36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sault Ste. Marie
Fly:  26​h
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Hakone-machi
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Matsumoto
— 6 nights
train:  3​h 45​min
4
Kyoto
— 6 nights
train:  45​min
5
Himeji
— 5 nights
train:  1​h
6
Hiroshima
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  29​h
End: Sault Ste. Marie

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Tokyo National Museum and Takeshita Street. Get outdoors at Ueno Zoo and Hojo Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Mt. Takao (in Hachioji), Katsuura (Ubara Beach & Osakana Mura) and Shirosaki Beach (in Kamogawa). The adventure continues: wander the streets of Odaiba, get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, and don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo day trip app .

Sault Ste. Marie, Canada to Tokyo is an approximately 26-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 14 hours traveling from Sault Ste. Marie to Tokyo. Traveling from Sault Ste. Marie in September, things will get a bit warmer in Tokyo: highs are around 32°C and lows about 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Neighborhoods Beaches

Side Trips

Katsuura, Hojo Beach, Shirosaki Beach, Mt. Takao
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Mt. Takao ©
Mt. Takao
Odaiba ©
Odaiba

5
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Mount Fuji and Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Take a break from the city and head to Pola Museum of Art and Tatadohama Beach. Explore Hakone-machi's surroundings by going to Gotemba Premium Outlets (in Gotemba), Shimoda (Kisami Ohama Beach & Ogiso Shoten Honten) and Fujinomiya (Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine & Kengamine). There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, steep yourself in history at Grave of Nichirenshoto Gosoan, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, and see the interesting displays at Lalique Museum Hakone.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Hakone-machi trip planner .

Take a train from Tokyo to Hakone-machi in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Tokyo in September, plan for little chillier days in Hakone-machi, with highs around 24°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Shimoda, Fujinomiya, Minobu-cho, Mount Fuji, Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tatadohama Beach ©
Tatadohama Beach
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©

6
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Takayama Jinya and Chihiro Art Museum Azumino. Your inner history buff will appreciate Matsumoto Castle and Zenko-ji Temple. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Matsumoto: Anrakuji Temple (in Ueda), Takayama (Onsen Resorts & Sanmachi Suji) and Hokusai-kan (in Obuse-machi). On the 13th (Fri), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Norikura Kogen. There's much more to do: explore the world behind art at Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, wander the streets of Nakamachi Street, take in the dramatic scenery at Shomyo Waterfall, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Matsumoto Alps Park.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Matsumoto tour itinerary planning website .

You can drive from Hakone-machi to Matsumoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Takayama, Tateyama-machi, Hakuba-mura, Zenko-ji Temple, Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
Norikura Kogen ©
Norikura Kogen
Anrakuji Temple ©
Anrakuji 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.
Visiting Nara Park and Kaizu Osaki will get you outdoors. Gion and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA (in Ikeda), Todaiji Temple Cultural Center (in Nara) and Wakasa History Museum (in Obama). There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, explore the world behind art at Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum, get engrossed in the history at Namikawa Yasuyuki Sippo Memorial Museum, and steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip itinerary builder app .

Getting from Matsumoto to Kyoto by train takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Matsumoto in September, expect nights in Kyoto to be about the same, around 23°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 33°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Muko City Cultural Museum, CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA, Kaizu Osaki, Wakasa History Museum
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Shikoku Mura Village and Otsuka Museum of Art. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Himeji Castle and Himeji Peace Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Himeji: Old Shizutani School (in Bizen), Ogijima Island (in Takamatsu) and Inujima Seirensho Art Museum (in Okayama). There's lots more to do: admire the masterpieces at Chichu Art Museum, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, take a memorable drive along Naruto Skyline, and kick back and relax at Shimmaiko Beach.

For reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Himeji travel planning tool .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September in Himeji, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Naruto, Takamatsu, Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, Shimmaiko Beach, Old Shizutani School
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Chichu Art Museum ©
Chichu Art Museum
Otsuka Museum of Art ©
Otsuka Museum of Art
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

5
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like JMSDF Kure Museum and Tobishima Kaido. You'll explore and learn at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Fudenosato Kobo. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Mashike Itsukushima Shrine (in Mashike-cho), Oda (Gungendo Honten & Yunotsu Onsen) and Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, & more). Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, walk around Senkoji & Senkoji Park, and explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle.

Planning Hiroshima trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In September, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Oda, Fudenosato Kobo, JMSDF Kure Museum, Mashike Itsukushima Shrine
Find places to stay Sep 28 — Oct 3:
Highlights from your plan
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii

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