27 days in Japan Itinerary

27 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

27 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Valletta, Island of Malta
Fly:  18​h 45​min
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Naha
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  4​h
4
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  1​h
5
Himeji
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
6
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train:  30​min
7
Osaka
— 3 nights
Fly:  21​h 15​min
End: Valletta, Island of Malta

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama) and The Hakone Open-Air Museum (in Hakone-machi). There's still lots to do: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, explore the galleries of Tokyo National Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and make a trip to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip tool .

Valletta, Malta to Tokyo is an approximately 19-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Central European Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually an 8 hour difference. In December, Tokyo is little chillier than Valletta - with highs of 14°C and lows of 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Theme Parks

Side Trips

Urayasu, The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

3
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Venture out of the city with trips to Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, & more). And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle.

To see more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Kanazawa trip planner.

Getting from Tokyo to Kanazawa by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in January, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Kanazawa: temperatures range from 7°C by day to 0°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Naha.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden

3
nights
Naha

Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Explore Naha's surroundings by going to Toma (in Zamami-son), Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo (in Nanjo) and Onna-son (Scuba & Snorkeling & Cape Manzamo). There's much more to do: explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle, appreciate the history behind Heiwa no Ishiji, don't miss a visit to Kokusaidori, and ponder the world of politics at Naha City Hall Main Office.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Naha trip website .

Traveling by flight from Kanazawa to Naha takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and ferry. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Kanazawa in January; daily highs in Naha reach 22°C and lows reach 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Naha

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Onna-son, Heiwa no Ishiji, Haebaru Town Museum, Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo, Toma
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Cape Manzamo ©
Cape Manzamo

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine & Miyajima) and Mt. Misen (in Miyajima). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, appreciate the history behind The Cenotaph, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, and contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima trip builder tool .

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Naha to Hiroshima takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of ferry and train. While traveling from Naha, expect a bit cooler days and cooler nights in Hiroshima, ranging from highs of 11°C to lows of 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine

2
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en, then make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, and finally snap pictures at Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nagoyama Reien Busharito, hike along Mt Shosha hiking, then make a trip to Shoshazan Ropeway, and finally don't miss a visit to Otemae Street.

To find maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Himeji visit planning site .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In January in Himeji, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 3°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji

5
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.
Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Todai-ji Temple in Nara--about 1 hour away. There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, wander the streets of Gion, and make a trip to Nishiki Market Shopping District.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto itinerary planner .

Take a train from Himeji to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Kyoto sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
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.
Go for a jaunt from Osaka to Nara to see Nara Park about 54 minutes away. There's still lots to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, take a stroll through Dotonbori, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and see the interesting displays at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka attractions planner .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. January in Osaka sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 1°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 21st (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nara Park
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

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