21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Osaka
Train:  2​h 30​min
1
Hatsukaichi
— 1 night
Train:  15​min
2
Hiroshima
— 1 night
+2
Train + Bus + Ferry:  2​h 45​min
3
Naoshima-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Tonosho-cho
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  13​h
5
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Train:  3​h 45​min
6
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Bus + Train:  1​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
8
Nikko
— 1 night
Train:  5​h 15​min
9
Osaka
— 4 nights
End: Osaka

1
night
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
On the 9th (Fri), get outside with Paddle Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Miyama Shrine, then enjoy the sand and surf at Mikasahama Beach, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tahoto.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Hatsukaichi attractions planning site .

Osaka to Hatsukaichi is an approximately 2.5-hour train ride. You can also drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In August in Hatsukaichi, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 29°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Outdoors Historic Sites Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Mikasahama Beach ©
Mikasahama Beach
Miyama Shrine ©
Miyama Shrine
Tahoto ©
Tahoto

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.
On the 10th (Sat), contemplate the waterfront views at Setonaikai, appreciate the history behind Peace Flame, then examine the collection at Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum, and finally examine the collection at Honkawa Peace Museum. Keep things going the next day: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, contemplate the waterfront views at Motoyasu River, then look and learn at Hiroshima Children's Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitaki Temple.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Hiroshima online travel planner .

Hiroshima is just a short distance from Hatsukaichi. In August in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Naoshima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Setonaikai ©
Setonaikai
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Peace Flame ©
Peace Flame

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Mon): make a trip to Subaru Ishikawa Art Series, take in the exciting artwork at Miyanoura Gallery Rokku, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sumiyoshi Shrine, don't miss a visit to Naoshima Pavillion, then admire the landmark architecture of Naoshima port terminal, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gokuraku-ji Temple.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Naoshima-cho trip itinerary maker tool .

Getting from Hiroshima to Naoshima-cho by combination of train, bus, and ferry takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry. In August, daytime highs in Naoshima-cho are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tonosho-cho.

Things to do in Naoshima-cho

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
007 Museum ©
007 Museum
Naoshima port terminal ©
Naoshima port terminal
Naoshima Pavillion ©
Naoshima Pavillion

1
night
Tonosho-cho

Tonosho-cho ©
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Nishinotakiryusui Temple.

Planning Tonosho-cho trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can drive from Naoshima-cho to Tonosho-cho in 3 hours. In August, daytime highs in Tonosho-cho are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. On the 13th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tonosho-cho

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nishinotakiryusui Temple
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Nishinotakiryusui Temple ©
Nishinotakiryusui Temple

6
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Jojakkoji Temple and Daitoku-ji Temple. Let the collections at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum and Kaleidoscope Museum of Kyoto capture your imagination. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, get to know the fascinating history of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, steep yourself in history at Honen-in, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Kyoto road trip app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Tonosho-cho to Kyoto. In August, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kotoin ©
Kotoin
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden ©
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden
Jojakkoji Temple ©
Jojakkoji Temple

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.
On the 20th (Tue), admire the masterpieces at Hakone Museum of Art, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Kintoki, then admire the natural beauty at Hakone Shisseikaen, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Choanji Temple.

Discover how to plan a Hakone-machi trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Kyoto to Hakone-machi by train takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Kyoto in August, expect nights in Hakone-machi to be about the same, around 26°C, while days are little chillier, around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Kintoki ©
Mt. Kintoki
Hakone Museum of Art ©
Hakone Museum of Art
Choanji Temple ©
Choanji Temple

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center and Ikegami Hommon-ji Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Fire Museum and Madame Tussauds Tokyo. There's much more to do: admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo, examine the collection at ASAKURA Museum of Sculpture, Taito, and wander the streets of Takadanobaba.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo vacation planner .

Getting from Hakone-machi to Tokyo by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in August, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 36°C by day to 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan ©
Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center ©

1
night
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.
On the 24th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakushido, take an in-depth tour of Kanaya Hotel History House, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chuzenji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi Shrine, and finally admire the sheer force of Urami Waterfall. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at Furukama Falls, then take in the natural beauty of Kawamata Onsen, and then get to know the fascinating history of Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Nikko day trip planning tool .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Nikko in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Tokyo in August: highs in Nikko hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 29°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Kanaya Hotel History House ©
Kanaya Hotel History House
Chuzenji Temple ©
Chuzenji Temple

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Horikoshi Shrine and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Get some historical perspective at Catholic Osaka Umeda Church and Yasui Shrine. There's lots more to do: explore the world behind art at Sanno Art Museum, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take a stroll through Kitashinchi, and admire the natural beauty at Sakuya Konohanakan.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Osaka trip itinerary planner.

Take a train from Nikko to Osaka in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can 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. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Spas Parks
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Yasui Shrine ©
Yasui Shrine
Horikoshi Shrine ©
Horikoshi Shrine
Catholic Osaka Umeda Church ©
Catholic Osaka Umeda Church

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