbugs and lovers of all things picturesque often choose to tour Kyushu-Okinawa on one of the island's epic train trips, leading through a landscape shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity. With mild winters, warm summers, and plenty of developed beaches, the region offers a wealth of marine sports and recreation. Those with relaxation on their mind take a vacation in Kyushu-Okinawa for a chance to explore some of Japan's finest onsens, in which pristine nature meets modern amenities for an unforgettable tourist experience.

Shikoku travel guide

3.9
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Castles
Spiritual Island
The smallest of Japan's four main islands, Shikoku remains one of the country's forgotten tourist destinations, still considered little more than a rural backwater. Despite this reputation, the island boasts numerous notable temples and outstanding hiking areas, sure to satisfy nature lovers and those looking to add a bit of culture to their visit. Shikoku tourism gets a boost from its famed "88 Temple Route," appealing to pilgrims seeking spiritual perfection, as well as pristine natural scenery of picturesque rivers and majestic mountains. Thanks to the area's rugged but easily accessible wilderness, some of the most popular things to do in Shikoku include hiking, kayaking, surfing, climbing, and sailing.

Kanto travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
Nearly synonymous with Tokyo and its suburban sprawl, the region of Kanto encompasses many historical sites, hot springs, semitropical islands, and picturesque mountains. Predictably, most tours of Kanto begin and end in Tokyo, which serves as an ideal base for day trips to nearby national parks, ancient temples, and grand monuments reminding visitors of Japan's shogun era. During feudal times, Kanto reigned as the center of political and military power; today, the area represents one of the country's tourism hubs. As you plan your Kanto itinerary, be sure to include a stop in Kamakura, a small temple town filled with notable cultural treasures.