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

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Fire Museum, don't miss a visit to Nezu Shrine, wander the streets of Ueno, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, then stop by Yanaka, and finally enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at University of Tokyo. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hie Jinjya, identify plant and animal life at Tokyo Port Wildbird Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), then contemplate the long history of Kencho-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

For photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Tokyo trip planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Melbourne to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in May: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 28°C and lows are around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to catch the 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
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji 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.
Ainokura Gassho Community and Kanazawa Castle will appeal to history buffs. Do some cultural sightseeing at Gokayama and Enshono Yakata. Venture out of the city with trips to Nanto (Ainokura Kaiyu Hodo & Suganuma Gassho Community). There's lots more to do: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudosonkorin Temple, explore the world behind art at Kanazawa Noh Museum, and steep yourself in history at Shima.

For other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in May, expect slightly colder with lows of 15°C in Kanazawa. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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

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.
On the 20th (Wed), get advice or help at Takayama City Hall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get engrossed in the history at Takayama Museum of History and Art, make a trip to Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, examine the collection at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), then examine the collection at Takayama Showa Museum, then stop by Sanmachi Suji, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Takayama trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Kanazawa to Takayama by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In May, daily temperatures in Takayama can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can go by car to Nakatsugawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Outdoors

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 Walking Trail has been added to your itinerary. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Izumo Fukutoku Shrine and Masugata Waterwheel. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Eishoji Temple and Naegi Castle Ruins. Go for a jaunt from Nakatsugawa to Tajimi to see Kokeizan Eihoji Temple about 44 minutes away. There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Stone Pavement In Ochiai, appreciate the views at Tsukechi Gorge, take an in-depth tour of Nakatsugawa Naegi Toyama Shiryokan, and see the interesting displays at Magome Wakihonjin Museum.

To find out how to plan a trip to Nakatsugawa, use our trip itinerary maker.

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 up 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 Walking Trail ©
Nakasendo Magome Walking Trail
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Nanzen-ji Temple and Eikando Zenrinji Temple. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Nijo Castle and Kennin-ji Temple. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine, Mt. Wakakusa, &more), Byodoin (in Uji) and Sakurai (Omiwa Shrine, Hase-dera Temple, &more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tofuku-ji Temple, get engrossed in the history at Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan, visit Gion, and steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

Drive from Nakatsugawa to Kyoto in 3 hours. Traveling from Nakatsugawa in May, you will find days in Kyoto are a bit warmer (29°C), and nights are about the same (17°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Sakurai, 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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Choanji Temple, examine the collection at Lalique Museum Hakone, admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then explore the world behind art at Hakone Museum of Art, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, then explore the world behind art at Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Saiko Lake.

For traveler tips, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Hakone-machi travel route site .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hakone-machi takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. When traveling from Kyoto in May, plan for slightly colder days in Hakone-machi, with highs around 21°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 19°C. On the 1st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Outdoors Wildlife

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
Itchiku Kubota Art Museum ©
Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine ©

Similar Plans

19 days in Japan BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in Japan BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM INDIA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 26 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES May, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 21 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 19 days in Japan BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS May, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM FRENCH POLYNESIA May, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy
See more plans