35 days in Kansai Itinerary

35 days in Kansai Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Kansai itinerary maker

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Route & dates

35 days in Kansai Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
train:  4​h
1
Hikone
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Nara
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Shirahama-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Osaka
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
5
Kyoto
— 10 nights
train:  2​h 15​min
6
Toyooka
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Kobe
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
8
Himeji
— 5 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: San Francisco

2
nights
Hikone

Hikone ©
A small city on the shores of the country's largest lake, Hikone draws in visitors with its fine castle.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenneiji.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Hikone travel itinerary planner .

Tokyo to Hikone is an approximately 4-hour train ride. You can also drive; or do a combination of flight and train. September in Hikone sees daily highs of 77°F and lows of 70°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Hikone

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Hikone Castle ©
Hikone Castle
Hikone Castle Museum ©
Hikone Castle Museum
Tenneiji ©
Tenneiji

3
nights
Nara

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Toshodaiji Temple and Isuien Garden. Change things up with these side-trips from Nara: Hase-dera Temple (in Sakurai), Horyu-ji Temple (in Ikaruga-cho) and Asuka-dera Temple (in Asuka-mura). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Wakakusa, take in nature's colorful creations at Yoshikien, and make a trip to Naramachi Koshino Ie.

To see photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Nara day trip planner .

Traveling by train from Hikone to Nara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Hikone, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Nara, ranging from highs of 83°F to lows of 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Shirahama-cho.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Tours

Side Trips

Asuka-dera Temple, Joruri Temple, Hase-dera Temple, Horyu-ji Temple
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 2:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple

2
nights
Shirahama-cho

Shirahama-cho ©
A popular resort town with many hot springs and long, man-made white sand beaches, Shirahama-cho draws scores of tourists.
On the 2nd (Wed), see the interesting displays at Minakata Kumagusu Museum and then stroll through Shirarahama Beach. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Toretore Market and then observe the fascinating underwater world at Adventure World.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Shirahama-cho trip itinerary app .

Traveling by car from Nara to Shirahama-cho takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. October in Shirahama-cho sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 66°F at night. On the 4th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Shirahama-cho

Parks Theme Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Takahara Kirinosato
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Shirarahama Beach ©
Shirarahama Beach
Toretore Market Nanki Shirahama ©
Toretore Market Nanki Shirahama
Takahara Kirinosato ©
Takahara Kirinosato

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Koyasan Danjo Garan and Sunset Owl Cafe. The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozenji Yokocho, and stroll around Nakanoshima Park.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Osaka travel route builder .

Traveling by car from Shirahama-cho to Osaka takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Shirahama-cho in October, Osaka is a bit cooler at night with lows of 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Koyasan Danjo Garan
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Hozenji Yokocho ©
Hozenji Yokocho

10
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Ise Shrine Geku and Walking tours. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Ise (Sarutahiko Shrine, Oharai-machi, & more). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja, get great views at Mt. Kurama, and make a trip to Arashiyama.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary tool .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Osaka. October in Kyoto sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Toyooka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Tours Parks

Side Trips

Ise, Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku

4
nights
Toyooka

Toyooka ©
A vacation in Toyooka lets you explore the UNESCO Global Geopark that completely surrounds the small town, notable for its scenic islands, rock formations, caves, and sand dunes.
Explore hidden gems such as Amanohashidate and Takeda Castle Ruins. Get out of town with these interesting Toyooka side-trips: Shirahara Kamogaiso Rocky Shore (in Iwami-cho), Miyazu (Kanabiki Waterfall & Kyu Mikamiye House) and Tendaki Falls (in Yabu). There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Street of Kinosaki Onsen, see the interesting displays at Naomi Uemura Bokenkan, kick back and relax at Takeno Coast, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Hiyoshi Shrine.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Toyooka holiday planner.

Take a train from Kyoto to Toyooka in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. When traveling from Kyoto in October, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Toyooka: temperatures range from 68°F by day to 58°F at night. On the 22nd (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kobe.

Things to do in Toyooka

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Miyazu, Shirahara Kamogaiso Rocky Shore, Tendaki Falls, Takeda Castle Ruins
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Amanohashidate ©
Amanohashidate
Street of Kinosaki Onsen ©
Street of Kinosaki Onsen
Takeda Castle Ruins ©
Takeda Castle Ruins

4
nights
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Otsuka Museum of Art and Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park. Go for a jaunt from Kobe to Akashi to see Amore Beach about 38 minutes away. There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, pause for some photo ops at Tetsujin No. 28 Statue, stroll around Maiko Park, and examine the collection at Kiku-Masamune Shuzo Kinenkan.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Kobe day trip app .

Traveling by car from Toyooka to Kobe takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of flight and bus. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Toyooka in October since evenings lows in Kobe dip to 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks Museums Fun & Games

Side Trips

KidZania Koshien, Otsuka Museum of Art, Amore Beach, Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki) ©
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)
Otsuka Museum of Art ©
Otsuka Museum of Art
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens ©
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens

5
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Bitchu Matsuyama Castle and Koko-en Garden. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Himeji: Old Shizutani School (in Bizen), Teshima Island (in Tonosho-cho) and Okayama (Inujima & Okayama Korakuen Garden). The adventure continues: step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, don't miss a visit to Saitokuji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryumonji Temple, and look for gifts at Yamasa Kamaboko Yumesenkan.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Himeji tour builder tool .

Himeji is just a short distance from Kobe. In October, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 64°F. On the 31st (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Okayama, Teshima Island, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Fuji Park, Old Shizutani School
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Teshima Island ©
Teshima Island
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en ©
Koko-en