17 days in China & Japan Itinerary

17 days in China & Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in China & Japan Itinerary

Start: Madrid, Spain
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
Beijing, China
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Shanghai, China
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h
3
Tokyo, Japan
— 3 nights
Train:  2​h 45​min
4
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train:  2​h 45​min
5
Tokyo, Japan
— 1 night
Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: Madrid, Spain


Learn more about your trip

4
nights
Beijing, China

Beijing ©
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) and Mutianyu Great Wall. Let the collections at The Palace Museum and Temple of Confucius and Guozijian Museum capture your imagination. The adventure continues: wander the streets of 798 Art Zone, pause for some photo ops at Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Maozhuxi Jiniantang), and contemplate the waterfront views at Back Lakes (Hou Hai).

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Beijing journey website .

Madrid, Spain to Beijing is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You'll lose 7 hours traveling from Madrid to Beijing due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in July, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Mutianyu Great Wall ©
Mutianyu Great Wall
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) ©
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Palace Museum ©
The Palace Museum

4
nights
Shanghai, China

Shanghai ©
With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
Appreciate the collections at Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Former French Concession and Jinshan City Beach. Step out of Shanghai with an excursion to Shanghai Chongming Gold Beach in Chongming County--about 1 hour away. There's lots more to do: get to know the fascinating history of The Bund (Wai Tan), stroll around Jinshan Beach, examine the collection at Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan), and learn more about the world around you at Shanghai Natural History Museum (Jing'an).

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Shanghai trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by flight from Beijing to Shanghai takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Beijing in July, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 30°C in Shanghai. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shanghai

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Shanghai Chongming Gold Beach
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Shanghai Wild Animal Park ©
Shanghai Wild Animal Park
The Bund (Wai Tan) ©
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan) ©

3
nights
Tokyo, Japan

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.
Get some cultural insight at The Railway Museum and Asakusa Shrine. Explore hidden gems such as Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park) and Ueno. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Kamakura (Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) & Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)). Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Yanaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, see the interesting displays at Fire Museum, and contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Shanghai to Tokyo takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. The time zone difference moving from China Standard Time (CST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 1 hour. Traveling from Shanghai in July, things will get little chillier in Tokyo: highs are around 36°C and lows about 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kamakura, The Railway Museum
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) ©
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

3
nights
Kyoto, Japan

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Kifune-jinja Shrine and Kennin-ji Temple. Escape the urban bustle at Nara Park and Mt. Kurama. When in Kyoto, make a side trip to see Mimurotoji Temple in Uji, approximately 40 minutes away. There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Ninna-ji Temple, admire the natural beauty at Nanzen-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji, and make a trip to Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Kyoto trip itinerary planner .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. In July in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Mimurotoji Temple, Nara Park
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tenryuji Temple ©
Tenryuji Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Kennin-ji Temple ©
Kennin-ji Temple

1
night
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo
For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip app .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Tokyo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. On the 31st (Wed), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 30 — 31:

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