23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan travel planner

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Route & dates

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
+2
train + bus + ferry:  5​h 45​min
2
Naoshima-cho
— 2 nights
+2
ferry + bus + train:  3​h 15​min
3
Osaka
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
4
Wakayama
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
5
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
6
Tokyo
— 5 nights
End: Tokyo

5
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.
Asakusa Shrine and Yanaka are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Museum-lovers will appreciate Fire Museum and Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), & more) and Naritasan Omote Sando (in Narita). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine, explore the world behind art at Nezu Museum, take a stroll through Ueno, and get to know the fascinating history of Kokyo Gaien National Garden.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Tokyo trip planner .

If you are flying in from New Zealand, the closest major airports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport and Hyakuri Airport. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Naoshima-cho.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kamakura, Naritasan Omote Sando
Find places to stay May 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) ©
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

2
nights
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 18th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Sumiyoshi Shrine, then head off the coast to Naoshima, then examine the collection at 007 Museum, and finally admire the striking features of Art House Project. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Ando Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hachiman Shrine, admire the masterpieces at Lee Ufan Art Museun, then admire the masterpieces at Benesse House Museum, and finally explore the world behind art at Chichu Art Museum.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Naoshima-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and ferry from Tokyo to Naoshima-cho in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In May in Naoshima-cho, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Naoshima-cho

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay May 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
007 Museum ©
007 Museum
Chichu Art Museum ©
Chichu Art Museum
Benesse House Museum ©
Benesse House Museum

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.
Himeji Castle and Toshodaiji Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Mint Museum and Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum will appeal to museum buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Arima Onsen (in Kita) and Koya-cho (Kongobu-ji Temple & Koyasan Danjo Garan). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hōzen-ji Temple, enjoy breathtaking views from Harukas 300 Observation Deck, and step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle.

To see more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Osaka travel route app .

Getting from Naoshima-cho to Osaka by combination of ferry, bus, and train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus. May in Osaka sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 18°C at night. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Wakayama.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Arima Onsen, Toshodai-ji Temple, Himeji Castle
Find places to stay May 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koyasan Danjo Garan ©
Koyasan Danjo Garan
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple

2
nights
Wakayama

Wakayama ©
Split into two parts by the Kinokawa River, the city of Wakayama stands nestled in the eponymous plain, overlooked by a historic hilltop castle that was rebuilt after World War II.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Tamatsushima Shrine, examine the collection at Kao Eco Lab Museum, and then step into the grandiose world of Wakayama Castle. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Site of Miyama Batttery, steep yourself in history at Second Battery Ruins, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chohoji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yakushiin Zenrinji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kimiidera Temple.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Wakayama trip itinerary maker tool .

Getting from Osaka to Wakayama by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in May, and nighttime lows around 19°C. On the 26th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kyoto.

Things to do in Wakayama

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Kainan
Find places to stay May 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Wakayama Castle ©
Wakayama Castle
Kimiidera Temple ©
Kimiidera Temple
Tamatsushima Shrine ©
Tamatsushima Shrine

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Kinkaku-ji and Ninna-ji Temple. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Kennin-ji Temple. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki), see the interesting displays at Kyoto Railway Museum, stroll through Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip itinerary builder app .

You can take a train from Wakayama to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. May in Kyoto sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Kennin-ji Temple ©
Kennin-ji Temple

5
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Museum-lovers will appreciate Oya Stone Museum and Ota Memorial Museum of Art. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Mitsumine Shrine (Chichibu) and Semba Boadwalk. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Kashima Jingū Shrine (in Kashima), Hikawa Shrine (in Omiya) and Oya temple (in Utsunomiya). Explore Tokyo further: wander the streets of Odaiba, enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at University of Tokyo, admire the masterpieces at The National Art Center, Tokyo, and contemplate the long history of 上野東照宮 Toshogu Shrine.

For ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Tokyo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Utsunomiya, Mitsumine Shrine, Semba Boadwalk, Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine, Historic Old Town area in Sawara, Katori
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 4:
Highlights from your plan
Hozomon ©
Hozomon
Kashima Jingu ©
Kashima Jingu
Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine ©
Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine

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