21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  3​h 15​min
2
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
3
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Yanai
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Imabari
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  20​h 15​min
End: Melbourne

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden as well as Ueno Park. There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba, get your game on at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou, and admire the striking features of Tokyo Skytree.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo journey planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Melbourne to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Melbourne in December, you will find days in Tokyo are much colder (14°C), and nights are a bit cooler (4°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Odaiba ©
Odaiba

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine (in Fushimi) and Kiyomizu-dera Temple (in Higashiyama). Next up on the itinerary: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe, observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and wander the streets of Dotonbori.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Osaka holiday planner.

Take a train from Tokyo to Osaka in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Fun & Games

Side Trip

Kyoto
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Get out of town with these interesting Hiroshima side-trips: Kure (JMSDF Kure Museum & Yamato Museum), Hatsukaichi (Miyajima, Itsukushima Shrine, & more) and Mt. Misen (in Miyajima). There's much more to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Hiroshima holiday planner .

Traveling by train from Osaka to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Yanai.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

4
nights
Yanai

Yanai ©
Yanai is a city located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. Get out of town with these interesting Yanai side-trips: Hagi (Tokoji Temple, Shoin Shrine, & more), Aozora Park (in Shunan) and Iwakuni (Iwakuni Castle & Kintaikyo Bridge). There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Ruriko Temple Five-Story Pagoda, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Taikodani Inari Shrine, examine the collection at Museum of Merchants Muroya No Sono, and take in the views from Oshima Bridge.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Yanai tour builder .

Traveling by car from Hiroshima to Yanai takes 1.5 hours. In December in Yanai, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to drive to Imabari.

Things to do in Yanai

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hagi, Iwakuni, Ko Ito Memorial Park, Aozora Park, Ruriko Temple Five-Story Pagoda
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Shoin Shrine ©
Shoin Shrine
Ruriko Temple Five-Story Pagoda
Ruriko Temple Five-Story Pagoda
Kintaikyo Bridge ©
Kintaikyo Bridge

4
nights
Imabari

Imabari ©
The city of Imabari encompasses several islands in Japan's inland sea, and due to this strategic location it changed hands regularly during the feudal era.
Get out of town with these interesting Imabari side-trips: Ritsurin Garden (in Takamatsu), Kotohira-gu Shrine (in Kotohira-cho) and Nogi Museum (in Zentsuji). Next up on the itinerary: step into the grandiose world of Matsuyama Castle, take in nature's colorful creations at Okayama Korakuen Garden, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and explore the world behind art at Ohara Museum of Art.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Imabari online trip builder .

You can drive from Yanai to Imabari in 3 hours. In December, daytime highs in Imabari are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Imabari

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Kurashiki, Matsuyama, Okayama, Kotohira-gu, Nogi Museum
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Matsuyama Castle ©
Matsuyama Castle
Ritsurin Garden
Ritsurin Garden
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden

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