23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
3
Himeji
— 3 nights
train:  2​h
4
Hatsukaichi
— 3 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  4​h 45​min
5
Matsumoto
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
6
Naha
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
7
Nara
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 30​min
End: Tokyo

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.
When in Tokyo, make a side trip to see Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama, approximately 30 minutes away. There's still lots to do: admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and make a trip to Tokyo Skytree.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo road trip tool .

If you are flying in from United States, the closest major airports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport and Hyakuri Airport. In November, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 62°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
On the 29th (Fri), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Heian Shrine, steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In November in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 62°F during the day and 48°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Nov 28 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
You've now added Himeji Castle to your itinerary. Explore Himeji's surroundings by going to Tottori (Tottori Sand Dunes & The Sand Museum), Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter (in Kurashiki) and Okayama (Okayama Korakuen Garden & Okayama Castle). There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nagoyama Reien Busharito.

Before you visit Himeji, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. December in Himeji sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 42°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Tottori, Okayama, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

3
nights
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Itsukushima Shrine has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mashikeitsukushima Shrine, steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine Torii, then contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, then head off the coast to Miyajima, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Motomachi Itsukushima Jinja. Keep things going the next day: take in the views from Kintaikyo Bridge and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Misen.

To find traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Hatsukaichi online trip maker .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Hatsukaichi takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In December in Hatsukaichi, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. On the 7th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Kintaikyo Bridge, Mashikeitsukushima Shrine, Motomachi Itsukushima Jinja
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Mt. Misen ©
Mt. Misen

3
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.
Matsumoto Castle has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, explore the world behind art at Matsumoto City Museum of Art, then experience rural life at Daio Wasabi Farm, and finally admire the engineering at Kurobe Dam. On the 9th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: pause for some photo ops at Stone Church, buy something for everyone on your list at Karuizawa prince shopping plaza, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Kumoba Pond.

For where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Matsumoto road trip planning app .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hatsukaichi to Matsumoto in 5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Hatsukaichi in December; daily highs in Matsumoto reach 43°F and lows reach 32°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train back home.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Karuizawa-machi, Daio Wasabi Farm, Zenko-ji Temple, Kurobe Dam
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple
Kurobe Dam
Kurobe Dam

3
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Shurijo Castle. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): observe the fascinating underwater world at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle, and then make a trip to Kokusaidori. On the next day, get your game on at Ryuso Studio Chura Bijin, admire the masterpieces at Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, then explore the striking landscape at Cape Manzamo, and finally snap pictures at Kouri Ohashi.

To see maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Naha trip itinerary maker app .

You can fly from Matsumoto to Naha in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. In December, Naha is warmer than Matsumoto - with highs of 70°F and lows of 62°F. On the 13th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Cape Manzamo, Kouri Ohashi
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Kouri Ohashi ©
Kouri Ohashi

3
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Nara Park. Explore Nara's surroundings by going to Byodoin (in Uji) and Koya-cho (Koyasan Okunoin & Mt. Koya). And it doesn't end there: appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, and contemplate the waterfront views at Saho River.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Nara travel route builder site .

Traveling by flight from Naha to Nara takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of ferry and train. When traveling from Naha in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Nara, with highs around 52°F, while nights are cooler with lows around 42°F. On the 16th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a train back home.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Byodoin
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Mt. Koya ©
Mt. Koya

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