17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Osaka
— 1 night
train:  30​min
2
Nara
— 1 night
train:  1​h
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Tateyama-machi
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 30​min
6
Sapporo
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h
7
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
8
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h
End: Sydney

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.
To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Osaka itinerary planner.

Sydney, Australia to Osaka is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Osaka. Prepare for much colder weather when traveling from Sydney in January: high temperatures in Osaka hover around 10°C and lows are around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street ©
Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street

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 13th (Mon): sample the tasty concoctions at Harushika Brewery, then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokke-do, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple.

To find ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Nara travel route planner.

Nara is very close to Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in January, and nighttime lows around 3°C. On the 14th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Breweries & Distilleries Parks
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Toshodaiji Temple ©
Toshodaiji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple

4
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.
Get outdoors at Kaizu Osaki and Mt. Matsuo. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Walking tours. Change things up with a short trip to Fujiwara-dake in Inabe (about 1h 45 min away). And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Gion, look for gifts at Suuzando Hashimoto Kyoto Honten, admire the landmark architecture of Jishu Shrine, and explore the activities along Kamogawa River.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto journey maker .

Traveling by car from Nara to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and subway. In January in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to drive to Tateyama-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Otsu, Fujiwara-dake, Kaizu Osaki, Mt. Matsuo
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple ©
Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple

1
day
Tateyama-machi

Tateyama-machi ©
The small town of Tateyama-machi, nestled in the hills of Mount Tate, remains most notable as the gateway to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine Chugu Kiganden, examine the collection at Toyama Prefectural Tateyama Museum, then contemplate the long history of Oyama Shrine, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Tateyama.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Tateyama-machi trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Kyoto to Tateyama-machi in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Kyoto in January, expect Tateyama-machi to be a bit cooler, temps between 3°C and -3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tateyama-machi

Nature Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Tateyama ©
Mt. Tateyama
Oyama Shrine ©
Oyama Shrine
Oyama Shrine Chugu Kiganden ©
Oyama Shrine Chugu Kiganden

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.
For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip builder .

Traveling by car from Tateyama-machi to Kanazawa takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Traveling from Tateyama-machi in January, expect Kanazawa to be a bit warmer, temps between 7°C and 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Museums Shopping Parks
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden

4
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Hokkaido Jingu and Former Hokkaido Government Office Building. Do some cultural sightseeing at Susukino and Clock Tower (Tokei-dai). There's lots more to do: test the waters at a local thermal spa, tour the pleasant surroundings at Odori Park, take a stroll around Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space, and hit the slopes at Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Sapporo vacation planner .

You can fly from Kanazawa to Sapporo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. Traveling from Kanazawa in January, things will get slightly colder in Sapporo: highs are around -3°C and lows about -6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort ©
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort
Hokkaido Jingu ©
Hokkaido Jingu
Susukino ©
Susukino

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): stroll through Katabira-gawa Shinsui Ryokudo, meet the residents at Nogeyama Zoo, take in the waterfront at Yokohama Port Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal, then meet the residents at Ueno Zoo, and finally wander the streets of Ueno. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: shop like a local with Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon Produced by Yumenoya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, and then wander the streets of Odaiba.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tokyo day trip planner .

Fly from Sapporo to Tokyo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Sapporo in January, plan for much warmer days and a bit warmer nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 11°C by day to 1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Yokohama
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Ueno ©
Ueno

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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): admire the sheer force of Kawazu Nanadaru Waterfalls, then steep yourself in history at Satta-toge Pass, and then do a tasting at Marufuji Winery. On the next day, contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then sample the tasty concoctions at Ide Sake Brewery, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine.

For traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi road trip planning tool .

Drive from Tokyo to Hakone-machi in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in January, expect nights in Hakone-machi to be about the same, around 3°C, while days are slightly colder, around 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Fujiyoshida, Ide Sake Brewery, Marufuji Winery, Satta-toge Pass, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan

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