21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

This plan was created by another inspirock user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  14​h
1
Osaka
— 1 night
train:  30​min
2
Kobe
— Few hours
train:  30​min
3
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
5
Tokyo
— 4 nights
6
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train:  3​h 30​min
7
Himeji
— 2 nights
8
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
9
Osaka
— 1 night
train:  1​h
10
Nara
— Few hours
train:  1​h
11
Osaka
— 1 night
Fly:  14​h
End: San Francisco

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, steep yourself in history at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, snap pictures at Ebisu Bridge, take a stroll through Dotonbori, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozenji Yokocho, and finally make a trip to HEP FIVE観覧車.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Osaka itinerary planner.

San Francisco, USA to Osaka is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 17 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from San Francisco in September; daily highs in Osaka reach 82°F and lows reach 69°F. You will have some time to spend on the 6th (Fri) before leaving for Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine ©
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

few
hours
Kobe

Kobe ©
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.
Plan my day in Kobe using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Kobe is just a short distance from Osaka. In September, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Shopping Neighborhoods Parks
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Chinatown (Nankinmachi) ©
Chinatown (Nankinmachi)
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens ©
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland

3
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): make a trip to Hōzen-ji Temple and then take in the local highlights with Walking tours. On the 7th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, see the interesting displays at Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, then don't miss a visit to Umeda Sky Building, then let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, and finally walk around Nakanoshima Park.

To find ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Osaka online itinerary builder .

Osaka is just a stone's throw from Kobe. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Tours Parks

Side Trips

CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA, Jikko Cutlery, Expo '70 Commemorative Park
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
SpaWorld ©
SpaWorld

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.
Step out of Kyoto to go to Uji and see Byodoin, which is approximately 44 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, take a stroll through Gion, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Kyoto itinerary app .

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. September in Kyoto sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 68°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Byodoin
Find places to stay Sep 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park as well as Kinchakuda Manjushage Park. Step out of Tokyo to go to Maihama and see Tokyo DisneySea, which is approximately 30 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and wander the streets of Odaiba.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo vacation website .

Take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In September, plan for daily highs up to 81°F, and evening lows to 69°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Theme Parks

Side Trips

Maihama, Kinchakuda Manjushage Park, Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
On the 16th (Mon), get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, contemplate the long history of Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, admire the sheer force of Fukube Falls, then take in nature's colorful creations at Togashi Rose Garden, and finally don't miss a visit to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro. On the 17th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Shofukaku Garden, make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, see the interesting displays at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts, then walk around Kenrokuen Garden, then see the interesting displays at Kanazawa Kashi Kigata Art Museum, and finally make a trip to Kanazawa Station.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip planner .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 78°F in September, and nighttime lows around 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Tours

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Fukube Falls
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

2
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): make a trip to Nishi no Maru Nagatsubone, then appreciate the history behind Himeji Castle Daitenshu no Shachigawara (Replica), and then steep yourself in history at Nishi no Maru. On the 19th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get great views at Awaji Hanasajiki, make a trip to Awaji Highway Oasis, snap pictures at Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, then admire the natural beauty at Koko-en Garden, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nagoyama Reien Busharito, and finally make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Himeji journey builder site .

Getting from Kanazawa to Himeji by train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Kanazawa in September, expect a bit warmer with lows of 73°F in Himeji. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Fri) to allow time for the train ride to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Breweries & Distilleries Parks

Side Trips

Awaji, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en Garden ©
Koko-en Garden
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine and then don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head off the coast to Miyajima, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mashike Itsukushima Shrine, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then don't miss a visit to Chinese Parasol Tree That was Exposed to Hiroshima Bombing, then appreciate the history behind The Cenotaph, and finally pause for some photo ops at Children's Peace Monument.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima travel route planning website .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Hiroshima takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In September, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 69°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Mashike Itsukushima Shrine
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

1
night
Osaka

Osaka ©
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): enjoy breathtaking views from Harukas 300 Observation Deck, then make a trip to Abeno Harukas, then enjoy breathtaking views from Tsutenkaku, and finally make a trip to Shinsekai.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Osaka trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Osaka takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Nara.
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Abeno Harukas ©
Abeno Harukas
Tempozan Ferris Wheel ©
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Tsutenkaku ©
Tsutenkaku

few
hours
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.
To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Nara day trip planning site .

Nara is just a stone's throw from Osaka. In September, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

1
night
Osaka

Osaka ©
On the 23rd (Mon), make a trip to Dotombori Glico Sign and then shop like a local with Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Osaka sightseeing planning tool .

Osaka is just a short distance from Nara. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Oriental Ceramics ©
Museum of Oriental Ceramics
Kuchu Teien Observatory ©
Kuchu Teien Observatory
Kuromon Market ©
Kuromon Market

Similar Plans

22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in Japan BY A USER FROM IRELAND May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM ROMANIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 24 days in Japan BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM GREECE April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in Japan BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans