21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
Train:  11 h
1
Asahikawa
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 30 min
2
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Train:  45 min
3
Otaru
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
4
Hakodate
— 2 nights
Train:  4 h 15 min
5
Sendai
— 2 nights
Train:  4 h
6
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Train:  6 h 15 min
7
Tottori
— 1 night
Train:  3 h 15 min
8
Okayama
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
9
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
Bus:  2 h 15 min
10
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture
— 1 night
Train:  2 h 30 min
11
Kumamoto
— 1 night
Train:  1 h
12
Kagoshima
— 1 night
Fly:  4 h
End: Tokyo

2
nights
Asahikawa

Asahikawa ©
Perched on the confluence of four rivers and surrounded by green hills, Asahikawa combines a modern city experience with the pristine nature nearby.
You've now added Asahidake Onsen to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): appreciate the extensive heritage of Asahidake Natural Hiking Route and then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Asahidake Onsen. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokkaido Gokoku Shrine, take an in-depth tour of Hokuchin Memorial Museum, then explore the activities along Blue Pond, then take in the dramatic scenery at Shirahige Falls, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamikawa Shrine.

To see where to stay, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Asahikawa day trip site .

Tokyo to Asahikawa is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. When traveling from Tokyo in May, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Asahikawa: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can take a train to Sapporo.

Things to do in Asahikawa

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Higashikawa-cho, Biei-cho
Find places to stay May 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Shirahige Falls ©
Shirahige Falls
Shirogane Blue Pond ©
Shirogane Blue Pond
Kamikawa Shrine ©
Kamikawa Shrine

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.
Clock Tower (Tokei-dai) and Hokkaido Jingu will appeal to history buffs. Get a sense of the local culture at Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura) and The Hokkaido University Museum. Take a break from Sapporo with a short trip to Earth Dream Kakuyama Farm in Ebetsu, about 32 minutes away. The adventure continues: get into the urban bustle at Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Sapporo St. Michael's Church, get a sense of history and politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari Shrine.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Sapporo route planner.

Traveling by train from Asahikawa to Sapporo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Sapporo can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Otaru.

Things to do in Sapporo

Historic Sites Museums Spas

Side Trip

Earth Dream Kakuyama Farm
Find places to stay May 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Clock Tower ©
Sapporo Clock Tower
Fushimi Inari Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari Shrine

1
night
Otaru

Otaru ©
The port city of Otaru has long attracted domestic visitors, drawn in by the city's many historic buildings, and has started to garner international attention, too.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Tomioka Catholic Church, then take in panoramic vistas at Mount Kenashi View Point, then do a tasting at Otaru Wine Gallery, and finally stop by Otaru Orgel Museum Main Building.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Otaru trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Sapporo to Otaru in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Otaru are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Hakodate.

Things to do in Otaru

Wineries Shopping Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Otaru Wine Gallery ©
Otaru Wine Gallery
Otaru Music Box Museum Main Building ©

2
nights
Hakodate

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
On the 28th (Tue), take a stroll through Motomachi, steep yourself in history at Kyu Soma-tei, then stop by Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Trappist Monasteries, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Hakodate Morning Market. Keep things going the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Hakodate, then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, then try your luck at Hakodate Horse Racetrack, and finally admire the striking features of Goryokaku Park.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Hakodate online travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Otaru to Hakodate takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train and flight. In May, daily temperatures in Hakodate can reach 18°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Sendai.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Trappist Monasteries
Find places to stay May 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Motomachi ©
Motomachi
Trappist Monasteries ©
Trappist Monasteries
Kyu Soma-tei ©
Kyu Soma-tei

2
nights
Sendai

Sendai ©
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
Ginzan Onsen has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): take in the natural beauty of Ginzan Onsen, take in the pleasant sights at Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura, and then wander the streets of Sunmall Ichibancho. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rinnoji Temple, browse the eclectic array of goods at Shiogama Seafood Market, enjoy the sand and surf at Tsukihama Beach, take in the spiritual surroundings of Zuiganji, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Entsu-in Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Tagajo Shrine.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Sendai trip planner .

