26 days in Japan Itinerary

26 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly + Train:  14 h
1
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Train:  4 h
2
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train:  30 min
4
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
5
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Train:  2 h 30 min
6
Tokyo
— 1 night
Fly:  4 h 15 min
7
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
8
Niseko-cho
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  5 h 45 min
9
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train + Fly:  14 h
End: Melbourne

6
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.
Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama), Kamakura (Samuraikibun Kamakura, Kōtoku-in, &more) and Hakone-machi (Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), &more). There's lots more to do: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, make an unforgettable trip to Tokyo Disneyland, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, and wander the streets of Odaiba.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo online itinerary maker .

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. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) (AEST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Melbourne in December, expect nights in Tokyo to be little chillier, around 4°C, while days are colder, around 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trips

Kamakura, Hakone-machi, Urayasu
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 5:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, head off the coast to Miyajima, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Mikasahama Beach.

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima travel route planner.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Hiroshima in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. January in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

2
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.
On the 8th (Fri), wander the streets of Dotonbori and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle and then have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe.

For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka day trip app .

Take a train from Hiroshima to Osaka in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In January in Osaka, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sat) to allow time for the train ride to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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.
On the 9th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple.

To find ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto route planner.

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. In January, daytime highs in Kyoto are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple

1
night
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, make a trip to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro, make a trip to Higashichaya Old Town, then examine the collection at Ochaya Art Museum, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station.

To find maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa travel route builder site .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Kanazawa, expect temperatures between 7°C during the day and 0°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

1
night
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): walk around Rikugien Garden, wander the streets of Takeshita Street, then appreciate the history behind Hachiko, then walk around Yoyogi Park, and finally snap pictures at Rainbow Bridge. On the 13th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zojo-ji Temple and then engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo tour planner.

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Traveling from Kanazawa in January, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 1°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Tokyo

Childrens Museums Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Takeshita Street ©
Takeshita Street
Rikugien Garden ©
Rikugien Garden

2
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): don't miss a visit to JR Otaru Station, contemplate the waterfront views at Otaru Canal, take in the architecture and design of Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus, then stroll around Odori Park, and finally steep yourself in history at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Sapporo sightseeing website .

Getting from Tokyo to Sapporo by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. While traveling from Tokyo, expect cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Sapporo, ranging from highs of -3°C to lows of -6°C. On the 15th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Niseko-cho.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Otaru
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal

5
nights
Niseko-cho

Niseko-cho ©
Ranking as the most popular ski resort in Hokkaido, mountaintop Niseko-cho boasts great slopes and surprisingly vibrant nightlife.
Change things up with these side-trips from Niseko-cho: Fukidashi Park (in Kyogoku-cho) and Niseko Hanazono Resort (in Kutchan-cho). There's much more to do: hit the slopes at Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place, get outside with Niseko Village Pure, explore the activities along Lake Toya, and get engrossed in the history at Arishima Memorial Center.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Niseko-cho planner.

Traveling by car from Sapporo to Niseko-cho takes 2 hours. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Sapporo in January: highs in Niseko-cho hover around 0°C, while lows dip to -4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Niseko-cho

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Kutchan-cho, Lake Toya, Niseko Annupuri, Fukidashi Park
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Village Ski Resort ©
Niseko Village Ski Resort
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort ©
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Venture out of the city with trips to Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama (in Naka) and Ghibli Museum Mitaka (in Mitaka). Enjoy Tokyo some more: examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, wander the streets of Ginza, walk around Ueno Park, and engage your brain at National Museum of Nature and Science.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Niseko-cho to Tokyo. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Niseko-cho in January: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 11°C and lows are around 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Ginza ©
Ginza
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka

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