22 days in Japan Itinerary

22 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Osaka
— 4 nights
Train
2
Hiroshima
— 1 night
Train
3
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Train to Odawara, Bus to Hakone-machi
5
Hakone-machi
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly

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Osaka

— 4 nights
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Himeji (Shoshazan Engyoji, Himeji Castle, &more) and Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara Park, &more). There's lots more to do: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, take a stroll through Dotombori District, observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

To find out how to plan a trip to Osaka, use our trip itinerary maker.

Melbourne, Australia to Osaka is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect much colder weather when traveling from Melbourne in December: highs in Osaka hover around 13°C, while lows dip to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:

Hiroshima

— 1 night

City of Peace

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 6th (Mon): step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, then examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

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

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 6:

Kyoto

— 5 nights
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, wander the streets of Gion, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

To find reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Kyoto road trip tool.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 6 — 11:

Kanazawa

— 3 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (Wada House, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, &more). And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, don't miss a visit to Seisonkaku Villa, and enjoy breathtaking views from Kenrokuen Yamazakiyama.

To see other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa route planner.

You can drive from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December in Kanazawa, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 11 — 14:

Hakone-machi

— 3 nights
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Explore Hakone-machi's surroundings by going to Fujikawaguchiko-machi (Lake Kawaguchi & Fuji Bike Tour) and Arakurayama Sengen Park (in Fujiyoshida). And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), take in the spiritual surroundings of Choanji Temple, and take an in-depth tour of Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum.

To see photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hakone-machi trip planner.

Traveling by combination of train and bus from Kanazawa to Hakone-machi takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. December in Hakone-machi sees daily highs of 8°C and lows of 5°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums · Parks · Wineries · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:

Tokyo

— 5 nights
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama (about 40 minutes away). There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Tokyo Tower, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, wander the streets of Akihabara, and engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Hakone-machi to Tokyo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 14°C by day to 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Parks · Childrens Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 17 — 22:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.