23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  23​h
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
2
Sendai
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
4
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
5
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  5​h
6
Hakone-machi
— 3 nights
bus + train:  1​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Auckland

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Asakusa Shrine and KidZania Tokyo. Explore hidden gems such as Nezu Shrine and Kencho-ji Temple. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, & more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sensō-ji, wander the streets of Kitchen Town (Kappabashi), get engrossed in the history at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, and take in the architecture and design of University of Tokyo.

To find maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tokyo day trip website .

Auckland, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Auckland to Tokyo, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Auckland in May, you will find days in Tokyo are somewhat warmer (28°C), and nights are about the same (19°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Sendai.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Kamakura
Find places to stay May 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
KidZania Tokyo ©
KidZania Tokyo

2
nights
Sendai

Sendai ©
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Zuihoden, get a new perspective on nature at Tohoku University of Natural History, see the sky in a new way at Sendai Astronomical Observatory, then get curious at 3M Sendai Science Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rinnoji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kosho-ji Temple. Keep things going the next day: stroll around Michinoku Lakeside National Government Park and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Atago Jinja Shrine.

For ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read our Sendai trip planner .

Take a train from Tokyo to Sendai in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Sendai: temperatures range from 21°C by day to 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Sendai

Museums Childrens Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Michinoku Lakeside National Government Park
Find places to stay May 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Sendai Astronomical Observatory ©
Sendai Astronomical Observatory
Zuihoden ©
Zuihoden
Rinnoji Temple ©
Rinnoji Temple

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Nijo Castle. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ninna-ji Temple and Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, get to know the fascinating history of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, and examine the collection at Kyoto Railway Museum.

To see ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Sendai to Kyoto takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Sendai in May, expect nights in Kyoto to be about the same, around 17°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay May 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ninna-ji Temple ©
Ninna-ji Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu 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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Toshodaiji Temple and Hase-dera Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Kongobu-ji Temple and Muroji Temple. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Kinpusenji Temple (in Yoshino-cho), Horyu-ji Temple (in Ikaruga-cho) and Nara (Kofuku-ji Temple & Nigatsu-do Temple). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Koyasan Danjo Garan, appreciate the extensive heritage of Osaka, make a trip to Hōzen-ji Temple, and explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka itinerary builder tool .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. In May in Osaka, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Koya-cho, Kinpusenji Temple, Horyu-ji Temple, Hase-dera Temple
Find places to stay May 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Koyasan Danjo Garan ©
Koyasan Danjo Garan

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Daishoin Temple and Mitaki Temple. You'll discover tucked-away gems like JMSDF Kure Museum and Senjokaku. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Mikasahama Beach, Itsukushima Shrine Torii, & more). The adventure continues: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, take in the exciting artwork at Schmoe House, and appreciate the history behind Peace Flame.

Discover how to plan a Hiroshima trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by train from Osaka to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In May in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Mazda Museum, JMSDF Kure Museum
Find places to stay May 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Okada Museum of Art, then admire the masterpieces at Hakone Museum of Art, then admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, and finally trek along Hakone Stone‐paved Road. On the 1st (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, examine the collection at Lalique Museum Hakone, and then get engrossed in the history at Hakone Shrine Homotsuden.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Hakone-machi trip planning tool .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Hakone-machi in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Hiroshima in May: highs in Hakone-machi hover around 21°C, while lows dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Okada Museum of Art ©
Okada Museum of Art
Lalique Museum Hakone ©
Lalique Museum Hakone
Hakone Museum of Art ©
Hakone Museum of Art

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Popular historic sites such as Hozomon and Kanda Myojin are in your itinerary. Fire Museum and Nezu Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kamogawa Sea World (in Kamogawa), Naritasan Omote Sando (in Narita) and Mt. Takao (in Hachioji). See even more of Tokyo: explore the world behind art at teamLab Borderless and take in the spiritual surroundings of 上野東照宮 Toshogu Shrine.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo road trip planner.

Getting from Hakone-machi to Tokyo by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in June, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 22°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mt. Takao, Kamogawa Sea World, Naritasan Omote Sando
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Takao ©
Mt. Takao
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Naritasan Omote Sando ©
Naritasan Omote Sando

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