21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Zurich
Fly:  15 h 15 min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Train:  30 min
3
Osaka
— 5 nights
Train:  2 h 45 min
4
Fukuoka
— 5 nights
Fly:  17 h 45 min
End: Zurich

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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take some stellar pictures from Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, and ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Tokyo travel tool .

Zurich, Switzerland to Tokyo is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or 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. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Zurich in April, with highs in Tokyo at 22°C and lows at 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Parks
Find places to stay Apr 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine

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 still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and wander the streets of Gion.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip maker website .

Take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In April, daytime highs in Kyoto are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay Apr 28 — May 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

5
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Koya-cho (Torodo Temple, Koyasan Okunoin, &more), Himeji (Otokoyama Haisuiike Park, Koko-en, &more) and Nara (Rokuen, Kasuga Grand Shrine, &more). The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, and see the interesting displays at Modern Transportation Museum.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Osaka itinerary maker app .

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in May, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Parks Theme Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Himeji, Koya-cho
Find places to stay May 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

5
nights
Fukuoka

Fukuoka ©
The largest city on the island, Fukuoka formed through the merger of two former cities that had grown up either side of the Naka River.
Change things up with these side-trips from Fukuoka: Dazaifu Tenman-gu (in Dazaifu), Nagasaki (Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, &more) and Kumamoto (Newspaper Museum, Suizenji Jojuen Garden, &more). Next up on the itinerary: admire the masterpieces at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, browse the collection at Fukuoka City Public Library, stroll around Ohori Park, and admire the striking features of Hakata Station.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Fukuoka road trip app .

Traveling by train from Osaka to Fukuoka takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Find places to stay May 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Dazaifu Tenman-gu

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