27 days in Japan & Vietnam Itinerary

27 days in Japan & Vietnam Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia vacation builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train
2
Osaka, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Takayama, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Cat Ba, Vietnam
— 3 nights
Bus
6
Hanoi, Vietnam
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Hue, Vietnam
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Hoi An, Vietnam
— 3 nights
Fly
10
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
— 2 nights
Fly

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1

Kyoto, Japan

— 3 nights
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.
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Hogonin Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Gion and Shimogamo Jinja. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Entoku-in, take some stellar pictures from Mt. Kurama, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and contemplate the long history of Koryu-ji Temple.

Plan my trip to Kyoto with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Brisbane, Australia to Kyoto is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Brisbane to Kyoto due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Brisbane in December, things will get cooler in Kyoto: highs are around 13°C and lows about 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 5:
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Osaka, Japan

— 2 nights
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 6th (Mon): let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, steep yourself in history at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, then take a stroll through Midosuji Street, and finally take a stroll through Dotombori District.

For more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Osaka trip planning app.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Osaka in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Osaka

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Takayama, Japan

— 2 nights
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 7th (Tue): see the interesting displays at Hikaru Museum, make a trip to Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, then visit Sanmachi Suji, and finally see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum. Keep things going the next day: get a taste of the local shopping with Harada Sake Brewery, then examine the collection at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hida Kokubun-ji Temple.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Takayama online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Osaka to Takayama in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Osaka in December, you will find days in Takayama are a bit cooler (9°C), and nights are about the same (3°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to drive to Tokyo.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums · Historic Sites · Tours · Wineries
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Tokyo, Japan

— 2 nights
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.
On the 9th (Thu), admire the striking features of Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, stroll around Kokyo Gaien National Garden, take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, then contemplate the long history of Hozomon, then get to know the fascinating history of University of Tokyo, and finally wander the streets of Ueno District. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at teamLab☆Planets, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, walk around Meiji Jingu Gaien, then take in nature's colorful creations at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Garden, and finally wander the streets of Kagurazaka.

For photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo itinerary maker website.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Tokyo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Takayama in December, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 4°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 14°C. You'll have a few hours on the 11th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Cat Ba.

Things to do in Tokyo

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Cat Ba, Vietnam

— 3 nights
The largest of the islands in the south of the bay, Cat Ba offers a base for exploring the many limestone landmasses across the UNESCO-protected bay.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Cat Ba National Park. Get in touch with nature at Sung Sot Cave and Tien Ong Cave. Change things up with these side-trips from Cat Ba: Halong Bay (Hon Ga Choi Island, Bảo Tàng Quảng Ninh, &more). The adventure continues: step off the mainland to explore Cat Ba Island.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Cat Ba trip maker app.

Traveling by flight from Tokyo to Cat Ba takes 10.5 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Tokyo to Cat Ba is minus 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can catch the bus to Hanoi.

Things to do in Cat Ba

Parks · Nature · Tours · Museums

Side Trip

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Hanoi, Vietnam

— 3 nights
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has bounded back from the effects of war, and today serves as a bustling commercial and cultural hub bursting at the seams.
Get a sense of the local culture at Old Quarter and Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat). Discover out-of-the-way places like Climbing Tours and Kim Lien Pagoda. The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chua Tran Quoc, steep yourself in history at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, don't miss a visit to Temple of Literature & National University, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Hanoi road trip planning website.

Traveling by bus from Cat Ba to Hanoi takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can fly to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Things to do in Hanoi

Historic Sites · Tours · Neighborhoods · Outdoors
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Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam

— 2 nights
Marked by underground rivers, famous caves, limestone cliffs, and tropical rainforests, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park wows visitors with a spectacular range of landscapes and wildlife.
On the 18th (Sat), relax in the rural setting at The Duck Stop, then admire the natural beauty at Phong Nha Botanic Garden, and then Head underground at Phong Nha Caves. On the 19th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: Head underground at Hang Toi (Dark Cave) and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park online trip maker.

Traveling by flight from Hanoi to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Hue.

Things to do in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

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Hue, Vietnam

— 3 nights
Nestled on the banks of the Perfume River, the city of Hue remains most famous as the former home of the Nguyen Dynasty, the influence of which remains evident in local palaces, temples, forts, and museums.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Imperial Tomb of Dong Khanh and Thien Mu Pagoda. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Food Tours. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Imperial City, explore the world behind art at Le Ba Dang Art Museum, and make a trip to Nine Dynastic Urns.

Make your Hue itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can drive from Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to Hue in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December in Hue, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can drive to Hoi An.

Things to do in Hue

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Hoi An, Vietnam

— 3 nights
Indisputably one of Vietnam's most atmospheric destinations, Hoi An contains a World Heritage-listed old town boasting over 2,000 years of culture and history.
Get a sense of the local culture at Precious Heritage by Rehahn and Hy Hoa Temple. Take a break from the city and head to Fishing Charters & Tours and Nature & Wildlife Tours. There's still lots to do: boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, take in the views from Japanese Covered Bridge, stop by Rubin Cloth Shop, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Hoi An online vacation planner.

You can drive from Hue to Hoi An in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in December, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Things to do in Hoi An

Side Trip

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

— 2 nights

Pearl of the Far East

Formerly known in the West as Saigon and affectionately referred to as the "Pearl of the Far East," Ho Chi Minh City is a study of old and new, woven and piled together in a fast-paced urban hub.
On the 26th (Sun), wander the streets of Ho Chi Minh City's Book Street, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then get engrossed in the history at War Remnants Museum, and finally see the interesting displays at Drink Vietnam. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

For ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Ho Chi Minh City tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Hoi An in December, you will find days in Ho Chi Minh City are a bit warmer (36°C), and nights are about the same (26°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

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Japan travel guide

4.3
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.

Vietnam travel guide

4.3
Gift & Specialty Shops · Spas · Landmarks
While most Southeast Asian countries have at least one booming metropolis, none seem to bustle nearly throughout like Vietnam does. While busy locals zoom about on motorbikes, visitors fill their Vietnam vacations with a mix of cultural sightseeing and exploring the landscape. Big cities and towns boast colonial architecture, open-air markets, outstanding spa complexes, and modern restaurants. The country also features over 3,200 km (2,000 mi) of coastline dotted with sandy bays that attract scuba divers and kitesurfers. Away from busy urban centers, a tour of Vietnam reveals a rural landscape of lush rice paddies, jagged mountain peaks, and timeless villages unspoiled by the outside world.