17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Tel Aviv
Fly + train:  17​h
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train + Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Shirakawa-mura
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Yamanouchi-machi
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Nikko
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
6
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Tel Aviv

3
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Nara Park and Nijo Castle. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Dotonbori and Nishiki Market. When in Kyoto, make a side trip to see Osaka Castle in Osaka, approximately 1h 10 min away. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, contemplate the long history of Kyoto Imperial Palace, don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and wander the streets of Gion.

To see reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary planner.

Tel Aviv, Israel to Kyoto is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Israel Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 7 hour difference. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Tel Aviv in October, with highs in Kyoto at 27°C and lows at 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) so you can drive to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Osaka, Nara Park
Find places to stay Oct 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

1
night
Shirakawa-mura

Shirakawa-mura ©
Set amid quintessentially Japanese landscape, Shirakawa-mura consists of 16 quaint villages, including a historic village of farm houses, now designated a World Heritage Site.
On the 31st (Thu), steep yourself in history at Nagase house, enjoy breathtaking views from Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, take in panoramic vistas at Tenshukakau Observatory, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, then contemplate the long history of Kanda house, and finally don't miss a visit to The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Shirakawa-mura road trip app .

You can drive from Kyoto to Shirakawa-mura in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and car; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in October, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 1:
Highlights from your plan
Nagase house ©
Nagase house
Wada House ©
Wada House

2
nights
Matsumoto

Matsumoto ©
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, contemplate the long history of Kaichi Gakko Primary School, then contemplate the long history of Yohashira Shrine, then stop by Hanakomichi, and finally wander the streets of Nawate Shopping District. Here are some ideas for day two: hit the slopes at Norikura Kogen.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Matsumoto online attractions planner .

Drive from Shirakawa-mura to Matsumoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and train; or take a bus. While traveling from Shirakawa-mura, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Matsumoto, ranging from highs of 14°C to lows of 6°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) so you can go by car to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Outdoors Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Norikura Kogen ©
Norikura Kogen
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Kaichi Gakko Primary School ©
Kaichi Gakko Primary School

2
nights
Yamanouchi-machi

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
On the 3rd (Sun), look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, admire the masterpieces at Hokusai-kan, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kurino Komichi, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ganshoin Temple. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Okushima Lake, then take in the dramatic natural features at Shima no Oketsu, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane, and finally don't miss a visit to Japan's Highest National Highway Point.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Yamanouchi-machi road trip planning website .

Drive from Matsumoto to Yamanouchi-machi in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a train. In November, daytime highs in Yamanouchi-machi are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Nikko.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Nakanojo-machi, Obuse-machi, Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Hokusai-kan ©
Hokusai-kan
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane ©
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane

3
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.
Get some cultural insight at Nikko Tosho-gu and Nikko National Park. Head to Fujiya and Sano Premium Outletfor some retail therapy. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nikko: Nasu Garden Outlet (in Nasushiobara) and Oya Stone Museum (in Utsunomiya). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Taiyuimbyo Shrine, take in the dramatic scenery at Kegon Falls, take in the spiritual surroundings of Rinno-ji Temple, and take in the history at Senjogahara Field.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Nikko trip planner .

Drive from Yamanouchi-machi to Nikko in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Yamanouchi-machi in November, Nikko is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trips

Nikko National Park, Nasu Garden Outlet, Sano Premium Outlet, Oya History Museum
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Kegon Falls ©
Kegon Falls
Nikko Tosho-gu ©
Nikko Tosho-gu
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine

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.
Get some historical perspective at Sensō-ji and Hase-dera Temple. Head to Ginza and Asakusafor some retail therapy. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Kamakura (Kōtoku-in, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, & more) and Yokohama Chinatown (in Naka). And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, wander the streets of Odaiba, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and get a taste of the local shopping with Takeshita Street.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo day trip planning website .

Take a train from Nikko to Tokyo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Nikko, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Tokyo, ranging from highs of 19°C to lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Kamakura, Yokohama Chinatown
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Ginza ©
Ginza
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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