21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brussels
Fly:  16​h
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Nikko
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
4
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
6
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  2​h
7
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
+4
train + subway + train + Fly + train:  17​h
End: Brussels

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Tokyo Disneyland and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama, about 30 minutes away. There's lots more to do: get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, make a trip to Shibuya Crossing, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower.

To see maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo holiday planner .

Brussels, Belgium to Tokyo is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Brussels to Tokyo is 8 hours. In July, Tokyo is a bit warmer than Brussels - with highs of 36°C and lows of 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea ©
Tokyo DisneySea
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Nikko Tosho-gu, steep yourself in history at Yomeimon (Main Gate), then stroll around Nikko National Park, then walk around Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, and finally steep yourself in history at Taiyuimbyo Shrine.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Nikko road trip planning site .

Getting from Tokyo to Nikko by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Tokyo in July: highs in Nikko hover around 31°C, while lows dip to 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Nikko

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Nikko National Park
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Nikko National Park ©
Nikko National Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, then explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), then take some stellar pictures from Hakone Ropeway, and finally make a trip to Owaku-dani Valley. On the 10th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum and then cool off at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Hakone-machi road trip site .

You can drive from Nikko to Hakone-machi in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a train. Traveling from Nikko in July, expect nights in Hakone-machi to be about the same, around 25°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Spas Theme Parks Baths
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun ©
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum

3
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Explore Takayama's surroundings by going to Shirakawa-mura (Wada House, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, & more). On the 13th (Sat), ski the day away in the pristine settings at HIda Funayama Snow Resort Arkopia. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, and learn more about the world around you at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato).

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Takayama tour planner.

You can drive from Hakone-machi to Takayama in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Hakone-machi in July: highs in Takayama hover around 35°C, while lows dip to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

4
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: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, make a trip to Nishiki Market, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and wander the streets of Gion.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner .

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kyoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

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.
Family-friendly places like Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from Osaka: Nara (Todai-ji Temple, Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, & more). Next up on the itinerary: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, examine the collection at Museum of Oriental Ceramics, take a stroll through Dotonbori, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senko-ji Temple.

Start your trip to Osaka by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in July, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trip

Nara
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

3
nights
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 21st (Sun): appreciate the history behind Children's Peace Monument, don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and then examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, pause for some photo ops at Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital Workers Monument, then explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, and finally pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip itinerary planner .

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In July, daily temperatures in Hiroshima can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Mikasahama Beach ©
Mikasahama Beach
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

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