21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 12 nights
Train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  30​min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
4
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: Tokyo

12
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.
Nezu Shrine and Mitsumine Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore hidden gems such as Kencho-ji Temple and Tokyo National Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Oya History Museum (in Utsunomiya), Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine (in Omiya) and Kamakura (Engaku-ji Temple, Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple), & more). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Yanaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja, see the interesting displays at Fire Museum, and explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo online sightseeing planner .

If you are flying in from Canada, the closest major airports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport and Hyakuri Airport. In May in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kamakura, Atami, Narita, Katori, Saitama
Find places to stay May 5 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National 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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninna-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, then get to know the fascinating history of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja. On the 19th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kifune Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanzen-in Temple.

For ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read Kyoto online trip itinerary maker .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In May, daytime highs in Kyoto are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan, Miho Museum, Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay May 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Kennin-ji Temple ©
Kennin-ji Temple
Sanzen-in Temple ©
Sanzen-in Temple

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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kofuku-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, and then wander the streets of Dotonbori. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, don't miss a visit to Hozenji Yokocho, get a sense of history and politics at Mint Museum, then examine the collection at CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA, and finally admire the verdant scenery at Arima Onsen.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Osaka day trip app .

Osaka is just a stone's throw from Kyoto. May in Osaka sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time for travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Nara, Arima Onsen, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda ©
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda

3
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): get outside with Yonehara Beach, then see the interesting displays at Nawa Insect Museum Haimurubushi, then get engrossed in the history at Ishigaki Yaima Village, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Kubazaki Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Nakamoto Beach, and then examine the collection at MInsah Kogei Museum.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Ishigaki trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Osaka to Ishigaki takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight. In May, Ishigaki is somewhat warmer than Osaka - with highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Kuro-shima, Kohama-jima, Island Countryside Settlement
Find places to stay May 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement
Ishigaki Yaima Village ©
Ishigaki Yaima Village

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