13 days in Japan Itinerary

13 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Shirakawa
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Matsumoto
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 15​min
5
Nagano
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 15​min
6
Kanazawa
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h
7
Takayama
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
8
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  45​min
9
Nara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
10
Koya-cho
— Few hours
Train:  1​h 30​min
11
Osaka
— 1 night
Train:  30​min
12
Kobe
— Few hours
Train:  1​h 15​min
13
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, then make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and finally admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to Japan Standard Time is minus 1 hour. 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 Shirakawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

1
night
Shirakawa

Shirakawa ©
Shirakawa is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, in northern Honshū, Japan. On the 4th (Sat), step into the grandiose world of Komine Castle Remains, explore the activities along Yukiwari Canyon, stroll around Shirakawa Sekinomori Park, then stroll around Nanko Park, and finally admire the natural beauty at Suirakuen.

To find traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Shirakawa road trip website .

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Shirakawa takes 2.5 hours. Traveling from Tokyo in April, things will get little chillier in Shirakawa: highs are around 17°C and lows about 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Shirakawa

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Apr 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawa Sekinomori Park ©
Shirakawa Sekinomori Park
Suirakuen ©
Suirakuen
Komine Castle Remains ©
Komine Castle Remains

1
night
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi ©
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): make a trip to Owaku-dani Valley, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and then explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi trip itinerary planning site .

You can drive from Shirakawa to Hakone-machi in 4.5 hours. Traveling from Shirakawa in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Hakone-machi, with lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
Owaku-dani Valley ©
Owaku-dani Valley

1
night
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.
On the 6th (Mon), take in the pleasant sights at Matsumoto Castle, head outdoors with Konashidaira, then get outside with Karasawa Carl, and finally head outdoors with Mt. KItahodaka.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Matsumoto road trip planning website .

Getting from Hakone-machi to Matsumoto by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in April, plan for somewhat warmer days in Matsumoto, with highs around 19°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Outdoors Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. KItahodaka ©
Mt. KItahodaka
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle

1
night
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): admire the striking features of Teramachi Shoka (Former Kanehako Residence) and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Zenko-ji Temple.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Nagano day trip app .

You can take a train from Matsumoto to Nagano in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In April, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. On the 7th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

few
hours
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kanazawa road trip app .

You can take a train from Nagano to Kanazawa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or drive. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Apr 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town

1
night
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
On the 8th (Wed), examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall and then steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Takayama trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Kanazawa to Takayama by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Apr 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

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.
On the 9th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Heian Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip itinerary site .

Getting from Takayama to Kyoto by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

1
night
Nara

Nara ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, and then appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Nara day trip site .

Take a train from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of subway and train. Traveling from Kyoto in April, Nara is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple

few
hours
Koya-cho

Koya-cho
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-in Temple.

To find more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Koya-cho road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Nara to Koya-cho takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a train. In April in Koya-cho, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 12:

1
night
Osaka

Osaka ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): wander the streets of Dotonbori and then explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Osaka sightseeing planner .

Traveling by train from Koya-cho to Osaka takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 23°C in April, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Sun) to allow time for the train ride to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

few
hours
Kobe

Kobe ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): gain insight at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Kobe day trip tool .

Kobe is just a stone's throw from Osaka. Traveling from Osaka in April, expect nights in Kobe to be about the same, around 14°C, while days are slightly colder, around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Hiroshima.
Find places to stay Apr 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima travel app .

Getting from Kobe to Hiroshima by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or drive. In April in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 12 — 14:
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

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