20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  45​min
4
Himeji
— 1 night
train:  1​h
5
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  4​h
6
Naha
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Sydney

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, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Imperial Palace.

To find more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo day trip site .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Tokyo is minus 1 hour. In January, Tokyo is colder than Sydney - with highs of 11°C and lows of 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen & The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses), Ski Jam Katsuyama (in Katsuyama) and Sairin-ji Temple (in Hakusan). There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, and examine the collection at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Kanazawa driving holiday planner.

Getting from Tokyo to Kanazawa by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in January, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Kanazawa: temperatures range from 7°C by day to 0°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Ski Jam Katsuyama, Sairin-ji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Osaka (Universal Studios Japan & Osaka Castle). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

To see photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto visit planner .

Traveling by train from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en Garden, don't miss a visit to Himeji Castle, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Takamikura, and finally contemplate the long history of Yoneda Taishiji Temple.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Himeji holiday planner.

Take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Himeji are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Mt. Takamikura, Yoneda Taishiji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en Garden ©
Koko-en Garden

3
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) and Mt. Misen (in Miyajima). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, and admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Hiroshima planner .

You can take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. January in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Naha.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

3
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): don't miss a visit to Kokusaidori, get to know the fascinating history of Shurijo Castle, and then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. On your second day here, meet the residents at Okichan Theater, then stroll through Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park, then don't miss a visit to Kouri Ohashi, and finally steep yourself in history at Nakijin Castle Ruins.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Naha trip itinerary planning website .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Naha in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Hiroshima in January, you will find days in Naha are somewhat warmer (22°C), and nights are much hotter (17°C). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Motobu-cho, Nakijin-son, St. Clara Church, Cape Manzamo
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Kokusaidori ©
Kokusaidori

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