18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly + Drive:  18​h 45​min
1
Kita
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 45​min
2
Dazaifu
— 1 night
train:  1​h 15​min
3
Kumamoto
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Nagasaki
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  6​h 30​min
5
Akita
— 1 night
train:  3​h 45​min
6
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Minneapolis

3
nights
Kita

Kita ©
A Kita holiday offers a great deal of varied attractions that cater to all kinds of modern urban explorers.
Kita is known for . Your plan includes some of its best attractions: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

For traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Kita trip planner .

Minneapolis, USA to Kita is an approximately 19-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Minneapolis to Kita is 15 hours. Traveling from Minneapolis in December, expect Kita to be much warmer, temps between 52°F and 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Dazaifu.

Things to do in Kita

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
night
Dazaifu

Dazaifu ©
On the 4th (Fri), browse the different shops at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center, let the kids burn off some steam at Ohori Park, make a trip to Fukuoka Tower, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Komyozen-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Dazaifu Temman-gu.

For maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Dazaifu sightseeing planner .

Explore your travel options from Kita to Dazaifu with the Route module. In January, plan for daily highs up to 49°F, and evening lows to 36°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can go by car to Kumamoto.

Things to do in Dazaifu

Parks Historic Sites Fun & Games

Side Trip

Fukuoka
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Ohori Park ©
Ohori Park
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Komyozen-ji Temple ©
Komyozen-ji Temple

1
night
Kumamoto

Kumamoto ©
Centered around its castle, Kumamoto stands as a historic city with plenty of modern-day appeal to add to the mix.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Yakumo Koizumi Old House in Kumamoto, have fun at Kumamon Square, take in nature's colorful creations at Suizenji Jojuen Garden, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumamotojoinari Shrine, and finally step into the grandiose world of Kumamoto Castle.

Plan trip to Kumamoto with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Getting from Dazaifu to Kumamoto by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 48°F, and evening lows to 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Kumamoto

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kumamoto Castle ©
Kumamoto Castle
Suizenji Jojuen Garden ©
Suizenji Jojuen Garden
Kumamon Square ©
Kumamon Square

3
nights
Nagasaki

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
Step out of Nagasaki to go to Sasebo and see Huis Ten Bosch, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, don't miss a visit to Hypocenter of Atomic Bombing, step off the mainland to explore Hashima Island, and take in nature's colorful creations at Glover Garden.

Plan trip to Nagasaki with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by combination of ferry and car from Kumamoto to Nagasaki takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January in Nagasaki, expect temperatures between 50°F during the day and 39°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel to Akita.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trip

Huis Ten Bosch
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

1
night
Akita

Akita ©
The coastal city of Akita has gained a wider reputation for its Kanto Matsuri, or "pole lantern festival," where skilled performers balance long bamboo poles on their foreheads with glowing paper lanterns attached to the end.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Akita Akarenga Kyodokan, admire the natural beauty at Senshu Park, then contemplate the waterfront views at Omono River, and finally don't miss a visit to Kawabata Street. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Kaneko House, see the interesting displays at Akita city Minzoku Geinou Densho-kan, then explore the historical opulence of Kubota Castle, and finally explore the world behind art at Hinokinaigawa Kasen Ryokuchi.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Akita online route planner .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Nagasaki to Akita in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or drive. Traveling from Nagasaki in January, things will get a bit cooler in Akita: highs are around 34°F and lows about 26°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Akita

Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Hinokinaigawa Kasen Ryokuchi
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Senshu Park ©
Senshu Park
Kubota Castle ©
Kubota Castle
Omono River ©
Omono River

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.
Go for a jaunt from Tokyo to Urayasu to see Tokyo Disneyland about 32 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, and ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip planning app .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Akita to Tokyo in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Akita in January; daily highs in Tokyo reach 50°F and lows reach 35°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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