21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan itinerary planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Osaka
Train:  45 min
1
Okayama
— 2 nights
Train:  45 min
2
Hiroshima
— 1 night
Train:  45 min
3
Okayama
— 2 nights
Train:  3 h 15 min
4
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
5
Nikko
— 2 nights
Train:  5 h
6
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train:  45 min
7
Nara
— 3 nights
Train:  45 min
8
Osaka
— 2 nights
End: Osaka

2
nights
Okayama

Okayama ©
A major transit hub in western Japan, Okayama provides a convenient mid-point between Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): contemplate the long history of Okayama Kinshu Kaikan and then take an in-depth tour of Okayama Prefectural Ancient Kibi Cultural Center.

Find out how to plan Okayama trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Osaka to Okayama is an approximately 1- hour train ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Okayama are 48°F, while nighttime lows are 35°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Okayama

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Okayama Castle ©
Okayama Castle
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter ©
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

For traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Okayama to Hiroshima by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Okayama.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

2
nights
Okayama

Okayama ©
On the 26th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at RSK Bara Garden, admire the masterpieces at Ohara Museum of Art, then browse the different shops at Sun Station Terrace Okayama, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at AEON MALL Mall Okayama. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, see the interesting displays at Japanese Rural Toy Museum, then don't miss a visit to Kurashiki Ivy Square, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Saijo Inari, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kibitsuhiko Shrine.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Okayama online travel route planner.

Getting from Hiroshima to Okayama by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Okayama

Shopping Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Kurashiki
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
AEON MALL Mall Okayama ©
AEON MALL Mall Okayama
Ohara Museum of Art ©
Ohara Museum of Art
Japanese Rural Toy Museum ©
Japanese Rural Toy Museum

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, parks, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, and discover the magic at Tokyo DisneySea.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by train from Okayama to Tokyo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Okayama in December, you will find days in Tokyo are a bit warmer (54°F), and nights are about the same (39°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Museums

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

2
nights
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): steep yourself in history at Nikko Futarasan jinja, admire the sheer force of Ryuzu Waterfall, then take in the dramatic scenery at Kegon Falls, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Chuzenji, and finally go for a walk through Senjogahara Field. On your second day here, go for a walk through Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, then snap pictures at Shinkyo Bridge, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, and finally steep yourself in history at Taiyuimbyo Shrine.

To find photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read our Nikko trip maker site.

You can drive from Tokyo to Nikko in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in January, you will find days in Nikko are little chillier (43°F), and nights are about the same (38°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Chuzenji ©
Lake Chuzenji
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park ©
Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park

4
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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take a stroll through Gion, go for a walk through Arashiyama, and make a trip to Heian Shrine.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto travel route planning tool.

You can take a train from Nikko to Kyoto in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. January in Kyoto sees daily highs of 48°F and lows of 34°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
nights
Nara

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Nara trip planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Nara by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of subway and train. January in Nara sees daily highs of 47°F and lows of 37°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Jindoji Temple, Kiishosoji Temple, Kusuri no Yakata, Horyu-ji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center ©
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center

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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): don't miss a visit to Abeno Harukas and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. Keep things going the next day: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Dotombori.

For maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Osaka day trip planner.

Traveling by train from Nara to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 48°F, and evening lows to 34°F. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle