23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: New York City
fly:  2​h
1
Tokyo
— 1 night
train:  4​h 15​min
2
Ise
— Few hours
train:  1​h 30​min
3
Nagoya
— 1 night
train:  2​h 15​min
4
Takayama
— 1 night
train:  3​h
5
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
6
Kyoto
— 4 nights
+2
train + subway + train:  3​h 15​min
7
Koya-cho
— 1 night
+2
train + subway + train:  4​h 30​min
8
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
9
Himeji
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
10
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 15​min
11
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h 15​min
End: New York City

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): admire the masterpieces at 21 21 DESIGN SIGHT, then explore the world behind art at Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, and then wander the streets of Kitchen Town (Kappabashi).

To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Tokyo road trip planning tool .

New York City, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to Tokyo is 14 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can travel to Ise.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums
Find places to stay Oct 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum ©
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
21 21 DESIGN SIGHT ©
21 21 DESIGN SIGHT

few
hours
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.
Naiku Kaguraden has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 20th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Naiku Kaguraden.

For more things to do, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Ise trip planner .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Ise takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Tokyo in October since evenings lows in Ise dip to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Sun) to allow time for the train ride to Nagoya.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 21:

1
night
Nagoya

Nagoya
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Nagoya journey maker site .

Getting from Ise to Nagoya by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. Traveling from Ise in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Nagoya, with lows of 61°F. On the 21st (Mon), you'll travel to Takayama.

Things to do in Nagoya

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 21:

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daiouji Temple, take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, then stop by Harada Sake Brewery, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine, and finally see the interesting displays at Hikaru Museum. Keep things going the next day: appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses and then get engrossed in the history at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato).

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Takayama online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Nagoya to Takayama by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 57°F. On the 22nd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Daiou-ji Temple ©
Daiou-ji Temple
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a stroll through Higashichaya Old Town, stop by Sakuda Honten, then buy something for everyone on your list at Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Natadera Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Maruoka Castle.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa day trip planning site .

Drive from Takayama to Kanazawa in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In October, daily temperatures in Kanazawa can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. You'll have a few hours on the 24th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Natadera Temple, Suganuma Gassho Community, Maruoka Castle
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Maruoka Castle ©
Maruoka Castle
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum ©
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Ninna-ji Temple and Shimogamo Jinja. Do some cultural sightseeing at Kinkaku-ji and Sanzen-in Temple. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, steep yourself in history at Daikaku-ji, get to know the fascinating history of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, and don't miss a visit to Daigo-ji Temple.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by train from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. October in Kyoto sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 60°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Wildlife

Side Trip

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sanzen-in Temple ©
Sanzen-in Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Kennin-ji Temple ©
Kennin-ji Temple

1
night
Koya-cho

Koya-cho ©
On the 28th (Mon), take in the spiritual surroundings of Tateriko Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Saito, explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Torodo Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-in Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryusen-in Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Shojoshin-in Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumagai-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jokiin, then contemplate the long history of Rokkaku Kyozo, then admire the striking features of Koyasan Kondomae, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongosanmaiin.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Koya-cho road trip planning tool .

Getting from Kyoto to Koya-cho by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 73°F in October, and nighttime lows around 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tateriko Shrine
Find places to stay Oct 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Torodo Temple ©
Torodo Temple
Rokkaku Kyozo ©
Rokkaku Kyozo
Kongosanmaiin ©
Kongosanmaiin

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, stroll through Miyajima, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senjokaku, and finally steep yourself in history at To no Oka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Thu): contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitaki Temple, then stroll through Mikasahama Beach, then look for gifts at Itsukushima Gekijyo, and finally see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum.

To see more things to do, ratings, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Koya-cho to Hiroshima by train takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In October in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 61°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, JMSDF Kure Museum
Find places to stay Oct 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): trek along Mt Shosha hiking, then step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, and then examine the collection at Japan Toy Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Katashibo Bamboo Forest, examine the collection at Tegarayama Exchange Station, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hiromine Shrine, then stop by Yamasa Kamaboko Yumesenkan, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en Garden.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Himeji travel route planner .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in October, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Katashibo Bamboo Forest
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Hiromine Shrine ©
Hiromine Shrine

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Horyu-ji Temple and Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Get some historical perspective at Toshodaiji Temple and Nigatsu-do Temple. Venture out of the city with trips to Arima Onsen (in Kita), CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA (in Ikeda) and Nara (Nara Park, Kofuku-ji Temple, & more). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hase-dera Temple, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori, and look for gifts at Kimono Photo Studio Wasabi Osaka.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Osaka online day trip planner .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 63°F, and evening lows to 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Nara, Hase-dera Temple, CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA, Asuka-dera Temple, Horyu-ji Temple
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple

4
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Asakusa Shrine and Hozomon. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Mitsumine Shrine (Chichibu) and Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (in Kamakura), Hakone-machi (Pola Museum of Art & Hakone Museum of Art) and Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara). Enjoy Tokyo some more: explore the world behind art at Nezu Museum, contemplate the long history of Hie Jinjya, wander the streets of Odaiba, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sengaku-ji Temple.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tokyo trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Tokyo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Oyama Afuri Shrine, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Mitsumine Shrine
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine ©
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine

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