18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Matsumoto
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Takayama
— 2 nights
5
Kyoto
— 5 nights
6
Hatsukaichi
— 1 night
train:  15​min
7
Hiroshima
— 1 night
train:  4​h 15​min
8
Tokyo
— 3 nights
End: Tokyo


Learn more about your trip

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 15th (Fri): look for gifts at Ginza Itoya Hontren.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Tokyo road trip app .

If you are flying in from Canada, the closest major airports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport and Hyakuri Airport. May in Tokyo sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C at night. You'll have a few hours on the 17th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Ota Memorial Museum of Art ©
Ota Memorial Museum of Art
Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center ©

3
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Popular historic sites such as Hakusan Shrine (Heisenji-Hakusan Shrine) and Kinkengu Shrine are in your itinerary. Museum-lovers will get to explore Kanazawa Phonograph Museum and Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice. Step out of Kanazawa with an excursion to Shirayama Hime Shrine in Hakusan--about 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: look for gifts at Amanatto Kawamura, admire the masterpieces at Kanazawa Noh Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at Kanazawa Catholic Church, and test the waters at a local thermal spa.

To plan Kanazawa vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Tokyo in May since evenings lows in Kanazawa dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Museums Historic Sites Spas

Side Trips

Hakusan, Hakusan Shrine (Heisenji-Hakusan Shrine), Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice
Find places to stay May 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum ©
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum
Shirayama Hime Shrine ©
Shirayama Hime Shrine

few
hours
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.
To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Matsumoto route planner.

You can drive from Kanazawa to Matsumoto in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In May, daily temperatures in Matsumoto can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Fukashi Shrine ©
Fukashi Shrine

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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Wed): sample the tasty concoctions at Funasaka Shuzo Brewery and then examine the collection at Takayama Showa Museum. On the 21st (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Hikaru Museum, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Shirakabe Dozogai, then sample the tasty concoctions at Watanabe Sake Brewery, and finally explore the landscape on two wheels at Rail - MTB Gattan Go!!.

For maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Takayama visit planner .

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Takayama takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In May, daytime highs in Takayama are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. You will have some time to spend on the 22nd (Fri) before leaving for Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Outdoors Museums Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

Hida
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakabe Dozogai ©
Shirakabe Dozogai
Hikaru Museum ©
Hikaru Museum
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

5
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. Takao. Let the collections at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum and Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan capture your imagination. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Keisoku-ji Temple (in Nagahama), Taga Taisha (in Taga-cho) and Saimyo-ji Temple (in Kora-cho). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongorin-ji Temple, look for all kinds of wild species at Yase Momiji no Komichi, admire the landmark architecture of Daigo-ji Temple Goju Tower, and look for gifts at Ippodo Tea Kyoto.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kyoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. May in Kyoto sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 17°C at night. On the 29th (Fri), you'll travel to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Kaizu Osaki, Taga Taisha, Kongorin-ji Temple, Keisoku-ji Temple, Saimyo-ji Temple
Find places to stay May 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Kongorin-ji Temple ©
Kongorin-ji Temple
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple ©
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple
Myoshinji Temple ©
Myoshinji Temple

1
night
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): look for gifts at Itsukushima Gekijyo.

To see reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Hatsukaichi day trip site .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hatsukaichi in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Shopping
Find places to stay May 27 — 28:

1
night
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, examine the collection at Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum, look and learn at Hiroshima Children's Museum, then pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Motoyasu River.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read Hiroshima online trip planner .

Hiroshima is just a stone's throw from Hatsukaichi. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay May 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Motoyasu River ©
Motoyasu River
Hiroshima Children's Museum ©
Hiroshima Children's Museum

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Escape the urban bustle at Koajiro Forest and Kamakura Hiking Trails. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Gallery 916 and Historic Old Town area in Sawara, Katori. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Kirin Beer Yokohama Factory (in Tsurumi), Ubara Risokyo (in Katsuura) and Tokyo Horse Racetrack (in Fuchu). See even more of Tokyo: stop by Kiddy Land Harajuku, get to know the fascinating history of Hozomon, and savor the flavors at Farmer's Market at UNU.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo day trip planner.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Tokyo Horse Racetrack, Ubara Risokyo, Koajiro Forest, Kamakura Hiking Trails, Kirin Beer Yokohama Factory
Find places to stay May 29 — Jun 1:
Highlights from your plan
Ubara Risokyo ©
Ubara Risokyo
Hozomon ©
Hozomon
Kamakura Hiking Trails ©
Kamakura Hiking Trails

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