18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Osaka
— 3 nights
Train
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train
3
Kobe
— 3 nights
Train
4
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Train
5
Takayama
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly

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Osaka

— 3 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 Nara (Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, Nara Park, &more). There's lots more to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market, stop by Dotombori District, and meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

For ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Osaka online sightseeing planner.

Sydney, Australia to Osaka is an approximately 13-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is minus 1 hour. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Sydney in April, with highs in Osaka at 23°C and lows at 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Parks

Side Trip

Kyoto

— 3 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 trip includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and take a stroll through Arashiyama.

For maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Kyoto driving holiday planner.

Take a train from Osaka to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, daytime highs in Kyoto are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Museums

Kobe

— 3 nights
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
On the 8th (Fri), get a taste of the local shopping with Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown), visit Kobe Harborland, then examine the collection at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, and finally stroll around Shukugawa Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Sat): get to know the resident critters at Kobe Oji Zoo, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens.

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

You can take a train from Kyoto to Kobe in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. April in Kobe sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 14°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Spas

Side Trip

Hiroshima

— 3 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Boat Tours & Water Sports, Miyajima, &more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, and examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima online trip builder.

Take a train from Kobe to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and ferry. April in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Takayama.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Takayama

— 2 nights
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
On the 13th (Wed), examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, then examine the collection at Hirata Folk Art Museum (Hirata Kinen-kan), then admire the landmark architecture of Takayama Jinya, and finally wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji. Keep things going the next day: learn more about the world around you at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then explore the world behind art at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Takayama travel site.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Takayama takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. Traveling from Hiroshima in April, plan for slightly colder nights in Takayama, with lows around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Tokyo

— 3 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.
Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama--about 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and walk around Ueno Park.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo road trip app.

You can fly from Takayama to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. In April, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 12°C. On the 18th (Mon), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Parks · Theme Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

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.