Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Ezra Matiasi

Japan is a land of contrasts, where ancient temples and shrines sit beside futuristic skyscrapers, and where traditional culture thrives alongside cutting edge technology. 

Whether you’re interested in city life, natural beauty, or a mix of both, 

Japan has something for everyone. 

Lets take a look at a one-month itinerary that will take you on a journey through some of the country’s most exciting destinations, from bustling Tokyo to peaceful Kyoto.

Tokyo: Day 1 to 6 (6 Days)

The first stop on your journey through Japan is Tokyo, the country’s bustling capital city. If you love the excitement of a big city, then you’ll love the bright lights and fascinating sights of Tokyo. 

With so much to see and do, you’ll need at least 6 days to explore all that the city has to offer.

What to Do in Tokyo

Visit the Different Neighbourhoods 

Take a tour of Tokyo’s diverse neighbourhoods, each with its unique personality and attractions. 

Shinjuku is famous for its bright neon signs and the world’s busiest train station, Shibuya is home to the iconic Shibuya Crossing, and Shimokitazawa is a hipster’s paradise. 

Akihabara is a must-visit for electronics fans, and Asakusa is home to the famous Senso-ji Temple.

Go Off the Beaten Path

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, visit the birthplace of the lucky cat at Gotoku-ji and see hundreds of lucky cats. 

You can also browse the pedestrian streets of Omotesando, the boutique shops of Harajuku, and the laidback neighbourhood of Kichijoji.

Day Trips from Tokyo

 Don’t limit yourself to just Tokyo – venture outside the city to see other attractions. Kamakura and Nikko are both great destinations for a day trip.

Hakone: Day 7 to 8 (2 Days)

From Tokyo, make your way to Hakone, the hot spring region of Japan. This quaint little town is worth spending at least 2 days in, with many things to see and do.

What to Do in Hakone

Hakone Freepass

Before you leave Tokyo, be sure to buy a 2-day Hakone Freepass. This pass will make it easy to get around the Hakone region and see all its attractions.

Owakudani Valley

Take the Hakone Tozan Train to Gora, followed by the Hakone Tozan Cable Car and the Hakone Ropeway, to reach the top of Owakudani Valley. You’ll be able to smell the sulphurous gas and see Mount Fuji in the background

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise 

After descending Owakudani Valley, the pass includes a ride on the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, where you can sail the length of Lake Ashinoko and visit the Hakone Shrine.

Other Attractions

On your second day in Hakone, you can use your Free Pass to visit the Mishima Skywalk, Gotemba Premium Outlet, or Odawara Castle.

Discover the Charm of Osaka: Day 9 to 11 (3 Days)

Osaka, located in the Kansai Region, is a highly sought after city in Japan, known for its dynamic blend of modern and traditional attractions. From towering skyscrapers to historic temples, there’s plenty to experience in this city.

Things to do in Osaka

Uncover the Beauty of Osaka Castle

Start your Osaka journey by visiting the iconic Osaka Castle, nestled within a scenic park. 

This majestic structure is a must-see for history buffs and offers stunning views of the city. Also, make time to visit Hozenji Temple and Osaka Tenmangū, which hold one of the top three festivals in Japan.

Explore the Bustling Namba District

The Namba area is a hub of activity, where you can enjoy the best of city life. Dōtonbori in Namba is particularly noteworthy, with its bright lights, neon signs, takoyaki stalls, and okonomiyaki restaurants. 

Don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the famous Glico Running Man sign before you leave.

Shop till You Drop in Shinsaibashi

For shopaholics, Osaka is a true paradise. The Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade is home to a range of stores, and the surrounding area is dotted with restaurants, cafes, and more eateries.

Take a Day Trip

On your third day in Osaka, take a break from the city and visit either Minoo Park or Koyasan. These destinations are the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle and experience a different side of Japan.

Immerse Yourself in Kyoto: Day 12 to 15 (4 Days)

Kyoto, once the capital city of Japan, is a must-visit destination during your one month itinerary. With numerous temples, shrines, and zen gardens, it’s no wonder that Kyoto is one of the largest cities in Japan.

Things to do in Kyoto

Visit Iconic Temples

During your stay in Kyoto, be sure to visit Kinkaku-ji, Gion, and Kyomizudera Temple. These iconic destinations are a true testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Spend half a day in Arashiyama, where you can admire the stunning Bamboo Grove and feed the monkeys at Monkey Park

Capture Stunning Photos

Fushimi Inari Shrine is a must-visit for all Instagram enthusiasts. Although the crowds can be intimidating, it’s well worth the effort to hike to the top, where you’ll find fewer tourists and better photo opportunities.

Take Day Trips

On your third and fourth days in Kyoto, take a break from the city and explore Nara and Uji. In Nara, you can see wild deer in the park, while Uji is famous for its matcha green tea.

