15 days in Japan Itinerary

15 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly + Train:  14 h 30 min
1
Tokyo
— 1 night
Train + Bus:  1 h 45 min
2
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  30 min
5
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h
6
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Fly:  16 h 30 min
End: Melbourne

1
night
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.
On the 7th (Mon), see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, then explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, and finally get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Tue): get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza and then wander the streets of Odaiba.

To find reviews, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tokyo trip planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Melbourne to Tokyo. Traveling from Melbourne in October, Tokyo is a bit warmer at night with lows of 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, get engrossed in the history at Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum, explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, and finally take an in-depth tour of Hakone Shrine Homotsuden.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Hakone-machi road trip website .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Hakone-machi takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Hakone-machi, ranging from highs of 19°C to lows of 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Thu): examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, then explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. Keep things going the next day: wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, get engrossed in the history at Hida Folk Archeological Museum (Hida Minzoku Kokokan), get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, and finally steep yourself in history at Wada House.

For traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Takayama trip maker tool .

You can drive from Hakone-machi to Takayama in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in October, you will find days in Takayama are a bit warmer (24°C), and nights are about the same (16°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

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.
Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji will appeal to history buffs. Get a sense of the local culture at Gion and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkaku-ji Temple, take an in-depth tour of Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan, and don't miss a visit to Heian Shrine.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planning tool .

Drive from Takayama to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Kyoto are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Oct 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

2
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.
On the 15th (Tue), explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, take a stroll through Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, and then take a stroll through Dotonbori. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine, stroll around Nara Park, then appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, and finally see the interesting displays at Jikko Cutlery.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read Osaka vacation builder website .

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. In October, daytime highs in Osaka are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Jikko Cutlery Sakai
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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 some cultural insight at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Miyajima. Escape the urban bustle at Kashima Kaisuiyokujo and Mikasahama Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine Torii & Itsukushima Shrine). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima day trip planning site .

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kashima Kaisuiyokujo
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

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