19 days in Japan Itinerary

19 days in Japan Itinerary

Bob Gray

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Route & dates

Start: Auckland
Fly:  14 h 15 min
1
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h
2
Himeji
— 1 night
Train:  1 h 30 min
3
Okayama
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h
4
Takamatsu
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
5
Matsuyama
— 2 nights
train:  1 h 30 min
6
Hiroshima
— 1 night
Train:  1 h 30 min
7
Onomichi
— 2 nights
Train:  3 h
8
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
9
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  14 h 45 min
End: Auckland

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 25th (Wed), explore the galleries of Daimaru Museum Umeda.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka travel route planner.

Auckland, New Zealand to Osaka is an approximately 14.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Auckland to Osaka. When traveling from Auckland in March, plan for slightly colder days in Osaka, with highs around 16°C, while nights are colder with lows around 5°C. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Himeji.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Nara, Chuguji Temple
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Naramachi Koshino Ie ©
Naramachi Koshino Ie
Yoshikien ©
Yoshikien
Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall ©
Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Nishi no Maru, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nagoyama Reien Busharito, stop by Yamasa Kamaboko Yumesenkan, then see the interesting displays at Japan Toy Museum, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takamikura, and finally steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Himeji trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 7°C. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Okayama.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Takasago, Mt. Takamikura
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Nishi no Maru ©
Nishi no Maru
Yamasa Kamaboko Yumesenkan ©
Yamasa Kamaboko Yumesenkan
Nagoyama Reien Busharito ©
Nagoyama Reien Busharito

2
nights
Okayama

Okayama ©
A major transit hub in western Japan, Okayama provides a convenient mid-point between Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
Naoshima has been added to your itinerary. On the 28th (Sat), buy something for everyone on your list at Okayama Ichi Ban Gai, explore the wide array of goods at Tenmaya, admire the masterpieces at Okayama Orient Museum, then explore the world behind art at Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, then contemplate the long history of Ashimori, and finally contemplate the long history of Kinojo Iwaya. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Kurashiki Folkcraft Museum, get to know the fascinating history of Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, see the interesting displays at Japanese Rural Toy Museum, then look for gifts at Jizake no Izutsuya, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Ojigadake, and finally step off the mainland to explore Naoshima.

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Okayama online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by train from Himeji to Okayama takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect slightly colder evenings in Okayama when traveling from Himeji in March, with lows around 3°C. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Takamatsu.

Things to do in Okayama

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Kurashiki, Mt. Ojigadake, Kibi Plain Bicycle Route, Kinojo Iwaya, Naoshima
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter ©
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Okayama Orient Museum ©
Okayama Orient Museum
Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art ©
Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art

2
nights
Takamatsu

Takamatsu ©
A modern city and a major transport hub facing Seto Inland Sea, Takamatsu offers a bustling city lifestyle contrasted with carefully manicured, tranquil green areas at the foot of the mountains and the lava plateau.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Ozu Castle as well as Teshima Island. On the 30th (Mon), explore the historical opulence of Ozu Castle and then stop by Kumaoka Sweets Shop. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Tue): head off the coast to Teshima Island, then buy something for everyone on your list at Marugamemachi GREEN, and then make a trip to Takamatsu Marugamemachi Shopping Street.

Plan trip to Takamatsu with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Take a train from Okayama to Takamatsu in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. March in Takamatsu sees daily highs of 15°C and lows of 5°C at night. On the 1st (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Matsuyama.

Things to do in Takamatsu

Nature Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Ozu Castle, Teshima Island, Kumaoka Sweets Shop
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Teshima Island ©
Teshima Island
Ozu Castle ©
Ozu Castle
Marugamemachi GREEN ©
Marugamemachi GREEN

2
nights
Matsuyama

Matsuyama ©
Matsuyama features a number of historical sites and acts as a gateway for exploring the rest of Shikoku.
You've now added Ozu Houses Of The Meiji to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): stroll around Ozu Shiroyama Park, visit Ozu Houses Of The Meiji, make a trip to Ohanahan Street, then see the interesting displays at Ozu Akarengakan, then stop by Karari Fresh Park Michi-no-Eki, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Joruriji Temple. On the 2nd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head off the coast to Gogoshima Island, contemplate the long history of Taisanji Temple, make a trip to Russian Cemetery, then see the interesting displays at Ehime University Muserum, then examine the collection at Seki Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Shinrokaku.

To see ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Matsuyama trip itinerary builder site.

Traveling by car from Takamatsu to Matsuyama takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In April in Matsuyama, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 13°C at night. You'll set off for Hiroshima on the 3rd (Fri).

Things to do in Matsuyama

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Ozu, Karari Fresh Park Michi-no-Eki
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Russian Cemetery ©
Russian Cemetery
Seki Museum ©
Seki Museum
Ozu Akarengakan ©
Ozu Akarengakan

1
night
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 3rd (Fri): examine the collection at Honkawa Peace Museum, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students, then make a trip to Monokoto Store, then examine the collection at Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

For other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Hiroshima day trip site.

Getting from Matsuyama to Hiroshima by car takes about 3.5 hours. In April, daily temperatures in Hiroshima can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. On the 4th (Sat), you're off to Onomichi.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Apr 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome
Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum ©
Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

2
nights
Onomichi

Onomichi ©
A port city next to the inland sea, Onomichi maintains a small-town feel and a domestic reputation for well-preserved landmarks, quiet streets, and traditions.
Momo Island has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takami, head off the coast to Momo Island, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Zensho-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Sun): walk around Tomo Park, steep yourself in history at Io-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Enfuku Temple, then head off the coast to Hyakkan Island, then admire the masterpieces at Onomichi City Museum Of Art, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ishitsuchiyamakusari Shugyo.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Onomichi day trip planner.

Onomichi is just a short distance from Hiroshima. April in Onomichi sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 10°C at night. On the 6th (Mon), you'll travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Onomichi

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Fukuyama
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Momo Island ©
Momo Island
Onomichi City Museum Of Art ©
Onomichi City Museum Of Art
Mt. Takami ©
Mt. Takami

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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jojakkoji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, contemplate the long history of Koryu-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Myoshinji Temple, and finally stroll through Kyoto Gyoen National Garden. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Yasakanoto, get to know the fascinating history of Nenenokomichi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Konkai Komyoji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shinnyodo Temple, then contemplate the long history of Honen-in, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Gion Shirakawa.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Kyoto online road trip planner.

Traveling by train from Onomichi to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In April, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Outdoors

Side Trip

Uji
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple ©
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple
Jojakkoji Temple ©
Jojakkoji Temple
Shinnyodo Temple ©
Shinnyodo Temple

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Tamiya Plamodel Factory, Shimbashi, teamLab Borderless and Robot Restaurant. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Hozomon and Kyu Kaneiji Five-Storied Pagoda. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Fire Museum and Nipponmaru Memorial Park. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Japan Coast Guard Museum Yokohama (in Yokohama), Kakuonji Temple (in Kamakura) and Yokohama Museum of Art (in Minatomirai). There's much more to do: stroll around Kitanomaru Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kojimachi Otahime Inari Shrine, and examine the collection at Nissan Crossing.

Plan a Tokyo trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Tokyo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in April, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Yokohama, Kakuonji Temple
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Hozomon ©
Hozomon
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Ryusen-ji Temple (Meguro Fudoson) ©
Ryusen-ji Temple (Meguro Fudoson)

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