18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Melbourne
Fly + Train:  14 h
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
3
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
4
Nakatsugawa
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h
5
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train:  3 h 45 min
6
Hakone-machi
— 3 nights
Bus + Train:  1 h 15 min
End: Tokyo

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Fire Museum, make a trip to Nezu Shrine, visit Ueno, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asakusa Shrine, then take a stroll through Yanaka, and finally make a trip to University of Tokyo. On the 17th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hie Jinjya, look for all kinds of wild species at Tokyo Port Wildbird Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), then contemplate the long history of Kencho-ji Temple, and finally contemplate the long history of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Start your trip to Tokyo by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 14- hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly; or do a combination of bus and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Melbourne to Tokyo. In May, Tokyo is a bit warmer than Melbourne - with highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Kamakura
Find places to stay May 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) ©
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

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.
Let the collections at Kanazawa Noh Museum and Kanazawa Phonograph Museum capture your imagination. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Ainokura Gassho Community and Ainokura Kaiyu Hodo. Venture out of the city with trips to Nanto (Gokayama, Suganuma Gassho Community, &more). The adventure continues: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, shop like a local with Karhu Collection, contemplate the long history of Higashichaya Old Town, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fudosonkorin Temple.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa online journey planner.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in May, expect slightly colder with lows of 15°C in Kanazawa. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Nanto
Find places to stay May 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community
Gokayama ©
Gokayama

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Wed): admire the striking features of Takayama City Hall. On your second day here, get engrossed in the history at Takayama Museum of History and Art, don't miss a visit to Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, examine the collection at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), examine the collection at Takayama Showa Museum, then wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Takayama road trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Takayama takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in May, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Nakatsugawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Trails

Side Trip

Hida
Find places to stay May 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine ©
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

2
nights
Nakatsugawa

Nakatsugawa ©
Nakatsugawa is a city located in the Tōnō region of Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Nakasendo Magome-juku has been added to your itinerary. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Izumo Fukutoku Shrine and Eishoji Temple. Get some historical perspective at Masugata Waterwheel and Kokeizan Eihoji Temple. There's still lots to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Stone Pavement In Ochiai, admire the verdant scenery at Tsukechi Gorge, take an in-depth tour of Nakasendo History Museum, and engage your brain at Nakatsugawa Mineral Museum.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Nakatsugawa trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Takayama to Nakatsugawa in 2.5 hours. In May in Nakatsugawa, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nakatsugawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Kokeizan Eihoji Temple
Find places to stay May 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nakasendo Magome-juku ©
Nakasendo Magome-juku
Izumo Fukutoku Shrine ©
Izumo Fukutoku Shrine
Stone Pavement In Ochiai ©
Stone Pavement In Ochiai

4
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 Nijo Castle and Tofuku-ji Temple for their historical value. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kasuga Grand Shrine and Eikando Zenrinji Temple. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Sakurai (Omiwa Shrine, Hase-dera Temple, &more), Nara (Mt. Wakakusa & Nigatsu-do Temple) and Byodoin (in Uji). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kennin-ji Temple, take a stroll through Pontocho, admire the natural beauty at Nanzen-ji Temple, and admire the masterpieces at Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan.

Plan my trip to Kyoto with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Nakatsugawa to Kyoto in 3 hours. When traveling from Nakatsugawa in May, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Kyoto: temperatures range from 29°C by day to 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Sakurai, Nara, Uji
Find places to stay May 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

3
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Choanji Temple, examine the collection at Lalique Museum Hakone, explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then explore the world behind art at Hakone Museum of Art, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, explore the world behind art at Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, and then explore the activities along Saiko Lake.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Hakone-machi trip itinerary app.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of tram and flight. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Kyoto in May: highs in Hakone-machi hover around 21°C, while lows dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Historic Sites Spas

Side Trips

Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine
Find places to stay May 29 — Jun 1:
Highlights from your plan
Lalique Museum Hakone ©
Lalique Museum Hakone
Hakone Museum of Art ©
Hakone Museum of Art
Itchiku Kubota Art Museum ©
Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

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