20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Manchester
+2
Fly + Subway + Train:  17​h 45​min
1
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h
2
Himeji
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 15​min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train:  30​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
7
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Bus + Train:  1​h 30​min
8
Kamakura
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 30​min
9
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  16​h 45​min
End: Manchester

2
nights
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 3rd (Fri): contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome. On the next day, head off the coast to Miyajima, get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, then admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, and finally contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

For ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima road trip planning tool .

Manchester, UK to Hiroshima is an approximately 18-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 9 hour difference. When traveling from Manchester in July, plan for a bit warmer days and warmer nights in Hiroshima: temperatures range from 36°C by day to 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jul 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en Garden, step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, admire the masterpieces at Himeji CityMuseum of Art, examine the collection at Japan Toy Museum, then make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, and finally make a trip to Otemae Street.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Himeji visit site .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Himeji in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In July, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Japan Toy Museum ©
Japan Toy Museum
Himeji CityMuseum of Art ©
Himeji CityMuseum of Art

2
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.
On the 6th (Mon), examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine, then see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, and finally walk around Nara Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Tue): get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori, examine the collection at The World Money Box Museum, then see the interesting displays at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, and finally find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Osaka online travel route planner .

Getting from Himeji to Osaka by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. Traveling from Himeji in July, expect nights in Osaka to be about the same, around 28°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 37°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Nara, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, The World Money Box Museum
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Sanjusangendo Temple. You'll explore and learn at Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan. Change things up with a short trip to Todai-ji Temple in Nara (about 1 hour away). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, don't miss a visit to Arashiyama, and take a stroll through Gion.

To find reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto online road trip planner .

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. In July, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, learn more about the world around you at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), steep yourself in history at Wada House, then get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, and finally get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, then wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, then admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, and finally get engrossed in the history at Hida Folk Archeological Museum (Hida Minzoku Kokokan).

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Takayama trip planner .

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Takayama takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In July in Takayama, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

2
nights
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.
On the 13th (Mon), see the interesting displays at Prince & Skyline Museum, explore the world behind art at Kitazawa Museum of Art, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Suwa Shrine, then explore the world behind art at Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, and finally steep yourself in history at Yohashira Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Tue): explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, explore the world behind art at Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, examine the collection at Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum (Matsumoto Mingei-kan), explore the world behind art at Matsumoto City Museum of Art, then examine the collection at Matsumoto City Timepiece Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Kaichi Gakko Primary School.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Matsumoto trip planner.

Drive from Takayama to Matsumoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In July in Matsumoto, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Suwa, Prince & Skyline Museum, Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto City Art Museum ©
Matsumoto City Art Museum
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum ©
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, get engrossed in the history at Hakone Shrine Homotsuden, steep yourself in history at Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, then get engrossed in the history at Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum, then explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and finally get great views at Hakone Ropeway.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi online holiday planner .

Getting from Matsumoto to Hakone-machi by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Matsumoto in July, you will find days in Hakone-machi are little chillier (28°C), and nights are about the same (25°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel to Kamakura.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu

1
night
Kamakura

Kamakura ©
The coastal town of Kamakura sits close to Tokyo, with the ancient settlement featuring a number of important historical and cultural sites.
On the 16th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kōtoku-in, contemplate the long history of Hase-dera Temple, steep yourself in history at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), then make a trip to Hokoku-ji Temple Bamboo Grove, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kencho-ji Temple.

Before you visit Kamakura, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can do a combination of bus and train from Hakone-machi to Kamakura in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In July, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kamakura

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Kōtoku-in ©
Kōtoku-in
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine ©
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

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.
You'll explore and learn at Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan. Get some historical perspective at Sensō-ji and Imperial Palace. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Ghibli Museum Mitaka in Mitaka--about 44 minutes away. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, admire the masterpieces at The National Art Center, Tokyo, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and engage your brain at National Museum of Nature and Science.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Tokyo online itinerary maker .

You can take a train from Kamakura to Tokyo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Kamakura in July, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 27°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 36°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

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