18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  12​h 15​min
1
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
2
Kobe
— 1 day
train:  30​min
3
Himeji
— Few hours
+2
train + subway + train:  1​h 45​min
4
Nara
— 1 night
train:  45​min
5
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  15​min
6
Otsu
— 1 night
train:  3​h 45​min
7
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
bus + train:  1​h 30​min
8
Yokohama
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
9
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  13​h 15​min
End: Vancouver

3
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Thu): have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe. On the 1st (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan and then don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market.

For photos, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Osaka trip itinerary maker tool .

Vancouver, Canada to Osaka is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 17 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Vancouver in October: high temperatures in Osaka hover around 26°C and lows are around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 3:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
day
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
On the 3rd (Sun), admire the natural beauty at Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mudoji Temple, admire the verdant scenery at Arima Onsen, then see the interesting displays at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, then shop like a local with Kobe Harborland, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown).

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Kobe day trip planning site .

Kobe is just a short distance from Osaka. In November in Kobe, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens ©
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum ©
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown) ©
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)

few
hours
Himeji

Himeji
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Himeji online day trip planner .

Himeji is very close to Kobe. In November in Himeji, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 13°C at night. You'll set off for Nara on the 3rd (Sun).

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 4:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kofuku-ji Temple, pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine.

To see more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Nara route planner .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Nara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in November, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Heian Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: get engrossed in the history at Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, then explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and finally take a stroll through Gion.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Nara to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and subway. November in Kyoto sees daily highs of 19°C and lows of 10°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Otsu.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Nov 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

1
night
Otsu

Otsu ©
The lake port city of Otsu has a wealth of sites of historical and cultural importance and lies within close proximity to Kyoto.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ishiyamadera Temple, get to know the fascinating history of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Modoroki Shrine, then fly down the slopes at Biwako Valley, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple).

To see photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Otsu trip planner.

Otsu is just a short distance from Kyoto. In November, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Otsu

Winter Sports Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Biwako Valley ©
Biwako Valley
Modoroki Shrine ©
Modoroki Shrine
Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple) ©

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.
On the 8th (Fri), explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then get great views at Hakone Ropeway, then make a trip to Owaku-dani Valley, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Hakone Stone‐paved Road, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and then make a splash at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi itinerary maker .

You can take a train from Otsu to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Otsu in November, you will find days in Hakone-machi are a bit cooler (13°C), and nights are about the same (11°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) early enough to travel to Yokohama.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Theme Parks Spas Baths
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun ©
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)

3
nights
Yokohama

Yokohama ©
Once a small fishing town, Yokohama was one of the first ports to welcome foreign trade in the 19th century, after which it grew into Japan's second largest city and a bustling metropolis.
Venture out of the city with trips to Kamakura (Kōtoku-in & Kamakura Komachidori) and Susukino (in Sapporo). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Hase-dera Temple, get to know the fascinating history of Sankeien Gardens, take a leisurely stroll along Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal, and stroll around Yamashita Park.

To find out how to plan a trip to Yokohama, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Hakone-machi to Yokohama takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Hakone-machi, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Yokohama, ranging from highs of 19°C to lows of 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Yokohama

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Kamakura, Susukino
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kōtoku-in ©
Kōtoku-in
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Sankeien Gardens ©
Sankeien Gardens

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.
Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama, about 30 minutes away. The adventure continues: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple.

To see maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary planner .

Tokyo is very close to Yokohama. In November, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. You will have some time to spend on the 16th (Sat) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Tokyo DisneySea
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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