26 days in Japan Itinerary

26 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sapporo
1
Sapporo
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
2
Noboribetsu
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
3
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
4
Osaka
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
5
Kanazawa
— 6 nights
train:  3​h
6
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
7
Toyama
— Few hours
train:  1​h
8
Nagano
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights
End: Tokyo

2
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
On the 27th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokkaido Jingu, contemplate the long history of Clock Tower (Tokei-dai), then stroll around Odori Park, then get a taste of the local shopping with Tanukikoji Shopping Street, and finally make a trip to Hokkaido University Former Sapporo Agricultural School and Library. On your second day here, take in the architecture and design of Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus, identify plant and animal life at Earth Dream Kakuyama Farm, take an in-depth tour of Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura), see the interesting displays at The Hokkaido University Museum, then get a sense of history and politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, and finally take a stroll around Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Sapporo trip planner.

If you are flying in from Germany, the closest major airports are New Chitose Airport, Asahikawa Airport and Hakodate Airport. In April, plan for daily highs up to 9°C, and evening lows to 7°C. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Noboribetsu.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Earth Dream Kakuyama Farm, Otaru Canal
Find places to stay Apr 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Earth Dream Kakuyama Farm ©
Earth Dream Kakuyama Farm
Sapporo Clock Tower ©
Sapporo Clock Tower

2
nights
Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu ©
Perhaps the island's best-known hot spring resort, Noboribetsu has a long history of tourism.
On the 29th (Mon), look for gifts at Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran and then find something for the whole family at Noboribetsu Date Historic Village. On the 30th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the natural beauty of Oku no Yu, take in the dramatic natural features at Jigokudani, examine the collection at Shiraoi Ainu Musuem and Village, then make a trip to Cape Chikyu, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nakajima Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Muroran Hachimangu Shrine.

To find photos, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Noboribetsu trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Sapporo to Noboribetsu in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Sapporo in April, Noboribetsu is slightly colder at night with lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Sapporo.

Things to do in Noboribetsu

Nature Parks Theme Parks

Side Trips

Muroran, Lake Toya, Shiraoi Ainu Musuem and Village, Toyako Volcano Science Museum, Zenkoji Temple
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani ©
Jigokudani
Zenkoji Temple ©
Zenkoji Temple
Toyako Volcano Science Museum ©
Toyako Volcano Science Museum

2
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): buy something for everyone on your list at Mitsui Outlet Park, Sapporo Kitahiroshima and then examine the collection at Sapporo Beer Museum.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Sapporo trip planner .

Traveling by car from Noboribetsu to Sapporo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Noboribetsu in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Sapporo, with lows around 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Otaru, Mitsui Outlet Park, Sapporo Kitahiroshima
Find places to stay May 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Moiwa ©
Mt. Moiwa
Sapporo Beer Museum ©
Sapporo Beer Museum
Otaru Music Box Museum Main Building ©

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Drink Osaka. Head to Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Streetfor plenty of shopping. Get a sense of the local culture at Nara Park and Osaka Castle. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Kyoto (Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji Temple, & more), Kyoto Imperial Palace (in Kamigyo) and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine (in Fushimi). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, examine the collection at Museum of Oriental Ceramics, and take an in-depth tour of Peace Osaka.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Osaka vacation planner.

Fly from Sapporo to Osaka in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. In May, Osaka is somewhat warmer than Sapporo - with highs of 29°C and lows of 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kyoto, Kobe
Find places to stay May 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

6
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Shop till you drop at MIKOTO Tea House and Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center. Get some historical perspective at Kanazawa Castle and Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple. Step out of Kanazawa with an excursion to Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama--about 1h 20 min away. And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House, kick back and relax at Gongenmori Beach, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Kanazawa road trip planning website .

You can take a train from Osaka to Kanazawa in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Osaka in May, expect Kanazawa to be little chillier, temps between 26°C and 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Gongenmori Beach, Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Find places to stay May 6 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Nomura Family Samurai House ©
Nomura Family Samurai House

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, then browse the eclectic array of goods at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. On your second day here, stop by Shofuen Matsuno Chaho, steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, then learn more about the world around you at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then contemplate the long history of Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, and finally take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen.

For more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Takayama road trip planning app .

You can drive from Kanazawa to Takayama in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In May, daytime highs in Takayama are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. On the 15th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Toyama.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

few
hours
Toyama

Toyama ©
The center of Japan's pharmaceutical industry, the city of Toyama draws visitors with its scenic surroundings overlooked by the Japan Alps.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Amaharashi Coast.

To see where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Toyama holiday builder site .

Getting from Takayama to Toyama by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Toyama can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Toyama

Beaches Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Amaharashi Coast
Find places to stay May 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Amaharashi Coast ©
Amaharashi Coast
Toyama Glass Art Museum ©
Toyama Glass Art Museum
Toyama Castle ©
Toyama Castle

2
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): appreciate the extensive heritage of Uedajo Castle. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Shrine Okusha, get engrossed in the history at Togakushi Folk Museum Togakushi Ninja Museum, explore the world behind art at Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, then admire all the interesting features of Daio Wasabi Farm, then go for a walk through Matsumoto Castle, and finally see the interesting displays at Sanada Treasure Museum.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Nagano trip itinerary planner .

You can take a train from Toyama to Nagano in an hour. Another option is to drive. In May in Nagano, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Yamanouchi-machi, Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, Ueda Castle, Daio Wasabi Farm, Hokusai-kan
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Isetan Shinjuku Store, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Edo-Tokyo Museum.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by train from Nagano to Tokyo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. You will leave for Tokyo on the 21st (Tue).

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Parks Shopping
Find places to stay May 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Isetan Shinjuku Store
Isetan Shinjuku Store
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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