You can take a train from Hakodate to Sendai in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Hakodate in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Sendai, with lows of 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Sendai

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Matsushima-machi, Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura, Shiogama Seafood Market, Ginzan Onsen, Tsukihama Beach
Find places to stay May 29 — Jun 1:
Highlights from your plan
Rinnoji Temple ©
Rinnoji Temple
Ginzan Onsen ©
Ginzan Onsen
Entsu-in Temple ©
Entsu-in Temple

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, look for gifts at Amanatto Kawamura, buy something for everyone on your list at Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center, take a stroll through Gokayama, then contemplate the long history of Suganuma Gassho Community, and finally explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. On the 2nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, then explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, then take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, and finally kick back and relax at Gongenmori Beach.

To find more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Kanazawa trip planner.

Fly from Sendai to Kanazawa in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. June in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Tottori.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Nanto, Gongenmori Beach, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 3:
Highlights from your plan
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community

1
night
Tottori

Tottori ©
A highlight of the west of the country, Tottori sits along the coast of the Sea of Japan.
Tottori Sand Dunes has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): steep yourself in history at Tottori Castle Ruins, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Maniji Temple, then explore the striking landscape at Tottori Sand Dunes, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hakuto Shrine, and finally kick back and relax at Hakuto Beach.

To find more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Tottori online sightseeing planner .

Drive from Kanazawa to Tottori in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. In June, daytime highs in Tottori are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to Okayama.

Things to do in Tottori

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jun 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tottori Castle Ruins ©
Tottori Castle Ruins
Hakuto Shrine ©
Hakuto Shrine
Maniji Temple ©
Maniji Temple

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 4th (Tue): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Washu, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, and then stroll through Rashomon. Keep things going the next day: pick up some local products at Taneiya Agricultural Product Direct Sales, step into the grandiose world of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, and then identify plant and animal life at Hattoji Furusatomura.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Okayama trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Tottori to Okayama takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in June, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Okayama

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Bizen, Kurashiki, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Taneiya Agricultural Product Direct Sales, Rashomon
Find places to stay Jun 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle ©
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
Mt. Washu ©
Mt. Washu
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter ©

2
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.
On the 6th (Thu), browse the different shops at JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Hakata.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Fukuoka road trip website .

Getting from Okayama to Fukuoka by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In June in Fukuoka, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 23°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can drive to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Shopping Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tenjin Underground Shopping Center ©
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Ohori Park ©
Ohori Park

1
night
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
On the 8th (Sat), stop by Tatematsuru, admire the masterpieces at Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, stroll through Glover Garden, examine the collection at Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, then get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Suwa Shrine.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Nagasaki holiday planner.

Getting from Fukuoka to Nagasaki by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. June in Nagasaki sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can travel to Kumamoto.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Suwa Shrine ©
Suwa Shrine
Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum ©
Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum

1
night
Kumamoto

Kumamoto ©
Centered around its castle, Kumamoto stands as a historic city with plenty of modern-day appeal to add to the mix.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kato Shrine, explore the historical opulence of Kumamoto Castle, look for gifts at KUMAMON products Nagataniya, pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Tetori Church, then explore the wide array of goods at Tsuruya Department Store, and finally browse the different shops at Cocosa.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read Kumamoto trip maker .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Nagasaki to Kumamoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in June, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Kagoshima.

Things to do in Kumamoto

Shopping Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Cocosa ©
Cocosa
Kumamoto Castle ©
Kumamoto Castle
Kato Shrine ©
Kato Shrine

1
night
Kagoshima

Kagoshima ©
Kagoshima sits across the bay from Sakurajima, an active volcano that serves as a symbol of the city and works its way into many aspects of life here.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): take in the pleasant sights at Sengan-en Garden, get engrossed in the history at Museum of the Meiji Restoration, then browse the different shops at AMU PLAZA KAGOSHIMA, then explore the world behind art at Nagashima Museum, and finally stop by Yumeria.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kagoshima day trip tool .

Traveling by train from Kumamoto to Kagoshima takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In June, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 22°C. On the 11th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Kagoshima

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Senganen ©
Senganen
Museum of the Meiji Restoration ©
Museum of the Meiji Restoration
AMU PLAZA KAGOSHIMA ©
AMU PLAZA KAGOSHIMA

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