23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  14​h 45​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Nozawaonsen-mura
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Hakuba-mura
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Takayama
— 3 nights
train:  5​h 45​min
5
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
6
Kyoto
— 6 nights
train + Fly:  17​h
End: Auckland

2
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.
Get some cultural insight at Tokyo National Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Discover out-of-the-way places like Ghibli Museum and Minato Mirai 21. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, wander the streets of Odaiba, and admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo online trip itinerary planner .

Auckland Central, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. Traveling from Auckland Central to Tokyo, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Auckland Central in February: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 12°C and lows are around 2°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to travel to Nozawaonsen-mura.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Minato Mirai 21, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ueno ©
Ueno
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

3
nights
Nozawaonsen-mura

Nozawaonsen-mura ©
Many visitors take a trip to Nozawaonsen-mura, a picturesque hot spring village in Nagano Prefecture, to get away from it all.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort and Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The Japanease Memorial Museum of Skiing and Kosuge Shrine. Step out of Nozawaonsen-mura to go to Yamanouchi-machi and see Shiga Kogen, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: fly down the slopes at Nozawa Onsen, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ajisaidera Kogen-in Temple, contemplate the waterfront views at Hokuryu Lake, and look for gifts at Nozawa Onsen Early Morning Market (Asaichi).

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Nozawaonsen-mura road trip website .

You can drive from Tokyo to Nozawaonsen-mura in 4 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Tokyo in February: high temperatures in Nozawaonsen-mura hover around 4°C and lows are around -2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Nozawaonsen-mura

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Iiyama, Yamanouchi-machi, The Japanease Memorial Museum of Skiing
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Nozawa Onsen ©
Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area ©
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area

3
nights
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Step off the beaten path and head to Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort and Hakuba Snow Sports School. There's lots more to do: fly down the slopes at Hakuba, admire the natural beauty at Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden, see the interesting displays at Hakuba Alpine Library, and relax in the rural setting at Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort/Lily Farm & Mountain View.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Hakuba-mura trip planner .

Getting from Nozawaonsen-mura to Hakuba-mura by car takes about 2 hours. In February, daily temperatures in Hakuba-mura can reach 4°C, while at night they dip to -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Hakuba ©
Hakuba
Hakuba Snow Sports School ©
Hakuba Snow Sports School

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.
Visit Takayama Jinya and Suganuma Gassho Community for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen and Gokayama. Venture out of the city with trips to Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Shiroyama Observatory Deck & Wada House). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, take an in-depth tour of Takayama Showa Museum, and browse the fresh offerings at Okuhida Fukuji Onsen Asaichi.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Takayama online holiday planner .

Drive from Hakuba-mura to Takayama in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus. In March in Takayama, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course

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.
Get some cultural insight at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. Museum-lovers will appreciate Yamato Museum and JMSDF Kure Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Daishoin Temple, Itsukushima Shrine Torii, & more) and Katsuragahama Beach (in Kure). Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden, admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, get outside with Tobishima Kaido, and pause for some photo ops at The Cenotaph.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip planner.

Getting from Takayama to Hiroshima by train takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 16°C in March, and nighttime lows around 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kure, Hatsukaichi, Tobishima Kaido
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple

6
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Hikone Castle and Pontocho. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Todai-ji Temple (in Nara) and Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Gion, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryoanji Temple, and meet the residents at Monkey Park Iwatayama.

To find where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto tour itinerary planning tool .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. In March, daytime highs in Kyoto are 16°C, while nighttime lows are 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Osaka, Todai-ji Temple, Hikone Castle
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

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