13 days in Japan Itinerary

13 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland Central
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 1 night
+4
train + taxi + Fly + subway + train:  4​h 15​min
3
Hiroshima
— 1 night
train:  1​h
4
Himeji
— 1 night
train:  45​min
5
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Kita
— 2 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: Auckland Central

2
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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, parks, museums, shopping, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Skytree.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tokyo trip itinerary planning website .

Auckland Central, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from New Zealand Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is minus 3 hours. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Auckland Central in January: highs in Tokyo hover around 11°C, while lows dip to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

#Historic Sites, #Museums, #Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine

1
night
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, then take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, and finally explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa tour planner.

Take a train from Tokyo to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in January, plan for slightly colder days in Kanazawa, with highs around 7°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kanazawa

#Museums, #Historic Sites, #Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

1
night
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, then pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Dome, then don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and finally see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Hiroshima route website .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Kanazawa to Hiroshima in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. January in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

#Museums, #Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
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
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): don't miss a visit to Shoshazan Engyoji, take in nature's colorful creations at Kokoen Garden, then take in the pleasant sights at Himeji Castle, and finally don't miss a visit to Otemae Street.

For reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Himeji trip planning app .

Getting from Hiroshima to Himeji by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. January in Himeji sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 3°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

#Historic Sites, #Parks
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Kokoen Garden ©
Kokoen Garden
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji

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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, classes, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get great views at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryoanji Temple, take in the views from Togetsukyo Bridge, and contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto travel app .

You can take a train from Himeji to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In January, daytime highs in Kyoto are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Kita.

Things to do in Kyoto

#Historic Sites, #Parks
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo-jo Castle ©
Nijo-jo Castle

2
nights
Kita

Kita ©
On the 16th (Wed), enjoy breathtaking views from Kuchu Teien Observatory and then get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and then shop like a local with Dotonbori.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Kita trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Kyoto to Kita in 1.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Kita are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kita

#Theme Parks, #Historic Sites, #Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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