Uncover the Delights of Kobe: Day 16 (1 Day)

Kobe is the next destination on your itinerary, and it’s a city that’s sure to delight. Known for its mouth-watering Kobe beef, Kobe is considered to be one of Japan’s most attractive cities.

Things to do in Kobe

Taste Kobe Beef

The highlight of any Kobe trip is trying the famous Kobe beef. Restaurants like Steakland and Wakkoqu serve delicious versions of this local delicacy, and teppanyaki is one of the best ways to cook Kobe beef.

A One Day Tour of Himeji: Day 17 (1 Day)

Himeji is a compact and friendly city in Japan, famous for its stunning castle and hidden zen temples. A day spent exploring this charming city is a day well-spent, with a range of top attractions that are not to be missed.

What to do in Himeji

Explore Himeji Castle: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

At the top of any visitor’s to-do list in Himeji is the stunning Himeji Castle. Also known as the “White Heron Castle,” its pristine white plastered exterior walls give it the appearance of a white heron in flight

This beautiful castle is one of the top three most beautiful castles in Japan and is a must-visit for any traveller to Himeji.

Find Tranquillity at Engyō-ji Temple

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the city, head to Engyō-ji Temple, located just 20 minutes north of Himeji Castle. 

This group of temples is hidden away in Mount Shosha, surrounded by a tranquil forest that provides a zen-like atmosphere. 

Whether you’re visiting during cherry blossom season or taking in the fall foliage, Engyō-ji Temple is the perfect place to unwind and find inner peace.

Uncover the History of Himeji at Koko-en Garden and Local Museums

In addition to the castle and temple, be sure to visit Koko-en Garden and one of the many museums in Himeji. 

These attractions will give you a deeper understanding of the city’s rich history and culture. You can easily see all of these attractions on the same day, making Himeji a convenient and enjoyable destination for travellers.

A One-Day Tour of Teshima: Day 18 (1 Day)

Uncover the Art and Design of Teshima, Japan’s Second-Largest Island

Teshima is a picturesque island located in the Seto Inland Sea, famous for its contemporary art and design. 

Once plagued by illegal toxic waste dumping, the island has been cleaned up and transformed into a stunning art destination. A day spent exploring Teshima is a day filled with colour, creativity, and inspiration.

What to do in Teshima

Discover the Beauty of Teshima Yokoo House

At the top of any visitor’s to-do list in Teshima is Teshima Yokoo House, a beautiful and colourful gallery of artwork housed in an eclectic traditional building. 

This exciting art installation is not to be missed, offering a unique and unforgettable experience.

For a beachside art experience, visit Les Archives du Coeur, a gallery that focuses on heartbeats. This beautiful space is a must-visit for any traveller to Teshima, offering a truly unforgettable experience.

Unwind at La Forêt des Murmures

For a peaceful escape, head to La Forêt des Murmures, a stunning forest filled with 400 wind chimes. This unique installation is a reminder about life and the passage of time, making it the perfect place to unwind and find inner peace.

Other top attractions in Teshima include the Needle Factory, Teshima 8 Million Lab, and the Teshima Art Gallery.

Discovering the Artistic Haven of Naoshima: Day 19 (1 Day)

Naoshima Island, located in the Seto Inland Sea, is a treasure trove of contemporary art, design, and architecture. If you’re a fan of modern art or the works of Yayoi Kusama and Tadao Ando, this island should be at the top of your must-visit list.

What to do in Naoshima

Visiting the Chichu Art Museum

The Chichu Art Museum, located on the island, is a stunning modern art museum that showcases works by artists such as Claude Monet and Walter De Maria. Be sure to book your tickets in advance as this museum can get quite busy.

Exploring the Outdoor Art Installations

One of the main draws of Naoshima is the outdoor art installations along the beach. Yayoi Kusama’s famous “Yellow Pumpkin” is a must-see, and there’s also the “Red Pumpkin” that makes for a great photo opportunity.

Visiting the Benesse House Museum and Lee Ufan Museum

Also located on the island, the Benesse House Museum and Lee Ufan Museum are dedicated to showcasing modern art and architecture. Don’t miss the chance to visit these museums for a full dose of contemporary art.

Walking or Renting an Electric Bike

You can either choose to walk or rent an electric bike to explore the island. Walking is a great option if you don’t have to worry about parking, but if you want to cover more ground, an electric bike might be the better choice.

Strolling the Canals of Kurashiki: Day 20 (1 Day)

Kurashiki, a scenic canal town, is a charming village with a rich history. Once a vital distribution route for Japan’s valuable commodity, rice, Kurashiki now boasts restored warehouses converted into shops and restaurants.

