54 days in Japan Itinerary

54 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

54 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Hiroshima
train:  1​h
1
Himeji
— 5 nights
train:  45​min
2
Kyoto
— 21 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
3
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
4
Tokyo
— 8 nights
Fly:  5​h
5
Ishigaki
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h
6
Naha
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
7
Matsumoto
— 3 nights
+2
train + tram + Fly:  16​h
End: Los Angeles

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Himeji side-trips: Tottori Sand Dunes (in Tottori), Kurashiki (Ohara Museum of Art & Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter) and Okayama (Okayama Korakuen Garden & Okayama Castle). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Himeji Castle, get engrossed in the history at Shikoku Mura Village, make a trip to Daisen Outlook, and admire the natural beauty at Koko-en Garden.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Himeji trip planner .

Hiroshima to Himeji is an approximately 1-hour train ride. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In September, daily temperatures in Himeji can reach 80°F, while at night they dip to 73°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Okayama, Kurashiki, Daisen Outlook, Tottori Sand Dunes, Mt. Kuma
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden

21
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana), Kita (Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, Kuchu Teien Observatory, & more) and Osaka (Hōzen-ji Temple, Dotonbori, & more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, don't miss a visit to Gion, and appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto tour site .

Getting from Himeji to Kyoto by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Himeji in September, Kyoto is a bit cooler at night with lows of 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Theme Parks

Side Trips

Osaka, Nara, Otsu, Nagoya, Ise
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (in Tateyama-machi), Fukube Falls (in Hakusan) and Ishikura Machi Emmei Jizo (in Toyama). Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, take a stroll through Higashichaya Old Town, and explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle.

For photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa visit website .

Take a train from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Kyoto in September: highs in Kanazawa hover around 78°F, while lows dip to 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, Ishikura Machi Emmei Jizo
Find places to stay Sep 28 — Oct 2:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden

8
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kōtoku-in, & more) and Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama). There's lots more to do: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, wander the streets of Odaiba, and admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower.

To see reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip builder app .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. October in Tokyo sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 60°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Kamakura, Urayasu
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

6
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Venture out of the city with trips to Iriomote-jima (Canyoning & Rappelling Tours & Stand-Up Paddleboarding). There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Kabira Bay, make a trip to Cape Ongazaki, see the vivid underwater world at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, and get outside with Cape Hirakubozaki.

To see where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Ishigaki tour itinerary planning tool .

Fly from Tokyo to Ishigaki in 5 hours. Traveling from Tokyo in October, things will get a bit warmer in Ishigaki: highs are around 85°F and lows about 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can travel to Naha.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Iriomote-jima, Taketomi-cho, Nagomi Tower
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

6
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Venture out of the city with trips to Motobu-cho (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Okichan Theater, & more), Onna-son (Scuba & Snorkeling, Cape Manzamo, & more) and Kouri Ohashi (in Nakijin-son). And it doesn't end there: get to know the fascinating history of Shurijo Castle, kick back and relax at Aharen Beach, make a trip to Makishi Public Market, and paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To see photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Naha trip planner .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Naha in 3 hours. In October in Naha, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 76°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Zamami-son, Onna-son, Motobu-cho, Yomitan-son, Shimajiri-gun
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Scuba & Snorkeling

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 23rd (Fri): make a trip to Matsumoto Castle, admire the masterpieces at Matsumoto City Art Museum, then experience rural life at Daio Wasabi Farm, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenko-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Pond Tashiro, explore the activities along Taisho Pond, then snap pictures at Kappa Bashi, then examine the collection at Japan Radio Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Yohashira Shrine.

To find ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Matsumoto tour planning site .

Traveling by flight from Naha to Matsumoto takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. When traveling from Naha in October, plan for little chillier days and colder nights in Matsumoto: temperatures range from 65°F by day to 54°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Daio Wasabi Farm, Karuizawa prince shopping plaza, Zenko-ji Temple
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple
Pond Tashiro ©
Pond Tashiro

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