21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tel Aviv
+2
Fly + bus + train:  17​h
1
Hiroshima
— 1 night
train:  1​h 15​min
2
Kobe
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
3
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
4
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 45​min
5
Aizuwakamatsu
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Shirakawa
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h
8
Karuizawa-machi
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
9
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
10
Ise
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
11
Nara
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  15​h 15​min
End: Tel Aviv

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 20th (Mon): head off the coast to Miyajima, then stop by Itsukushima Gekijyo, and then step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, then see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima online trip itinerary builder .

Tel Aviv, Israel to Hiroshima is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. You'll lose 7 hours traveling from Tel Aviv to Hiroshima due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Tel Aviv in September, with highs in Hiroshima at 32°C and lows at 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

2
nights
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): get a taste of the local shopping with Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown), gain insight at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, then examine the collection at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, then kick back and relax at Amore Beach, and finally kick back and relax at Matsue Swimming Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: find something for the whole family at Rokkosan Field Athletic, then cruise along Royu Driveway, then don't miss a visit to The Royal Grand Hall of Buddhism, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Suma Beach.

For photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Kobe trip planner .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kobe takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or drive. In September, daytime highs in Kobe are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kobe

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Akashi, Royu Driveway, The Royal Grand Hall of Buddhism
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Rokkosan Field Athletic ©
Rokkosan Field Athletic
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum ©
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery 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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, classes, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Heian Shrine, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and don't miss a visit to Gion.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planning website .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Kobe. Traveling from Kobe in September, expect a bit cooler with lows of 23°C in Kyoto. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. On your second day here, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and finally see the interesting displays at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Osaka online tour itinerary planner .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. September in Osaka sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Aizuwakamatsu.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
night
Aizuwakamatsu

Aizuwakamatsu ©
Rich in culture and history, Aizuwakamatsu has retained much of its traditional character from its days as a feudal capital.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Hikudari Kannondo, explore the historical opulence of Tsuruga Castle, look for gifts at Aizu Shurakukan, then don't miss a visit to Nisshinkan, then steep yourself in history at Sazaedo, and finally don't miss a visit to Byakkotai's Tomb.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Aizuwakamatsu holiday site .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Osaka to Aizuwakamatsu in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Osaka in September, with highs in Aizuwakamatsu at 27°C and lows at 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Shirakawa.

Things to do in Aizuwakamatsu

Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Hikudari Kannondo
Find places to stay Sep 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Tsuruga Castle ©
Tsuruga Castle
Nisshinkan ©
Nisshinkan
Sazaedo ©
Sazaedo

1
night
Shirakawa

Shirakawa ©
Shirakawa is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, in northern Honshū, Japan. Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Komine Castle Remains, take an in-depth tour of Kominejo Catsle History Museum, admire the natural beauty at Suirakuen, then contemplate the waterfront views at Yukiwari Canyon, and finally stroll around Shirakawa Sekinomori Park.

To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Shirakawa day trip planning tool .

You can drive from Aizuwakamatsu to Shirakawa in 1.5 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Shirakawa can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shirakawa

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Sep 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawa Sekinomori Park ©
Shirakawa Sekinomori Park
Komine Castle Remains ©
Komine Castle Remains
Suirakuen ©
Suirakuen

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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, and admire the striking features of Tokyo Skytree.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Shirakawa to Tokyo takes 2.5 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Shirakawa in September; daily highs in Tokyo reach 32°C and lows reach 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Karuizawa-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 3:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

1
night
Karuizawa-machi

Karuizawa-machi ©
The only city in the world to have hosted both summer and winter Olympics, the resort town of Karuizawa-machi boasts clean air, impressive mountain scenery, and many outdoor activities and hot springs.
On the 4th (Mon), explore the activities along Kumoba Pond, play a few rounds at Seizan Golf Course, browse the different shops at Karuizawa prince shopping plaza, then explore the world behind art at Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kaio-in Temple.

For maps, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Karuizawa-machi trip itinerary website .

Take a train from Tokyo to Karuizawa-machi in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in October, expect Karuizawa-machi to be slightly colder, temps between 21°C and 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Karuizawa-machi

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Kaio-in Temple
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kumoba Pond ©
Kumoba Pond
Karuizawa prince shopping plaza ©
Karuizawa prince shopping plaza
Seizan Golf Course ©
Seizan Golf Course

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): take in the pleasant sights at Matsumoto Castle, admire the masterpieces at Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, then explore the striking landscape at Yashimagahara Marsh, then identify plant and animal life at Kirigamine Marshland, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Reijin Brewery. On your second day here, explore the activities along Pond Tashiro, then get outside with Karasawa Carl, then head outdoors with Mt. KItahodaka, and finally walk around Azumino Chihiro Park.

To see photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Matsumoto trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Karuizawa-machi to Matsumoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 21°C, and evening lows to 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Suwa, Azumino Chihiro Park, Yashimagahara Marsh
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Azumino Chihiro Park ©
Azumino Chihiro Park
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum ©
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

1
night
Ise

Ise ©
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
On the 7th (Thu), get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Toba Aquarium, examine the collection at Okageza, don't miss a visit to Okage Yokocho, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Grand Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Aramatsurinomiya, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Ise Shrine Geku.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Ise online tour itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Ise takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Matsumoto in October, plan for a bit warmer nights in Ise, with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Toba Aquarium
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine
Okage Yokocho ©
Okage Yokocho
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku

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 8th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, then see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Todai-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Nara route planner .

Traveling by train from Ise to Nara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In October, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Byodoin
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

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