17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
+2
Fly + subway + train:  16​h 30​min
1
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train + bus:  2​h 45​min
5
Hakuba-mura
— 3 nights
bus + train:  3​h 30​min
6
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

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.
On the 18th (Wed), examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mikasahama Beach, head off the coast to Miyajima, then see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Motoyasu River.

Plan a Hiroshima trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Melbourne, Australia to Hiroshima is an approximately 16.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Melbourne in December, expect nights in Hiroshima to be little chillier, around 4°C, while days are colder, around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, JMSDF Kure Museum
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kennin-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: appreciate the extensive heritage of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja, take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji, steep yourself in history at Tofuku-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

To find reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip builder app .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

2
nights
Ise

Ise ©
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): appreciate the extensive heritage of Ise Shrine Geku, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yamato-hime Shrine, make a trip to Hinjitsukan, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyomi-no-miya Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takinomiya. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Izawanomiya, make a trip to Oharai-machi, then contemplate the long history of Aramatsurinomiya, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Ise journey site .

Getting from Kyoto to Ise by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Ise when traveling from Kyoto in December, with lows around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Baths Spas

Side Trips

Izawanomiya, Takinomiya, Onsen Resorts
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine

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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Toyama Glass Art Museum and Kanazawa Phonograph Museum. Step off the beaten path and head to Ainokura Gassho Community and Gokayama. Venture out of the city with trips to Suganuma Gassho Community (in Nanto) and The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses (in Shirakawa-mura). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Shima, see the interesting displays at Kanazawa Yuwaku Yumeji-kan Museum, make a trip to Kazuemachi Tea House Street, and admire the masterpieces at Kanazawa Noh Museum.

To see ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip builder .

You can drive from Ise to Kanazawa in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in December, Kanazawa is slightly colder at night with lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nanto, Toyama Glass Art Museum, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community

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.
Visit Togakushi Jinja Hokosha and Zenkoji Sesonin Shakado Temple for their historical value. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Hakuba and Happo Pond. The adventure continues: hit the slopes at Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park, see the interesting displays at Hakuba Alpine Library, gain insight at Happo-one Nature Study Course, and take an in-depth tour of Hakuba Olympic Museum.

For reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Hakuba-mura online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by combination of train and bus from Kanazawa to Hakuba-mura takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Kanazawa in December: high temperatures in Hakuba-mura hover around 7°C and lows are around 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trip

Nagano
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park ©
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Hakuba ©
Hakuba
Hakuba Snow Sports School ©
Hakuba Snow Sports School

3
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan and Nezu Museum. Popular historic sites such as Samukawa Shrine and Sensō-ji are in your itinerary. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara) and Kinomiya Shrine (in Atami). The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asakusa Shrine, take a stroll through Ueno, contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine, and see the interesting displays at Fire Museum.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip planner .

You can do a combination of bus and train from Hakuba-mura to Tokyo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Hakuba-mura in December, with highs in Tokyo at 14°C and lows at 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Samukawa Shrine, Kinomiya Shrine, Oyama Afuri Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji

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