18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train + taxi:  2​h 30​min
2
Yamanouchi-machi
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h
3
Nachikatsura-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Koya-cho
— 1 night
train:  1​h 30​min
5
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
6
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
7
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Nezu Shrine and Asakusa Shrine. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Minato Mirai 21 and Zojo-ji Temple. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), Kencho-ji Temple, & more) and Samukawa-machi (Samukawa Shrine & Ojinzuka Ancient Tomb). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Ueno, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ikegami Hommon-ji Temple, and steep yourself in history at Hie Jinjya.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planning app .

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Melbourne to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Melbourne, expect colder days and a bit cooler nights in Tokyo, ranging from highs of 17°C to lows of 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Kamakura, Samukawa-machi, Minato Mirai 21
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

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 (Fri), take in the spiritual surroundings of Shibuyu Shrine, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, then look for gifts at Hokusai-kan, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kurino Komichi, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ganshoin Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: learn more about the world around you at Shiga Kogen Shizen Hogo Center and then hit the slopes at Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Yamanouchi-machi trip planner .

Traveling by combination of train and taxi from Tokyo to Yamanouchi-machi takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Tokyo in April, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Yamanouchi-machi: temperatures range from 19°C by day to 10°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trip

Obuse-machi
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area ©
Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area
Hokusai-kan ©
Hokusai-kan
Onsen Resorts

1
night
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 5th (Sun), take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, and finally don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Nachikatsura-cho trip maker website .

You can drive from Yamanouchi-machi to Nachikatsura-cho in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of taxi, train, and flight. Traveling from Yamanouchi-machi in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Nachikatsura-cho, with lows of 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine

1
night
Koya-cho

Koya-cho ©
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Koyasan Danjo Garan, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongobu-ji Temple, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, then stroll the grounds of Koyasan Okunoin, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryusen-in Temple.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Koya-cho online trip builder .

Drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Koya-cho in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Koya-cho, with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Koyasan Danjo Garan ©
Koyasan Danjo Garan
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple
Ryusen-in Temple ©
Ryusen-in 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.
Visit Kinpusenji Temple and Muroji Temple for their historical value. Omiwa Shrine and Toshodaiji Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine & Nigatsu-do Temple), Hase-dera Temple (in Sakurai) and Horyu-ji Temple (in Ikaruga-cho). There's more to do: take a stroll through Dotonbori and contemplate the long history of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine.

To see other places to visit, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Osaka trip website .

Getting from Koya-cho to Osaka by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. April in Osaka sees daily highs of 23°C and lows of 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Sakurai, Muroji Temple, Horyu-ji Temple, Kinpusenji Temple
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple

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.
Visit Daigo-ji Temple and Kennin-ji Temple for their historical value. Get a sense of the local culture at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Eikando Zenrinji Temple. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Ninna-ji Temple, get to know the fascinating history of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tenryuji Temple, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Kyoto road trip planning site .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Osaka. In April, daytime highs in Kyoto are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Otsu
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Tenryuji Temple ©
Tenryuji Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Toji ©
Toji

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Itsukushima Shrine Torii and Daishoin Temple. Visit Mitaki Temple and Oyamazumi Shrine for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Kure (JMSDF Kure Museum & Yamato Museum) and Hatsukaichi (Imaise Shrine, Senjokaku, & more). And it doesn't end there: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, pause for some photo ops at The Cenotaph, and take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima trip planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. April in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure, Oyamazumi Shrine
Find places to stay Apr 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

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