40 days in Japan Itinerary

40 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Kyoto
1
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
2
Kyoto
— 21 nights
train:  1​h
3
Himeji
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
4
Okayama
— 4 nights
5
Hatsukaichi
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
Takachiho-cho
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
End: Kyoto

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Kutaniyaki Kaburaki, Oyama Shrine Zenritsu Shadan, Terashima Kurando House, and other attractions you added. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at D. T. Suzuki Museum and Kanazawa Castle. Your inner history buff will appreciate Nomura Family Samurai House and Ninja Temple. And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, contemplate the long history of Shofukaku Garden, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa trip planner .

Kyoto to Kanazawa is an approximately 2.5-hour train ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Kyoto in September, expect nights in Kanazawa to be about the same, around 65°F, while days are slightly colder, around 78°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

Oyama Shrine Zenritsu Shadan
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Nomura Family Samurai House ©
Nomura Family Samurai House

21
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Taizo-in, Tanzan Shrine, Hase-dera Temple, and other attractions you added. Museum-lovers will appreciate Kyoto National Museum and Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum. Get a sense of the local culture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Byodoin (in Uji), Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine, Todai-ji Temple, & more) and Osaka Castle (in Osaka). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Sanjusangendo Temple, take a stroll through Gion, get engrossed in the history at The Museum of Kyoto, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryoanji Temple.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto driving holiday planner.

Getting from Kanazawa to Kyoto by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Nara, Hikone, Osaka, Uji, Sakurai
Find places to stay Sep 28 — Oct 19:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Himeji Park, Himeji Castle Keshoyagura, Sunflower Hill Park, and other attractions you added. Himeji CityMuseum of Art and Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History will appeal to museum buffs. There's more to do: admire the natural beauty at Koko-en Garden and don't miss a visit to Shoshazan Engyoji.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Himeji tour planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Himeji are 72°F, while nighttime lows are 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Okayama.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Sunflower Hill Park
Find places to stay Oct 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Nishi no Maru ©
Nishi no Maru
Himeji Castle Keshoyagura ©
Himeji Castle Keshoyagura

4
nights
Okayama

Okayama ©
A major transit hub in western Japan, Okayama provides a convenient mid-point between Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
You've added Fuji Park, Hayashibara Museum of Art, Okayama Korakuen Garden, and other attractions to your itinerary. Okayama Castle and Kibitsu Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: appreciate the history behind Momotaro Statue.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Okayama trip planning tool .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Okayama takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Himeji in October since evenings lows in Okayama dip to 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can take a train to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Okayama

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Takamatsu, Takahashi, Kurashiki, Fuji Park
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter ©
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Shikoku Mura Village ©
Shikoku Mura Village

3
nights
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Imaise Shrine, Tahoto, Itsukushima Shrine, and other attractions. Your inner history buff will appreciate Miyajima and Senjokaku. Get a sense of the local culture at Itsukushima Shrine Homotsukan and Itsukushima Shrine Torii. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Daishoin Temple, don't miss a visit to Gojuno To, look for gifts at Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street, and walk around Momijidani Park.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Hatsukaichi vacation maker app .

Traveling by train from Okayama to Hatsukaichi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. October in Hatsukaichi sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 61°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple

4
nights
Takachiho-cho

Takachiho-cho ©
The mountain town of Takachiho-cho remains a place of great importance to Japan's spiritual and natural heritage, and the point where these two things intersect.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Sukimu Land, Takachihokyo Passage, Takachiho Gorge, and other attractions. Get a sense of the local culture at Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasugawara. Takachiho Shrine and Aratate Shrine will appeal to history buffs. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kaguraden, steep yourself in history at Kushifuru Shrine, admire the sheer force of Manai Falls, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kunimigaoka.

To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Takachiho-cho online route planner .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Hatsukaichi to Takachiho-cho takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In October in Takachiho-cho, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 59°F at night. On the 2nd (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kikuchi Gorge, Sukimu Land, Harajiri Fall Michi-no-Eki
Find places to stay Oct 29 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

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