20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Madrid
Fly:  18​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train + bus:  1​h 45​min
2
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
5
Nara
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
6
Osaka
— 4 nights
Fly:  19​h 30​min
End: Madrid

3
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 day-by-day itinerary now includes Koishikawa Korakuen Garden as well as Mount Fuji. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Mt. Takao and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) Terminal No2 Observation Deck. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Kinchakuda Manjushage Park in Hidaka--about 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: go for a walk through Happoen Garden, don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, have some family-friendly fun at Samurai Armor Photo Studio, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozomon.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo road trip site .

Madrid, Spain to Tokyo is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Madrid to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Tokyo when traveling from Madrid in October, with lows around 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mount Fuji, Mt. Takao, Kinchakuda Manjushage Park
Find places to stay Oct 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Samurai Armor Photo Studio ©
Samurai Armor Photo Studio
Happoen Garden ©
Happoen Garden

2
nights
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.
To see ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Hakone-machi trip tool .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Hakone-machi in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Tokyo in October: highs in Hakone-machi hover around 19°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
Choanji Temple ©
Choanji Temple
Owaku-dani Valley ©
Owaku-dani Valley

2
nights
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 28th (Mon): get answers to all your questions at Takayama City Hall. On the next day, steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, then awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, and finally explore the world behind art at Furui Machinami Museum Kiyoshi Yamashita Gengaten.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Takayama road trip planning tool .

You can drive from Hakone-machi to Takayama in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in October, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Takayama: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Tours Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Amanohashidate and Walking tours. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto online tour itinerary planner .

Drive from Takayama to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) so you can take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Tours Nature

Side Trips

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Amanohashidate
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Amanohashidate ©
Amanohashidate

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Isuien Garden, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Wakakusa, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Todai-ji Temple, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Yoshikien, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodaiji Temple. On the 4th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, get engrossed in the history at Nara National Museum, then stroll around Nara Park, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Joruri Temple.

To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of subway and train. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in November, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Historic Sites Tours

Side Trip

Joruri Temple
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Yoshikien ©
Yoshikien
Isuien Garden ©
Isuien Garden
Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Shoshazan Engyoji and Sunset Owl Cafe. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Koya-cho (Kongobu-ji Temple & Koyasan Danjo Garan). The adventure continues: let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, stroll around Nakanoshima Park, and make a trip to Hozenji Yokocho.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Osaka road trip planner.

Getting from Nara to Osaka by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. November in Osaka sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 10°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Tours

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Shoshazan Engyoji
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple

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