12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  14​h
1
Kanazawa
— 1 night
train:  1​h 15​min
2
Nagano
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
3
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  4​h
4
Kita
— 1 night
train:  1​h 30​min
5
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  13​h 15​min
End: Vancouver


Learn more about your trip

1
night
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Fri): take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Kanazawa online day trip planner .

Vancouver, Canada to Kanazawa is an approximately 14-hour combination of flight, bus, and train. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is 17 hours. Traveling from Vancouver in April, expect nights in Kanazawa to be about the same, around 8°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Beaches

Side Trip

Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Oyama Shrine ©
Oyama Shrine
D. T. Suzuki Museum ©
D. T. Suzuki Museum
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway

3
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Visiting Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort and Shiga Kogen will get you outdoors. Do your shopping at Hokusai-kan and Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop. Take a break from Nagano with a short trip to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Yamanouchi-machi, about 58 minutes away. There's more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Shrine Okusha and head outdoors with Kita Yatsuga-take.

For photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Nagano trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by train from Kanazawa to Nagano takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. April in Nagano sees daily highs of 19°C and lows of 10°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nagano

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Yamanouchi-machi, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, Hokusai-kan, Kita Yatsuga-take
Find places to stay Apr 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area ©
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area

3
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.
Shop till you drop at Minato Mirai 21 and Harajuku Takeshita-dori. Get a sense of the local culture at Tokyo National Museum and Ghibli Museum. Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Ikspiari in Urayasu, about 40 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, wander the streets of Ginza, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and shop like a local with Asakusa.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tokyo road trip planning app .

Traveling by train from Nagano to Tokyo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. April in Tokyo sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Kita.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Ghibli Museum Mitaka, Minato Mirai 21, Ikspiari
Find places to stay Apr 30 — May 3:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji

1
night
Kita

Kita ©
On the 4th (Sat), explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, then examine the collection at Museum of Oriental Ceramics, then shop like a local with Minami (Namba), and finally wander the streets of Dotonbori.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Kita day trip website .

Explore your travel options from Tokyo to Kita with the Route module. In May in Kita, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kita

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay May 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Minami (Namba) ©
Minami (Namba)

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji, then steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then get great views at Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Nijo-jo Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryoanji Temple, then take in nature's colorful creations at Shosei-en Garden, and finally steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planner .

You can drive from Kita to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. In May, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Toji ©
Toji
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

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