18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Mumbai
Fly + Train:  13 h 45 min
1
Yokohama
— 5 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train:  45 min
3
Nara
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
5
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  12 h 15 min
End: Mumbai

5
nights
Yokohama

Yokohama ©
Once a small fishing town, Yokohama was one of the first ports to welcome foreign trade in the 19th century, after which it grew into Japan's second largest city and a bustling metropolis.
Get some historical perspective at Samukawa Shrine and Engaku-ji Temple. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Hakone Museum of Art and Kencho-ji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Yokohama side-trips: Kawasaki Daishi (in Kawasaki), Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara) and Kiunkaku (in Atami). The adventure continues: get to know the fascinating history of Kishamichi Promenade, contemplate the long history of The Home of Diplomat, engage your brain at Yokohama Science Center, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Soji-ji Temple.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Yokohama travel route builder tool .

Mumbai, India to Yokohama is an approximately 14-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly; or do a combination of car and ferry. The time zone changes from India Standard Time (IST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 3 hour difference. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Mumbai in December, with highs in Yokohama at 14°C and lows at 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Yokohama

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Kamakura, Hakone-machi, Kawasaki Daishi, Kiunkaku, Oyama Afuri Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Samukawa Shrine ©
Samukawa Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Engaku-ji Temple ©
Engaku-ji Temple

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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Sanzen-in Temple for their historical value. Do some cultural sightseeing at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Jojakkoji Temple. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Kyoto trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by train from Yokohama to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Sanzen-in Temple ©
Sanzen-in Temple

2
nights
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 15th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodai-ji Temple, take an in-depth tour of Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, take in the spiritual surroundings of Horyu-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hase-dera Temple, and finally take an in-depth tour of Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall. On your second day here, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kashihara Jingu, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Joruri Temple, then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally make a trip to Nara National Museum.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary builder .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of subway and train. In December, daytime highs in Nara are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Kashihara, Hase-dera Temple, Horyu-ji Temple, Joruri Temple
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple

3
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine, then get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then see the interesting displays at Hikaru Museum, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. On the next day, explore the fascinating underground world of Hida Great Limestone Cave and Ohashi Collection Kan Museum, examine the collection at Mukashibanashi no Sato, see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, then see the interesting displays at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), then see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, and finally admire the masterpieces at Furui Machinami Museum Kiyoshi Yamashita Gengaten.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Takayama sightseeing planner .

Drive from Nara to Takayama in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Nara in December: high temperatures in Takayama hover around 9°C and lows are around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tokyo.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Hikaru Museum ©
Hikaru Museum
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum

3
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.
Visit Kanda Myojin and Naritasan Omote Sando for their historical value. Let the collections at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum and Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan capture your imagination. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Mitsumine Shrine (in Chichibu), Katori Jingu Shrine (in Katori) and Kashima Jingu (in Kashima). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine, admire the masterpieces at Nezu Museum, steep yourself in history at Nezu Shrine, and see the interesting displays at Suwa Kuwagata Insect Museum.

Plan trip to Tokyo with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Drive from Takayama to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Takayama in December: highs in Tokyo hover around 14°C, while lows dip to 4°C. You'll have a few hours on the 22nd (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Mitsumine Shrine, Katori Jingu Shrine, Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine, Naritasan Omote Sando
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Kanda Myojin ©
Kanda Myojin
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kashima Jingu ©
Kashima Jingu

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