37 days in Japan Itinerary

37 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  14​h 45​min
1
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train + taxi:  2​h
2
Yamanouchi-machi
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Matsumoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Nikko
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
5
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Rausu-cho
— 1 day
Fly:  7​h 30​min
7
Kita
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 15​min
8
Himeji
— 1 night
train:  1​h
9
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
10
Kyoto
— 7 nights
train + Fly:  13​h 30​min
End: Sydney

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses and Kanazawa Castle. Change things up with these side-trips from Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (Wada House & Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen), Gokayama (in Nanto) and Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui). There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House, and don't miss a visit to Omicho Market.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Kanazawa road trip app .

Sydney, Australia to Kanazawa is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight, bus, and train. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Kanazawa. Traveling from Sydney in October, expect nights in Kanazawa to be about the same, around 15°C, while days are little chillier, around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, Gokayama
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle

2
nights
Yamanouchi-machi

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
On the 9th (Tue), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane and then look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. On the 10th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: fly down the slopes at Shiga Kogen.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Yamanouchi-machi vacation website .

Getting from Kanazawa to Yamanouchi-machi by combination of train and taxi takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. While traveling from Kanazawa, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Yamanouchi-machi, ranging from highs of 21°C to lows of 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane ©
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area ©
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area

4
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.
Matsumoto Castle and Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Matsumoto: Takayama (Takayama Jinya, Sanmachi Suji, & more) and Kurumayama Highland (in Chino). On the 12th (Fri), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Norikura Kogen. It doesn't end there: relax in the rural setting at Daio Wasabi Farm and steep yourself in history at Yohashira Shrine.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Matsumoto trip planner .

Traveling by car from Yamanouchi-machi to Matsumoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train. October in Matsumoto sees daily highs of 21°C and lows of 14°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Nikko.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Takayama, Kurumayama Highland, Daio Wasabi Farm
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Norikura Kogen ©
Norikura Kogen
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

4
nights
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Nikko Tosho-gu and Taiyuimbyo Shrine. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Nikko National Park, explore the activities along Lake Chuzenji, get engrossed in the history at Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, and snap pictures at Shinkyo.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Nikko online trip builder .

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Nikko takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Nikko when traveling from Matsumoto in October, with lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nikko National Park ©
Nikko National Park
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine

6
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 some cultural insight at Tokyo National Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura) (in Kamakura) and Ghibli Museum (in Mitaka). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, view the masterpieces at Art Jeunesse Akihabara, and admire the landmark architecture of Imperial Palace.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Nikko to Tokyo in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In October in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 18°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to travel to Rausu-cho.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Kōtoku-in, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Odaiba ©
Odaiba

1
day
Rausu-cho

Rausu-cho ©
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Rausu and then identify plant and animal life at Shiretoko Peninsula.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Rausu-cho trip itinerary planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Tokyo to Rausu-cho. Traveling from Tokyo in October, expect Rausu-cho to be a bit cooler, temps between 16°C and 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can travel to Kita.

Things to do in Rausu-cho

Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Shiretoko Peninsula
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Shiretoko Peninsula ©
Shiretoko Peninsula

3
nights
Kita

Kita ©
Get some cultural insight at Osaka Castle and Museum of Oriental Ceramics. Step out of Kita to go to Nishinomiya and see Hanshin Koshien Stadium, which is approximately 36 minutes away.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Kita online trip itinerary planner .

Explore your travel options from Rausu-cho to Kita with the Route module. Traveling from Rausu-cho in October, things will get somewhat warmer in Kita: highs are around 27°C and lows about 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to travel to Himeji.

Things to do in Kita

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Osaka, Hanshin Koshien Stadium
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Tue): make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, take in nature's colorful creations at Kokoen Garden, then step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, and finally make a trip to Otemae Street.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Himeji tour app .

You can drive from Kita to Himeji in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in October, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Oct 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en Garden ©
Koko-en Garden
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Hatsukaichi (Miyajima & Itsukushima Shrine) and Kintaikyo Bridge (in Iwakuni). Next up on the itinerary: appreciate the history behind Atomic Bomb Dome, take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, and explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art.

For reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima vacation planning tool .

Getting from Himeji to Hiroshima by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. In October, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kintaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

7
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Nara Park and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Change things up with a short trip to Todai-ji Temple in Nara (about 1 hour away). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo-jo Castle, and don't miss a visit to Gion.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in November, and nighttime lows around 10°C. On the 9th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Nara
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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