17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Osaka
train:  30​min
1
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
2
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
3
Nara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Nagoya
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
Tsumagoi-mura
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Daegu

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Amanohashidate and Heian Shrine. Nijo Castle and Sanjusangendo Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Miho Museum in Koka--about 1 hour away. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, don't miss a visit to Nishiki Market, contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and take a stroll through Gion.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Kyoto tour planner .

Osaka to Kyoto is an approximately half hour train ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. April in Kyoto sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Amanohashidate, Miho Museum
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

3
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.
Mint Museum and Hankyu Umeda Gallery will appeal to museum buffs. Step off the beaten path and head to CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA and Mizuno Sportology Gallery. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Ichizo Kobayashi Memorial Museum (in Ikeda), Kawasaki Good Times World (in Kobe) and Higashinada (Kobe Fashion Museum & Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Dotonbori, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, take an in-depth tour of Kusuri no Doshomachi Archive, and examine the collection at Museum of Oriental Ceramics.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Osaka online tour itinerary planner .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. In May, daytime highs in Osaka are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can go by car to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kobe, Ikeda
Find places to stay May 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Mint Museum ©
Mint Museum
CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA ©
CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Todai-ji Temple, see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, get engrossed in the history at Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, make a trip to Nara National Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally walk around Nara Park.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Nara online itinerary planner .

Nara is just a stone's throw from Osaka. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Osaka in May since evenings lows in Nara dip to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can go by car to Nagoya.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife
Find places to stay May 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple

2
nights
Nagoya

Nagoya ©
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): explore the historical opulence of Nagoya Castle, then examine the collection at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, then contemplate the waterfront views at Yamazaki River, and finally wander the streets of Sakae.

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Nagoya holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Nara to Nagoya takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nara in May, you will find days in Nagoya are a bit cooler (24°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel to Tsumagoi-mura.

Things to do in Nagoya

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Yamazaki River ©
Yamazaki River
Nagoya Castle ©
Nagoya Castle

1
night
Tsumagoi-mura

Tsumagoi-mura ©
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Asama Volucano Museum, then tee off at Tsumagoi Kogen Golf Course, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Seto Falls.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Tsumagoi-mura trip planning website .

Getting from Nagoya to Tsumagoi-mura by car takes about 5 hours. May in Tsumagoi-mura sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Tsumagoi-mura

Outdoors Golf Museums
Find places to stay May 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Asama Volucano Museum ©
Asama Volucano Museum

5
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.
Visiting Pola Museum of Art and Ueno Zoo will get you outdoors. Head to Ginza and Takeshita Streetfor plenty of shopping. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: The Hakone Open-Air Museum (in Hakone-machi) and Ghibli Museum Mitaka (in Mitaka). There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, see the interesting displays at Samurai Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji.

For more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Tsumagoi-mura to Tokyo in 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay May 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine

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