18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Perth
Fly + Drive:  19​h 45​min
1
Takachiho-cho
— 3 nights
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  7​h 15​min
2
Yakushima-cho
— 1 night
+2
taxi + Fly + bus:  5​h
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  5​h
4
Nikko
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
5
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  13​h 30​min
End: Perth

3
nights
Takachiho-cho

Takachiho-cho ©
The mountain town of Takachiho-cho remains a place of great importance to Japan's spiritual and natural heritage, and the point where these two things intersect.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Takachiho Gorge and Amano Yasugawara. Do some cultural sightseeing at Takachiho Shrine and Omi Shrine. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Takachiho-cho: Tadewara Wetlands (in Kokonoe-machi) and Kadogawa Shrine (in Kadogawa-cho). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Amano Iwato Shrine, take in the dramatic scenery at Jokoji Waterfall, steep yourself in history at Kushifuru Shrine, and take in the dramatic natural features at Tokubetsuto Rice Terraces.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, use the Takachiho-cho road trip planning site .

Perth, Australia to Takachiho-cho is an approximately 20-hour combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Perth to Takachiho-cho. When traveling from Perth in September, plan for a bit warmer days and warmer nights in Takachiho-cho: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 23°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Tadewara Wetlands, Omi Shrine, Kadogawa Shrine
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

1
night
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Janokuchinotaki Falls and then head outdoors with Yakusugi Land. On the next day, get outside with Isso Beach, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaku Shrine, and then examine the collection at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by combination of train, flight, and taxi from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. In September, daytime highs in Yakushima-cho are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Isso Beach ©
Isso Beach

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Nijo Castle. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Toji. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Koyasan Okunoin (in Koya-cho) and Ise Shrine Geku (in Ise). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, steep yourself in history at Tofuku-ji Temple, wander the streets of Gion, and don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

To find reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Yakushima-cho to Kyoto takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train; or do a combination of taxi, ferry, bus, and train. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Kyoto, with lows of 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Ise Shrine Geku, Koyasan Okunoin
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku

3
nights
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.
Popular historic sites such as Taiyuimbyo Shrine and Nikko Futarasan jinja are in your itinerary. Escape the urban bustle at Urami Waterfall and Kawamata Onsen. When in Nikko, make a side trip to see Ryuka Waterfall in Nasushiobara, approximately 38 minutes away. There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nikko Tosho-gu, contemplate the long history of Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi Shrine, appreciate the extensive heritage of Cryptomeria Avenue, and contemplate the waterfront views at Sainoko Lake.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Nikko trip planner.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Nikko takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. When traveling from Kyoto in September, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Nikko: temperatures range from 29°C by day to 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Ryuka Waterfall
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Odashirogahara ©
Odashirogahara
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu

5
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 cultural itinerary includes sights like Asakusa Shrine and Senso-ji Temple. Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) and Hozomon will appeal to history buffs. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) & Kencho-ji Temple) and Nature & Wildlife Tours (in Fuji). There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Ueno, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hie Jinjya, make a trip to Shibuya Crossing, and contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine.

For more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo sightseeing planner .

You can take a train from Nikko to Tokyo in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in September, and nighttime lows around 24°C. On the 18th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Kamakura, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) ©
Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple)
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

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