26 days in Japan Itinerary

26 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan Trip Planner

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Route & dates

26 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  22​h
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
2
Karuizawa-machi
— 1 night
train:  30​min
3
Nagano
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Nozawaonsen-mura
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Hakuba-mura
— 4 nights
train:  1​h
6
Matsumoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
8
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
9
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  20​h 30​min
End: Sydney

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Ueno and Kitchen Town (Kappabashi). Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Hase-dera and Kagurazaka. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Ghibli Museum (in Mitaka), Mt. Takao (in Hachioji) and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (in Kamakura). There's still lots to do: stroll through Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park), step off the mainland to explore Enoshima Island, take a stroll through Yanaka, and see the interesting displays at Samurai Museum.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tokyo tour planner.

Brisbane, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 22-hour flight. Traveling from Brisbane to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Brisbane in November, with highs in Tokyo at 19°C and lows at 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Karuizawa-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Neighborhoods Nature

Side Trips

Kamakura, Enoshima Island, Mt. Takao, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Yanaka ©
Yanaka
Mt. Takao ©
Mt. Takao

1
night
Karuizawa-machi

Karuizawa-machi ©
The only city in the world to have hosted both summer and winter Olympics, the resort town of Karuizawa-machi boasts clean air, impressive mountain scenery, and many outdoor activities and hot springs.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): play a few rounds at Karuizawa 72Golf North Course, take in the awesome beauty at Usui Pass, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Karuizawa Sei Paolo Catholic Church.

To see maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the Karuizawa-machi travel itinerary creator.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Karuizawa-machi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Tokyo in November, with highs in Karuizawa-machi at 14°C and lows at 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can catch the train to Nagano.

Things to do in Karuizawa-machi

Outdoors Golf Nature

Side Trip

Usui Pass
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Karuizawa 72Golf North Course ©
Karuizawa 72Golf North Course
Usui Pass ©
Usui Pass

2
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
On the 24th (Fri), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Togakushi Jinja Hokosha, then get to know the fascinating history of Kita Yatsuga-take, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Shrine Okusha, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenkō-ji Temple.

For more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Nagano sightseeing planner.

Nagano is just a stone's throw from Karuizawa-machi. In November in Nagano, expect temperatures between 14°C during the day and 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Nozawaonsen-mura.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Kita Yatsuga-take
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Kita Yatsuga-take ©
Kita Yatsuga-take
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Naeba, and then contemplate the long history of Shojuan. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Sun): hit the slopes at Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, don't miss a visit to Ogama, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kenmeiji Temple.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Nozawaonsen-mura trip builder.

You can drive from Nagano to Nozawaonsen-mura in 1.5 hours. In November, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Nozawaonsen-mura

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Onsen Resorts, Mt. Naeba, Shojuan
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Onsen Resorts
Shojuan ©
Shojuan

4
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.
Visiting Hakuba and Mt Shirouma will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kashimayarigatake and Oyama Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Hakuba-mura: Ushikata Inn (in Otari-mura) and Itoigawa (Itoigawa Geostation Geopal & Hisui Beach). And it doesn't end there: hike along Hakuba Daisekkei Trail, boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and snap pictures at Hakuba Ohashi Bridge.

For traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Hakuba-mura itinerary planner.

Drive from Nozawaonsen-mura to Hakuba-mura in 2 hours. November in Hakuba-mura sees daily highs of 14°C and lows of 7°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can go by car to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Itoigawa, Kashimayarigatake, Oyama Shrine, Ushikata Inn, Mt. Shirouma
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba ©
Hakuba
Oyama Shrine ©
Oyama Shrine
Itoigawa Geostation Geopal ©
Itoigawa Geostation Geopal

3
nights
Matsumoto

Matsumoto ©
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): contemplate the long history of Naraijuku, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Suwa Shrine, then relax in the rural setting at Daio Wasabi Farm, and finally contemplate the long history of Yohashira Shrine. On the next day, take in the dramatic natural features at Norikura Kogen and then take a stroll through Nakamachi Street.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Matsumoto custom trip planner.

Traveling by car from Hakuba-mura to Matsumoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train. In November, daily temperatures in Matsumoto can reach 14°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Wildlife Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Daio Wasabi Farm, Naraijuku, Suwa Shrine
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 3:
Highlights from your plan
Naraijuku ©
Naraijuku
Norikura Kogen (Highland) ©
Norikura Kogen (Highland)
Yohashira Shrine ©
Yohashira Shrine

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Ainokura Gassho Community and Kanda house. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Wada House and Takayama Showa Museum. Explore Takayama's surroundings by going to Rail - MTB Gattan Go!! (in Hida), Suganuma Gassho Community (in Nanto) and Thermal Spas (in Gero). And it doesn't end there: admire the sheer force of Hirayuotaki Fall, identify plant and animal life at Akasawa Natural Forest, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Sugorokudake, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Funasaka Shuzo Brewery.

To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Takayama trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Matsumoto to Takayama in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 6°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto, Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest, Thermal Spas, Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!!
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Pontocho and Ninna-ji Temple. Shimogamo Jinja and Mt. Kurama will appeal to history buffs. Venture out of the city with trips to Uji River (in Uji) and Kofukuji Temple (in Nara). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanzen-in Temple, don't miss a visit to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka, steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, and contemplate the waterfront views at Kamogawa River.

For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kyoto tour planner.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Takayama in December: high temperatures in Kyoto hover around 12°C and lows are around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Uji River, Kofuku-ji Temple
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Kurama-dera ©
Kurama-dera
Daigo-ji Temple ©
Daigo-ji Temple
Kamigamo Shrine ©
Kamigamo Shrine

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Arima Onsen, wander the streets of Kitano-cho, and then wander the streets of Kobe Harborland. On the 12th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a stroll through Midosuji Street, then take a stroll through Minami (Namba), then take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodaiji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine.

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Osaka vacation builder.

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. In December, daytime highs in Osaka are 12°C, while nighttime lows are 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Neighborhoods Shopping Nature

Side Trips

Kobe, Nara
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Kitano-cho ©
Kitano-cho
Midosuji Street ©
Midosuji Street

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