18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly + Train:  1​h 30​min
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2​h
2
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
+2
Train + Subway + Fly:  4​h 30​min
3
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Takayama
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Matsumoto
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Tateyama
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
8
Shirakawa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Nikko
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 45​min
10
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  13​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

3
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.
Step out of Kyoto to go to Osaka and see Universal Studios Japan, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, make a trip to Gion, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto route site .

Melbourne, Australia to Kyoto is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Melbourne to Kyoto is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Melbourne in March, plan for cooler days in Kyoto, with highs around 16°C, while nights are little chillier with lows around 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Universal Studios Japan
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Gekijyo, Miyajima, & more). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, and steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip maker tool .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In March in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 16°C during the day and 6°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 29:
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

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, then steep yourself in history at Kanazawa Castle, then wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, and finally don't miss a visit to Omicho Market.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Kanazawa travel route builder tool .

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Kanazawa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Hiroshima in March, with highs in Kanazawa at 13°C and lows at 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Mar 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, then examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, and finally hunt for treasures at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market.

For other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Takayama route planner .

Getting from Kanazawa to Takayama by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in March, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Neighborhoods Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Mar 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Sanmachi Suji ©
Sanmachi Suji
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, explore the world behind art at Matsumoto City Museum of Art, then examine the collection at Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum (Matsumoto Mingei-kan), then explore the world behind art at Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Matsumoto Alps Park.

Make your Matsumoto itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can drive from Takayama to Matsumoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In March in Matsumoto, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Museums Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum ©
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and then make a trip to Owaku-dani Valley.

To find maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Hakone-machi trip builder website .

Getting from Matsumoto to Hakone-machi by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Matsumoto in April, you will find days in Hakone-machi are little chillier (15°C), and nights are about the same (13°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tateyama.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Nature Parks Museums
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Owaku-dani Valley ©
Owaku-dani Valley

1
night
Tateyama

Tateyama ©
Tateyama is a city located in southern Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Iyogatake, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsurugaya Hachimangu, then don't miss a visit to Nagoji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tateyama Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Awa Jinja.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Tateyama trip planner .

Traveling by car from Hakone-machi to Tateyama takes 3 hours. When traveling from Hakone-machi in April, plan for somewhat warmer days in Tateyama, with highs around 19°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 16°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Shirakawa.

Things to do in Tateyama

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Mt. Iyogatake
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Iyogatake ©
Mt. Iyogatake
Awa Jinja ©
Awa Jinja
Tsurugaya Hachimangu ©
Tsurugaya Hachimangu

1
night
Shirakawa

Shirakawa ©
Shirakawa is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, in northern Honshū, Japan. On the 4th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Myokanji Temple, then step into the grandiose world of Komine Castle Remains, then stroll around Shirakawa Sekinomori Park, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Yukiwari Canyon.

To find reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Shirakawa visit planning website .

Traveling by car from Tateyama to Shirakawa takes 4 hours. Traveling from Tateyama in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Shirakawa, with lows of 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Nikko.

Things to do in Shirakawa

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

1
night
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): go for a walk through Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, walk around Nikko National Park, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yakushido, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Taiyuimbyo Shrine.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Nikko day trip planner.

You can drive from Shirakawa to Nikko in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Shirakawa in April, Nikko is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Nikko National Park
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Nikko National Park ©
Nikko National Park

4
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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, wander the streets of Odaiba, take some stellar pictures from Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and stroll around Ueno Park.

For reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Tokyo day trip planning tool .

You can take a train from Nikko to Tokyo in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Nikko in April, expect nights in Tokyo to be a bit cooler, around 12°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Parks

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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