21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan vacation planner

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly + train:  17​h
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  3​h 45​min
3
Toyooka
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Hakuba-mura
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Nozawaonsen-mura
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
7
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Auckland

3
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.
Visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple for their historical value. Get a sense of the local culture at Gion and Dotonbori. Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Osaka Castle in Osaka--about 1h 10 min away. There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, step into the grandiose world of Nijo-jo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkaku-ji Temple, and don't miss a visit to Heian Shrine.

For photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Kyoto route planner .

Auckland Central, New Zealand to Kyoto is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Auckland Central to Kyoto due to the time zone difference. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Auckland Central in February; daily highs in Kyoto reach 11°C and lows reach 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Trails

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, then see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then head off the coast to Miyajima. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the history behind Atomic Bomb Dome, then don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, flight, and ferry. In February, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 11°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Toyooka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Genbudo Park, then examine the collection at Gembudo Museum, then meet the residents at Kinosaki Marine World, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Street of Kinosaki Onsen.

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Toyooka trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Toyooka takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. Traveling from Hiroshima in February, expect nights in Toyooka to be about the same, around 1°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Toyooka

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kinosaki Marine World ©
Kinosaki Marine World
Street of Kinosaki Onsen ©
Street of Kinosaki Onsen
Genbudo Park ©
Genbudo Park

2
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.
On the 2nd (Sat), get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, enjoy breathtaking views from Shirakawago Shiroyama Observatory Deck, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, and finally get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Traditional Houses in the Gassho Style. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), get a sense of history and politics at Takayama Jinya, then look for gifts at Onoya Brewery, then take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Takayama trip planner .

You can drive from Toyooka to Takayama in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. March in Takayama sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 3°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Hakuba Snow Sports School and Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden. And it doesn't end there: hit the slopes at Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, hike along Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort/Lily Farm & Mountain View, stroll through Shi no Komichi, and take a stroll through Hakuba.

Make your Hakuba-mura itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Hakuba-mura takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train. In March, daily temperatures in Hakuba-mura can reach 11°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to travel to Nozawaonsen-mura.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Find places to stay Mar 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba Snow Sports School ©
Hakuba Snow Sports School
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Hakuba ©
Hakuba

2
nights
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.
On the 7th (Thu), look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and then fly down the slopes at Ryuoo Ski Park. Keep things going the next day: soak in some Japanese tradition at Nozawa Onsen and then stroll through Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort.

To plan Nozawaonsen-mura vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Hakuba-mura to Nozawaonsen-mura takes 2 hours. March in Nozawaonsen-mura sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nozawaonsen-mura

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Yamanouchi-machi
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Nozawa Onsen ©
Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Tokyo National Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Visit Senso-ji Temple and The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin) for their historical value. Go for a jaunt from Tokyo to Mitaka to see Ghibli Museum about 30 minutes away. The adventure continues: take a stroll through Odaiba, get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, and make a trip to Imperial Palace.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip builder .

Traveling by car from Nozawaonsen-mura to Tokyo takes 4 hours. Traveling from Nozawaonsen-mura in March, expect Tokyo to be a bit warmer, temps between 17°C and 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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