20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Kyoto
1
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train:  45​min
2
Nara
— 1 night
train:  2​h 30​min
3
Hiroshima
— 1 night
train:  15​min
4
Hatsukaichi
— 1 night
+2
train + bus + ferry:  3​h 15​min
5
Naoshima-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Tonosho-cho
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  6​h 30​min
7
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
bus + train:  1​h 45​min
8
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
9
Nikko
— 3 nights
train:  5​h 15​min
10
Osaka
— 1 night
End: Osaka

5
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 Mimurotoji Temple and Shimogamo Jinja. Do some cultural sightseeing at Kifune-jinja Shrine and Kennin-ji Temple. The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanzen-in Temple, make a trip to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate the long history of Ninna-ji Temple, and examine the collection at Kyoto Railway Museum.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Kyoto online trip itinerary maker .

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Mimurotoji Temple
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Gion
Gion
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): stroll around Nara Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, admire the striking features of Nara National Museum, steep yourself in history at Todai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Joruri Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple.

For more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Nara trip planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Nara by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of subway and train. In August, daytime highs in Nara are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Joruri Temple
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum

1
night
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 14th (Wed): examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and then contemplate the long history of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Plan a Hiroshima trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Getting from Nara to Hiroshima by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Hiroshima can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, then take an in-depth tour of Miyajima History Folk Museum, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Miyama Shrine.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Hatsukaichi online tour planner .

Hatsukaichi is very close to Hiroshima. In August, daytime highs in Hatsukaichi are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Naoshima-cho.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Miyama Shrine ©
Miyama Shrine
Miyajima History Folk Museum ©
Miyajima History Folk Museum

1
night
Naoshima-cho

Naoshima-cho ©
On a vacation in Naoshima-cho, a charming island town in the Seto Inland Sea, you can discover its numerous contemporary art museums, sculptures, installations, and galleries.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Chichu Art Museum, admire the masterpieces at Benesse House Museum, then examine the collection at Ando Museum, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Art House Project.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Naoshima-cho trip itinerary planner .

Do a combination of train, bus, and ferry from Hatsukaichi to Naoshima-cho in 3.5 hours. In August in Naoshima-cho, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tonosho-cho.

Things to do in Naoshima-cho

Museums
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Chichu Art Museum ©
Chichu Art Museum
Benesse House Museum ©
Benesse House Museum
Ando Museum ©
Ando Museum

1
night
Tonosho-cho

Tonosho-cho ©
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): admire the masterpieces at Teshima Art Museum, then explore the striking landscape at Kasaneiwa (Piled Rocks), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shodojima 88 Holy Sites Visiting, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hitoyama Rikyu Hachiman Shrine. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nishinotakiryusui Temple and then enjoy the sand and surf at Olive Beach.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Tonosho-cho trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Naoshima-cho to Tonosho-cho in 3 hours. In August, daily temperatures in Tonosho-cho can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. On the 18th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tonosho-cho

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

Shodoshima-cho
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Teshima Art Museum ©
Teshima Art Museum
Nishinotakiryusui Temple ©
Nishinotakiryusui Temple

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Mon): explore the world behind art at Hakone Museum of Art, explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and finally get engrossed in the history at Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the natural beauty at Little Prince Museum, examine the collection at Lalique Museum Hakone, explore the world behind art at Okada Museum of Art, then trek along Hakone Stone‐paved Road, and finally take an in-depth tour of Hakone Shrine Homotsuden.

To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Hakone-machi day trip planning website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Tonosho-cho to Hakone-machi. While traveling from Tonosho-cho, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Hakone-machi, ranging from highs of 29°C to lows of 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Museum of Art ©
Hakone Museum of Art
Lalique Museum Hakone ©
Lalique Museum Hakone
Okada Museum of Art ©
Okada Museum of Art

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at The Railway Museum and Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple). Discover out-of-the-way places like Asakusa Shrine and Nezu Shrine. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) & Kencho-ji Temple), Hikawa Shrine (in Omiya) and Sankeien Gardens (in Naka). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, take a stroll through Ueno, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozomon, and contemplate the long history of Hie Jinjya.

For more things to do and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip maker site .

You can take a train from Hakone-machi to Tokyo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in August, you will find days in Tokyo are a bit warmer (36°C), and nights are about the same (28°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Kamakura, Saitama, Sankeien Gardens
Find places to stay Aug 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) ©
Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple)
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

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.
Get some cultural insight at Yomeimon (Main Gate) and Nikko Tosho-gu. Escape the urban bustle at Urami Waterfall and Odashirogahara. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Taiyuimbyo Shrine, get to know the fascinating history of Cryptomeria Avenue, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nikko Futarasan jinja, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Nantai.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Nikko trip planner .

Take a train from Tokyo to Nikko in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Nikko, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Aug 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Odashirogahara ©
Odashirogahara
Yomeimon (Main Gate) ©
Yomeimon (Main Gate)
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine

1
night
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 27th (Tue), get to know the fascinating history of Hozenji Yokocho, then don't miss a visit to Hōzen-ji Temple, and then explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka travel route planner.

You can take a train from Nikko to Osaka in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. While traveling from Nikko, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Osaka, ranging from highs of 39°C to lows of 29°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hozenji Yokocho ©
Hozenji Yokocho
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Hōzen-ji Temple ©
Hōzen-ji Temple

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