One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

When my partner Russell and I were researching and planning our month long trip to Japan, we knew we wanted to fit in as much as we could in those four weeks. Japan may be a fairly small island country, but there is a ton to do and see. It would take an entire lifetime to explore Tokyo alone. We wanted to hit as many cities as we could, cross off as much as possible, and have the time of our lives while we were at it.

I’m happy to report that all three of those goals were achieved! We managed to travel to 6 cities over a four week period. Those cities were: Yokohama, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nagano and Tokyo. We didn’t want spend the whole four weeks only exploring the main populous cities. So we decided to break up the major “tourist” places, with some lesser known and more scenic areas around Japan.

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Guide for a 4 Week Visit

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Days 1 to 3: Yokohama

We arrived at Haneda Airport at around 6:30am. We were running on pretty much zero sleep (neither Russell or myself can sleep on planes), as we had two 6 hour flights plus a 7 hour layover at Singapore Airport before arriving in Japan. Before we left Australia, we researched the bus we needed to catch, so it was simply a matter of heading in the right direction to find the ticket counter. Click here for some more information on how to get from Haneda Airport to Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT)!

Finding our way from YCAT to our hotel in Yokohama was quite overwhelming. Given the fact that we arrived during the morning peak hour rush, it was a pretty intense experience. We struggled to manoeuvre our way through the hundreds of business men and women rushing in every direction, trying not to miss their train. Eventually though, we found the platform we needed and within minutes were on our way to our hotel.

Our first two nights in Japan were spent at the Shin Yokohama Kokusai Hotel. This hotel is fairly close to the Shin-Yokohama Station, however it took us a while to find our bearings, and we definitely took a few wrong turns in the process. I’m directionally challenged at the best of times, so trying to figure out which way to walk was pretty entertaining!

Has anyone visited Yokohama? Tell me your experience! #japantravel #yokohamajapan Click To Tweet

We arrived at our hotel at around 10am. Something we didn’t realise before arriving, was that Japan has a very strict check-in time of 3pm. After all the traveling over the prior 48 hours, we didn’t want to have to wait 5 hours to check-in, so our only option was to pay a bit extra to be let into our room early. Make sure to keep that in mind if you have an early arrival time!

The next day (our first and only full day in Yokohama), we headed to the Cup Noodle Museum. This is a super fun, creative, unique and cheap activity for all ages! Click here to read about our Cup Noodle experience! If you love cup noodles, you’ll love this place!

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

After exploring the area, we did a bit of shopping in a few of the many malls in Yokohama. Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza are two of the more generic shopping centres that you’ll find. However if you’re after a more unique experience, hit up World Porters. This mall attracts a younger crowd, so you’ll be able to find some bargains if you shop around!

That night, we walked about 5 minutes from our hotel to the Yokohama Ramen Museum. This is a super cool museum filled with everything you didn’t think you needed to know about Ramen. There are also two downstairs floors, designed to replicate streets and houses from an old town in Tokyo.  You’ll find a dozen or so different stores selling ramen, available by using the vending machines outside of each individual store. You can also purchase ‘mini ramen’ bowls, if you want to sample more than one!

The atmosphere and design of the Ramen Museum is definitely unique. The ramen is super tasty, but even the ‘small’ bowls are fairly large! It costs 310 yen for admission into the museum and downstairs restaurants, plus whatever you decide to spend on ramen! There’s also a bar with cheap alcohol. I don’t know about you, but that sold me for sure.

Days 3 to 10: Osaka

There is so much to see and do in Osaka, that I highly recommend basing yourself in the city for at least a few days. We stayed in Osaka for 7 days, and even that wasn’t enough time to see everything we had hoped to see. That being said, we did see quite a lot!

I’ve published our Osaka itinerary in a separate post, simply because I had so much to talk about. If you’re a fan of cats, Harry Potter, beautiful bamboo forests, historic and famous shrines, giant ferris wheels and delicious food, you’ll definitely want to read that post.

Related: Osaka Itinerary

Note: Osaka is a great base location to explore nearby cities and prefectures. As you can read about here, Japan’s train system is world class. You can travel to almost anywhere around the country, super quickly and easily. I suggest making the time to visit Kyoto and Nara. We didn’t personally have enough time to make it to Nara, but we did take a couple of day trips to Kyoto and absolutely loved it. You can read all about Kyoto in my Osaka post as well!

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

Days 10 to 12: Hiroshima

The first thing I’ll say about Hiroshima, is that I wish we stayed longer. After spending such a long time amongst the craziness of Osaka, Hiroshima was a very welcome change of pace. The people are super friendly and there’s a beautifully peaceful vibe about the city.

It took roughly two hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Compared to the rest of our Bullet Train journeys, this was fairly quick. When we arrived at Hiroshima Station, we then had to catch a tram to the Comfort Hotel. The tram ride costs a flat rate of 160 yen for adults, which you drop into a clear container before departing the tram. Super easy!

After checking into our hotel, we walked around and explored a little. Our hotel was very centrally located, within walking distance to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Hondori Shopping Arcade, which is one of the main outdoor shopping malls in the city. There are a ton of places to eat, and an endless amount of stores to shop up a storm!

Tip: If you’re on a budget and on the lookout for some cheap food, do yourself a favour and eat at Saizeriya on Hondori Shopping Arcade. Their menu is loaded with delicious, cheap meals to cater to anyone’s tastes (trust me, I’m a fairly picky eater). Some of their menu items are: foccaccia (100 yen), garlic bread (170 yen), soup (150 yen), various pasta and pizza (400yen), chicken and steak meals (up to 900 yen), desserts (400 yen and less).

