27 days in Japan Itinerary

27 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

27 days in Japan Itinerary

Bristol
Fly:  26​h
Kanazawa
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  45​min
Nara
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
Kobe
— 1 night
Drive:  30​min
Osaka
— 5 nights
train + Fly:  3​h
Tokyo
— 8 nights
Fly:  17​h 45​min
Bristol

5
days
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Get a sense of the local culture at Gokayama and D. T. Suzuki Museum. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Rail - MTB Gattan Go!! and Maruoka Castle. Venture out of the city with trips to Takayama (Hida Bussankan & Takayama Showa Museum), Komatsu (Motorcar Museum of Japan & Nata-dera Temple) and Shomyo Waterfall (in Tateyama-machi). There's lots more to do: appreciate the views at Kakusenkei Gorge, explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, and take an in-depth tour of Shima Geisha House.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa driving holiday website .

Bristol, UK to Kanazawa is an approximately 26-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 9 hours traveling from Bristol to Kanazawa. October in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Komatsu, Takayama, Maruoka Castle, Gokayama, Kakusenkei Gorge
Accommodations
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Shomyo Waterfall ©
Shomyo Waterfall
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
D. T. Suzuki Museum ©
D. T. Suzuki Museum

4
days
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.
Kyoto National Museum and Kurokabe Square will appeal to museum buffs. Get outdoors at Mt. Kurama and Kamogawa River. Venture out of the city with trips to Kaizu Osaki (in Takashima), Chikubushima (in Nagahama) and Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo (in Ryuo-cho). There's more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkaku-ji Temple and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Biwa.

To see reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip planner .

Take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In October, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can drive to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nagahama, Kaizu Osaki, Lake Biwa, Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo
Accommodations
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Mt. Kurama ©
Mt. Kurama
Ginkaku-ji Temple ©
Ginkaku-ji Temple
Kamogawa River ©
Kamogawa River

1
day
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 31st (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, take an in-depth tour of Nara National Museum, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then pause for some photo ops at Tōdai-ji, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Nara online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of subway and train. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in October, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can go by car to Kobe.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife
Accommodations
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Tōdai-ji ©
Tōdai-ji
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center ©
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): take in the dramatic scenery at Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki), then wander the streets of Chinatown (Nankinmachi), then examine the collection at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Kobe Harborland.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Kobe vacation planner .

You can drive from Nara to Kobe in an hour. Other options are to take a train; or take a train. In October in Kobe, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Shopping Neighborhoods Nature
Accommodations
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Chinatown (Nankinmachi) ©
Chinatown (Nankinmachi)
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki) ©
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)

5
days
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.
Appreciate the collections at Museum of Oriental Ceramics and Koyasan Reihokan Museum. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mount Koyasan and Minami (Namba). Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Koya-cho (Okunoin & Koyasan Station) and Teragaike Park (in Kawachinagano). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Dotonbori, see the interesting displays at Kids Plaza Osaka, browse the different shops at OSAKA STATION CITY, and step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle.

For other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Osaka route builder tool .

Osaka is very close to Kobe. Traveling from Kobe in November, plan for a bit cooler nights in Osaka, with lows around 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Theme Parks Museums

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Teragaike Park
Accommodations
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Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Okunoin ©
Okunoin
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

8
days
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Hakone Shisseikaen and Mt. Takao. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at The Tsukiji Market and Asakusa. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Showa Kinen Park (in Tachikawa), Lake Yamanaka (in Yamanakako-mura) and Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) (in Hakone-machi). There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, take a stroll through Ueno, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and view the masterpieces at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Tokyo online route planner .

Getting from Osaka to Tokyo by combination of train and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In November, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Neighborhoods Nature

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Lake Yamanaka, Mt. Takao, Showa Kinen Park, Enoshima Island
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Tokyo.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Lake Yamanaka ©
Lake Yamanaka
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

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