What to do in Kurashiki

Exploring the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is a must-visit for its picturesque canals and traditional Kurashiki shophouses. You can also visit the Kurashiki Craft Work Village and the Kurashiki Monogatarikan, a tourism and cultural centre.

Discovering Honmachi and Higashimachi

Honmachi and Higashimachi are the main areas in Kurashiki, and both areas are filled with traditional houses, restaurants, cafes, and galleries. These areas are perfect for a stroll and a taste of traditional Japanese culture.

Visiting Kanryuji Temple and Achi Shrine

In Tsurugatayama Park, you’ll find Kanryuji Temple and Achi Shrine. Don’t miss the chance to take in the views from above when you’re up there.

Exploring the Quaint Town of Onomichi: Day 21 to 23 (3 Days)

Onomichi is a small, charming town located in Hiroshima Prefecture. Known for its temples, cats, and cycling, Onomichi is a hidden gem that’s off the beaten path.

What to do in Onomichi

Walking the Temple Walk

The Temple Walk in Onomichi is a 2.5 km guided path that takes you past 25 Buddhist temples and the hillside town. Be sure to stop by Tennei-ji Temple and Cat Alley.

Hiking to Senko-ji Park

For a panoramic view of the town, hike up the hill to Senko-ji Park. You’ll also find the Senko-ji Temple perched near the top of the mountain.

Exploring Hiroshima: Day 24 to 26 (3 Days)

Hiroshima is a city with a lot to offer, from its delicious cuisine to its historical landmarks. Here’s what you can do during your three-day stay in Hiroshima.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Visit the Major Attractions in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a must-visit destination in Hiroshima. 

You can spend the whole day exploring the park and its major attractions, including the Flame of Peace, the Children’s Peace Monument, and the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims.

Explore Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims

To gain a deeper understanding of the atomic bomb and its impact on Hiroshima, visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

These two places will provide you with a comprehensive history of the bombing and its aftermath.

Admire the Atomic Bomb Dome

The Atomic Bomb Dome is one of the few remaining structures from the bombing and is a must-see for those interested in history. 

This iconic landmark is located not far from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Take in the Views from Hiroshima Orizuru Tower

For a unique and unforgettable experience, head to the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower for panoramic views of the city. On a clear day, you can see the Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima from above.

Visit Mitaki-Dera Temple

Take a short train ride to the picturesque Mitaki-Dera Temple, a beautiful temple that dates back to 809. The temple grounds feature a pagoda, hiking trails, and waterfalls, making it a great place to spend a few hours.

Spend a Day in Iwakuni

On your last day in Hiroshima, take a day trip to Iwakuni, a charming little town that’s just an hour away. Visit Kintai-kyo Bridge over the Nishiki River, Kikko Park, and Iwakuni Castle.

Experience the Magic of Miyajima: Day 27 (1 Day)

Miyajima is an unforgettable destination that you won’t want to miss. Here’s what you can do during your one-day visit to Miyajima.

Walking Through Itsukushima Shrine

Start your day by walking through Itsukushima Shrine and finding the perfect spot to take photos of the Itsukushima Floating Torii Gate.

Hike Mount Misen or Take the Miyajima Ropeway

After walking through Momijidani Park, follow the trail and either hike up Mount Misen or take the Miyajima Ropeway for panoramic views of the island.

Visit the Shishi-iwa Observation Deck, Misenhondo Hall, Reikado Hall, and Kuguriiwa Rock

While at the top of Mount Misen, visit the Shishi-iwa Observation Deck, Misenhondo Hall, Reikado Hall, and Kuguriiwa Rock.

Back to Tokyo: Day 28-30 

Since you have some time left, you can use this opportunity to explore some of the additional sites you may have missed on your previous visit. Here are a few recommendations:

Tsukiji Fish Market

One of the largest fish markets in the world, Tsukiji is a must-visit for seafood lovers. You can see the fish auctions, sample some of the freshest sushi, and explore the surrounding stalls and shops.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

This beautiful garden in the heart of Tokyo offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city. It’s a perfect place to relax, enjoy a picnic, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding skyscrapers.

Meiji Shrine

This is one of the most popular and important shrines in Tokyo, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. It’s located in a beautiful forested area, and you can see many traditional Japanese rituals and customs here.

Ueno Park 

This is one of Tokyo’s oldest and largest parks, with many museums, galleries, and temples. It’s a great place to spend a day, and you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in the spring or the autumn foliage in the fall.

After exploring some of these additional sites, you may want to re-engage with city life in Tokyo. You can try some of the local food, go shopping in some of the famous districts like Shibuya or Harajuku, or simply soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city as you prepare for departure

Back Home: Day 31

As your trip comes to an end, it’s natural to feel a little sad about leaving Japan behind. 

But you can take comfort in the fact that you made the most of your time here, and you have many fantastic memories to cherish. Safe travels back to reality!

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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