22 days in Japan Itinerary

22 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  13 h 45 min
1
Osaka
— 4 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
2
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
3
Himeji
— 2 nights
Train:  45 min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  45 min
5
Nagoya
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
6
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
7
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Fly:  15 h 15 min
End: San Francisco

4
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.
You'll explore and learn at Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall and Modern Transportation Museum. Your inner history buff will appreciate Tanzan Shrine and Chuguji Temple. Venture out of the city with trips to Kobe Municipal Arboretum (in Kita), Asuka-dera Temple (in Asuka-mura) and Mitarai Valley (in Tenkawa-mura). Next up on the itinerary: look for gifts at Kimono Photo Studio Wasabi Osaka, see the interesting displays at National Museum of Ethnology, take in the spiritual surroundings of Koyasan Daishi Kyokai, and get to know the fascinating history of Osaka.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Osaka online travel planner .

San Francisco, USA to Osaka is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from San Francisco to Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 73°F in October, and nighttime lows around 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Nara, Kobe, Koya-cho, National Museum of Ethnology, Joruri Temple
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 4:
Highlights from your plan
Asuka-dera Temple ©
Asuka-dera Temple
Koyasan Daishi Kyokai ©
Koyasan Daishi Kyokai
Tanzan Shrine ©
Tanzan Shrine

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Honkawa Peace Museum and Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum. Your inner history buff will appreciate Former Naval Academy and Saikokuji Temple. Venture out of the city with trips to Yawata Wetlands (in Kitahiroshima-cho) and Sankeien (in Mihara). And it doesn't end there: buy something for everyone on your list at Asse, head outdoors with Paddle Park, take in the awesome beauty at Ogonzan, and explore the world behind art at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima day trip tool .

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In November in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 63°F during the day and 49°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Paddle Park, Former Naval Academy, Yawata Wetlands, Saikokuji Temple, Sankeien
Find places to stay Nov 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Former Naval Academy ©
Former Naval Academy
Paddle Park ©
Paddle Park

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nagoyama Reien Busharito, steep yourself in history at Nishi no Maru, steep yourself in history at Bizenmaru, look for gifts at Yamasa Kamaboko Yumesenkan, then see the interesting displays at Japan Toy Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ishino Hoden Oishi Shrine.

For ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Himeji day trip planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In November, daytime highs in Himeji are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Takasago, Harimakuni Ichinomiya Iwa Shrine
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Nagoyama Reien Busharito ©
Nagoyama Reien Busharito
Nishi no Maru ©
Nishi no Maru
Bizenmaru ©
Bizenmaru

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Fuuka-Kimono and Enkō-ji Temple. Do your shopping at Kyoto Kimono Rental Sakura and Jinen & Ichiba. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Saimyo-ji Temple (in Kora-cho), Kongorin-ji Temple (in Aisho-cho) and Sagawa Art Museum (in Moriyama). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Shinnyodo Temple, explore the world behind art at Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art, contemplate the long history of Hosenin, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Hiei.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Kyoto trip planner.

Traveling by train from Himeji to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Kyoto are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Nagoya.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Sagawa Art Museum, Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art, Saimyo-ji Temple, Kongorin-ji Temple
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kongorin-ji Temple ©
Kongorin-ji Temple
Shinnyodo Temple ©
Shinnyodo Temple
Hosenin ©
Hosenin

2
nights
Nagoya

Nagoya ©
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Nunoike Catholic Cathedral, look for gifts at Otsukaya Kurumamichi Honten, admire the masterpieces at Furukawa Art Museum, then look for all kinds of wild species at Cherry Trees along the Gojo River bank, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kokeizan Eihoji Temple.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Nagoya trip itinerary app .

Getting from Kyoto to Nagoya by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Kyoto in November: highs in Nagoya hover around 57°F, while lows dip to 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Nagoya

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Tajimi, Daijuji Temple, Cherry Trees along the Gojo River bank, Niimi Nankichi Memorial Museum
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Furukawa Art Museum ©
Furukawa Art Museum
Cherry Trees along the Gojo River bank ©
Niimi Nankichi Memorial Museum ©
Niimi Nankichi Memorial Museum

2
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 15th (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Furui Machinami Museum Kiyoshi Yamashita Gengaten, examine the collection at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), take in the spiritual surroundings of Soyuji Temple, examine the collection at Hikaru Museum, then stop by Curnontue, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine. On the next day, don't miss a visit to Shokawa-Zakura, get to know the fascinating history of Shirakabe Dozogai, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then examine the collection at Mukashibanashi no Sato, and finally examine the collection at Hida Takayama Art and Festa Forest.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Takayama sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Nagoya to Takayama in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 58°F in November, and nighttime lows around 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Shirakabe Dozogai
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Hikaru Museum ©
Hikaru Museum
Hida Takayama Art and Festa Forest ©
Hida Takayama Art and Festa Forest

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Step off the beaten path and head to Ishikawa Aviation Plaza and Amanatto Kawamura. Escape the urban bustle at Bijodaira and Tedori Gorge. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Motorcar Museum of Japan (in Komatsu), Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple (in Nanto) and Mount Hakusan (in Hakusan). There's lots more to do: get all the information you need at Shiinoki Cultural Complex, Ishikawa Prefecture, get to know the fascinating history of Old Site of Takada Family in Kaga-han, see the interesting displays at Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum, and explore the world behind art at Kanazawa Noh Museum.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Kanazawa route site .

Getting from Takayama to Kanazawa by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In November, daily temperatures in Kanazawa can reach 59°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Komatsu, Hakusan, Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple, Bijodaira
Find places to stay Nov 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum ©
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum
Ishikawa Aviation Plaza ©
Ishikawa Aviation Plaza
Bijodaira ©
Bijodaira

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