13 days in Japan Itinerary

13 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Singapore
Fly:  12​h 15​min
1
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Shirakawa-mura
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Karuizawa-machi
— 1 night
train + taxi:  1​h 30​min
5
Yamanouchi-machi
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Nozawaonsen-mura
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
7
Matsumoto
— 1 night
8
Nagoya
— 3 nights
train + Fly:  10​h
End: Singapore


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
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 2nd (Mon): contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House, admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, take a stroll through Higashichaya Old Town, then don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, then explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, and finally admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden. Keep things going the next day: see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fudosonkorin Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kanazawa Shrine, then make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, and finally examine the collection at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts.

To see maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Kanazawa trip planner.

Singapore, Singapore to Kanazawa is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Singapore to Kanazawa is 1 hour. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Singapore in December, with highs in Kanazawa at 11°C and lows at 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can drive to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town

1
night
Shirakawa-mura

Shirakawa-mura ©
Set amid quintessentially Japanese landscape, Shirakawa-mura consists of 16 quaint villages, including a historic village of farm houses, now designated a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Wed): take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, don't miss a visit to The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, take in panoramic vistas at Tenshukakau Observatory, then contemplate the long history of Wada House, and finally steep yourself in history at Nagase house.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Shirakawa-mura online sightseeing planner .

You can drive from Kanazawa to Shirakawa-mura in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Shirakawa-mura are 11°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
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 5th (Thu), explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, take an in-depth tour of Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, then wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, then see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get to know the fascinating history of Higashiyama Walking Course, get engrossed in the history at Hida Folk Archeological Museum (Hida Minzoku Kokokan), then hunt for treasures at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, and finally indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Takayama trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Shirakawa-mura to Takayama in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December in Takayama, expect temperatures between 9°C during the day and 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to drive to Karuizawa-machi.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Tours
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Sanmachi Suji ©
Sanmachi Suji

1
night
Karuizawa-machi

Karuizawa-machi ©
The only city in the world to have hosted both summer and winter Olympics, the resort town of Karuizawa-machi boasts clean air, impressive mountain scenery, and many outdoor activities and hot springs.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): buy something for everyone on your list at Harunire Terrace, pause for some photo ops at Stone Church, then take in the dramatic scenery at Shiraito Falls, then contemplate the waterfront views at Kumoba Pond, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Karuizawa prince shopping plaza.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Karuizawa-machi online trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Takayama to Karuizawa-machi in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect slightly colder evenings in Karuizawa-machi when traveling from Takayama in December, with lows around 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Karuizawa-machi

Parks Shopping Nature
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Kumoba Pond ©
Kumoba Pond
Karuizawa prince shopping plaza ©
Karuizawa prince shopping plaza
Shiraito Falls ©
Shiraito Falls

1
night
Yamanouchi-machi

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): head outdoors with Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area, head outdoors with Shigakogen Plateau, look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, then take a memorable drive along Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route, and finally soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Yamanouchi-machi trip site .

Traveling by combination of train and taxi from Karuizawa-machi to Yamanouchi-machi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. December in Yamanouchi-machi sees daily highs of 7°C and lows of 0°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can go by car to Nozawaonsen-mura.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Outdoors Parks Scenic Drive
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area ©
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Onsen Resorts

1
night
Nozawaonsen-mura

Nozawaonsen-mura ©
Many visitors take a trip to Nozawaonsen-mura, a picturesque hot spring village in Nagano Prefecture, to get away from it all.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): trek along Shinetsu Trail, make a trip to Ogama, make a trip to Amidado, head outdoors with Nozawa Onsen, then hit the slopes at Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, and finally stroll around Nanohana Park.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Nozawaonsen-mura journey maker website .

You can drive from Yamanouchi-machi to Nozawaonsen-mura in 1.5 hours. In December in Nozawaonsen-mura, expect temperatures between 7°C during the day and 0°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Nozawaonsen-mura

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Iiyama
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Nozawa Onsen ©
Nozawa Onsen
Nanohana Park ©
Nanohana Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, examine the collection at Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum (Matsumoto Mingei-kan), see the interesting displays at Matsumoto City Museum, then explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, and finally experience rural life at Daio Wasabi Farm.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Matsumoto day trip planning site .

You can drive from Nozawaonsen-mura to Matsumoto in 2 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 7°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Nagoya.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Daio Wasabi Farm
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Daio Wasabi Farm ©
Daio Wasabi Farm
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum ©
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

3
nights
Nagoya

Nagoya ©
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Change things up with these side-trips from Nagoya: Ise (Ise Grand Shrine & Okage Yokocho), Inuyama Castle (in Inuyama) and Chubu Park (in Toin-cho). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Nagoya Castle, observe the fascinating underwater world at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, admire the masterpieces at Tokugawa Art Museum, and enjoy breathtaking views from Nagoya TV Tower.

To see other places to visit and tourist information, read Nagoya route planner.

You can take a train from Matsumoto to Nagoya in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Matsumoto in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Nagoya, with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Nagoya

Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Ise, Chubu Park, The Moroto Garden, Inuyama Castle
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine
Nagoya Castle ©
Nagoya Castle
Okage Yokocho ©
Okage Yokocho

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