18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Christchurch
Fly:  14 h 30 min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
3
Kyoto
— 1 night
Train:  1 h 45 min
4
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
5
Osaka
— 7 nights
Fly + Train:  3 h 15 min
6
Narita
— Few hours
Drive + Fly:  17 h
End: Christchurch

4
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Moroiso Shores and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Do some cultural sightseeing at Ginza and Akihabara. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Fujikawaguchiko-machi (Momiji Tunnel & Lake Kawaguchi) and Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) (in Hakone-machi). It doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Tokyo Tower.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Tokyo fast, fun, and easy.

Christchurch, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus, taxi, and flight. The time zone difference moving from New Zealand Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is minus 3 hours. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Christchurch in September: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 32°C and lows are around 24°C. On the 5th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Moroiso Shores, Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Momiji Tunnel ©
Momiji Tunnel
Ginza ©
Ginza
Akihabara ©
Akihabara

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.
On the 6th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, then look for gifts at Kutaniyaki Kaburaki, and then wander the streets of Nagamachi Neighborhood.

To see reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa day trip tool.

Take a train from Tokyo to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. September in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Mon) before leaving for Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Beaches

Side Trip

Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Nagamachi Neighborhood ©
Nagamachi Neighborhood
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town
Nomura Family Samurai House ©
Nomura Family Samurai House

1
night
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.
For traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip planner.

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 23°C at night. On the 8th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Gion
Gion
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, and then pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip planner.

Take a train from Kyoto to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in September, and nighttime lows around 24°C. You'll have a few hours on the 11th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

7
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Dotonbori and Minami (Namba). Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Koyasan Okunoin and Kofuku-ji Temple. Explore Osaka's surroundings by going to Suma Beach (in Suma), Akashi (Amore Beach & Matsue Swimming Beach) and Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine & Nara Park). There's lots more to do: take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, stop by Jikko Japanese Knife Shop Namba Skyo, and enjoy the sand and surf at Ashiya Comprehensive Park Ashiya Beach.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka visit planner.

Getting from Hiroshima to Osaka by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In September, daily temperatures in Osaka can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. You will have some time to spend on the 17th (Thu) before leaving for Narita.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nara, Kobe, Akashi, Koya-cho, Ashiya Comprehensive Park Ashiya Beach
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

few
hours
Narita

Narita
Pilgrims and aviators come to Narita, a town known during the Edo period for its temple, and now known primarily for its airport.
For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Narita travel planner.

You can do a combination of flight and train from Osaka to Narita in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In September in Narita, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. You will leave for home on the 17th (Thu).

Things to do in Narita

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 18: