15 days in Japan Itinerary

15 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Osaka
— 1 night
train:  30​min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
3
Nara
— Few hours
train:  1​h
4
Kyoto
— 1 night
5
Hiroshima
— Few hours
6
Kyoto
— 1 night
7
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
8
Takayama
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 30​min
9
Shirakawa-mura
— Few hours
bus:  1​h 30​min
10
Takayama
— 1 night
train:  6​h 30​min
11
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
train:  2​h
12
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h
End: San Diego

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.
On the 5th (Sat), get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Osaka trip planning site .

San Diego, USA to Osaka is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 17 hour difference. In October, Osaka is slightly colder than San Diego - with highs of 73°F and lows of 59°F. You'll set off for Kyoto on the 6th (Sun).

Things to do in Osaka

Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, Gion and Arashiyama. Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama. On the next day, steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and then take a stroll through Gion.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in October, and nighttime lows around 60°F. On the 8th (Tue), you're off toNara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Gion
Gion
Arashiyama ©
Arashiyama

few
hours
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.
To see reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Nara trip builder .

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of subway and train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 74°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park

1
night
Kyoto

Kyoto
For photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Kyoto trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Nara to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and subway. You'll set off for Hiroshima on the 9th (Wed).

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 9:

few
hours
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Dome, pause for some photo ops at Ground Zero, browse the different shops at Sunmall, take a stroll through Kamiyacho, then shop like a local with Hondori Shopping Street, and finally steep yourself in history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

To see reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Hiroshima online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 61°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Hondori Shopping Street
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Kamiyacho ©
Kamiyacho

1
night
Kyoto

Kyoto
To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planner .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. You'll set off for Kanazawa on the 10th (Thu).

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 10:

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.
You've now added Higashichaya Old Town to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, browse the different shops at Omicho Ichibakan, steep yourself in history at Higashichaya Old Town, then step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, then walk around Kenrokuen Garden, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa planner .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Ninja Temple ©
Ninja Temple
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Takayama Jinya as well as Higashiyama Walking Course. On the 11th (Fri), steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, hunt for treasures at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, then get to know the fascinating history of Higashiyama Walking Course, then examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, and finally examine the collection at Sakurayama Nikkokan.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Takayama online trip maker .

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Takayama takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. October in Takayama sees daily highs of 69°F and lows of 57°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Shopping Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

few
hours
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.
To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Shirakawa-mura trip planner .

Getting from Takayama to Shirakawa-mura by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In October in Shirakawa-mura, expect temperatures between 70°F during the day and 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago ©
Shirakawago

1
night
Takayama

Takayama
To find more things to do and other tourist information, refer to the Takayama online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Shirakawa-mura to Takayama by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. You will leave for Hakone-machi on the 13th (Sun).

Things to do in Takayama

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 13:

2
nights
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum and Owaku-dani Valley. Start off your visit on the 13th (Sun): relax and rejuvenate at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

To find where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi trip planner .

Drive from Takayama to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Takayama in October, you will find days in Hakone-machi are little chillier (62°F), and nights are about the same (59°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can go by car to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Outdoors Golf Museums
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Stone‐paved Road ©
Hakone Stone‐paved Road
Narukawa Art Museum ©
Narukawa Art Museum

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Pokemon Mega Center Tokyo. Get some historical perspective at Tokyo National Museum and Imperial Palace. Edo-Tokyo Museum and Quark Museum will appeal to museum buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Ghibli Museum Mitaka (in Mitaka), Yokohama Nature Sanctuary (in Sakae) and Yokohama Chinatown (in Naka). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, take a stroll through Akihabara, make a trip to Tokyo Tower, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Ueno Zoo.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo journey site .

You can drive from Hakone-machi to Tokyo in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in October, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 60°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 72°F. You will have some time to spend on the 18th (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Yokohama, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Pokemon Mega Center Tokyo ©
Pokemon Mega Center Tokyo
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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