Other than food, you can also get unlimited soft drinks, juice and iced teas from the drink bar for 190 yen. Water is free. And the best part of all, you can get half a bottle of wine for 200 yen. Yes, I had some with lunch. Yes, it’s cheap house wine but still, 200 yen? Can’t complain about that. It was drinkable, and that’s all that matters!

Our first and only full day in Hiroshima was spent at the Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome. It’s pretty difficult to explain the feeling you get when visiting this area of Hiroshima. The park is extremely clean, quiet and relaxing. I highly recommend paying the 200 yen entrance fee to visit the museum, even if you don’t know anything about the history of the Atomic Bomb devastation. I didn’t know a great deal about it, but it’s a surreal experience learning about the devastating events that happened. It will give you a new perspective on why the people of Japan are such friendly, accepting and wonderful people.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Hours + Pricing

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan

Cost: 200 yen
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6pm
Closed: The main Museum building will be closed until July 2018.

Hiroshima isn’t a city with a ton of tourist attractions or crazy things to see and do. But if you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful city to visit to break up the hustle and bustle of big city Japan, I definitely recommend adding Hiroshima to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful city with lovely people and an inspirational history.

Hiroshima is one of the most peaceful and beautiful cities in Japan. Here's why! #japantravel #hiroshima Click To Tweet

Days 12 to 14: Nagoya

If there’s one thing I regret from our trip to Japan, it’s cutting our time in Hiroshima short to visit Nagoya. Each to their own, but I wasn’t too fond of Nagoya. Although it’s Japan’s fourth most populated city, compared to Yokohama, Osaka and Hiroshima, it was pretty dirty and uninspiring. There isn’t a whole lot to see and do, besides the Nagoya City Science Museum and Planetarium and Toyota Museum which were both closed the day we visited.

Tip: Make sure to check opening hours for main attractions before planning out your day. If you’re a better planner than we were, and successfully manage to experience the Planetarium and Toyota Museum, I’m sure your visit will be much more enjoyable!

If we could do our trip over again, we would have stayed in Hiroshima for a few extra days, and skipped Nagoya all together. That being said, there are a few things to fill out your days if you ever visit Nagoya. Oasis 21 is a modern shopping complex, with a ton of cool shops and restaurants, and it’s also conveniently a bus terminal! There’s almost always some sort of event held underneath the pretty epic glass roof filled with water. There are also a few larger shopping malls in the area, dozens of restaurants and in true Japanese fashion, an endless amount of convenience stores.

Days 14 to 17: Nagano

Nagano was on our itinerary for one main reason: snow! We spent quite a long time during the planning stage of our Japan trip, trying to find an easily accessible way of seeing snow. Eventually, we settled on Nagano.

We arrived in Nagano early afternoon on March 14th, via the Bullet Train from Nagoya. Nagano Station is fairly small – as is the city itself – so finding our hotel wasn’t difficult. It took around 20 minutes to walk from the station to our hotel (Hotel Kokusai 21). We were pretty hungry the day we arrived, as we didn’t have enough time that morning to eat breakfast before leaving Nagoya. So the fact that there was a Japanese style Denny’s a few minutes from our hotel was pretty exciting and convenient! After checking into our hotel, we ate lunch at Denny’s then walked to Family Mart convenience store to continue our make-the-most-of-cheap-alcohol mission. I bought my 50th bottle of white wine and Russell bought his 12th bottle of whisky (okay, I’m being dramatic. We don’t drink THAT much). We also stocked up on some cheap snacks.

After a brief rest in the hotel room, we headed out to explore the area. There’s a cool shopping area roughly 20 minutes from our hotel, which had a ton of cute boutiques and what felt like never-ending shopping streets.

Our first full day in Nagano was the day I finally crossed ‘see snow’ off my bucket list. Excitement was bubbling over the edge as I added layer after layer of warm clothing and made sure my camera battery was fully charged. It was the moment I had been dreaming about for most of my life. We took a bus from Nagano Station to Hakuba, which you can read about here. We had such an amazing time, that I just had to write a seperate post all about our Japan snow experience.

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

A beautiful view of Hakuba in Nagano, Japan. Our first time seeing snow!

Our last full day in Nagano was the laziest day we had during our whole Japan adventure. By this stage, we were beginning to run low on money and energy, so we took a much needed ‘rest day’. We walked to Family Mart in the morning, bought more alcohol and snacks, and laid in bed watching Netflix all day. This was also the day I wrote and published my Harry Potter World post!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of THE best things to do in Osaka, Japan! #universalstudiosjapan #japantravel Click To Tweet

Nagano is a great city whether you visit during the warmer or colder months. Similar to Hiroshima, it’s a nice place to rest and recharge, especially if you’re headed to another big city. Or, like us, the mother of all big cities: TOKYO!

Days 17 to 29: Tokyo

Ahh, Tokyo. Japan’s capital, and the world’s most populated city. With a population of around 13 million people, 47 different prefectures and endless things to do, you’ll need a lifetime to explore the entire city. We spent 12 days in Shinjuku, which is one of Tokyo’s most popular cities. Shinjuku is a great centrally located city to base your trip around, as it’s close to a lot of the main attractions and there are conveniently located train and subway stations.

Again, because I talk a lot, I’ve had to write an entire seperate post about Japan’s capital city. Simply because otherwise, you’ll be scrolling down this page for the next 5 days, and no one wants that. So if you’re interested in reading about our 12 day visit to Tokyo, filled with suggestions on things to see, places to visit, food to eat and more, click here!

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

The crazy, bustling Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan! The busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

Head to Shinjuku to enjoy this incredible view for FREE at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building!

Tips for First Time Visitors to Japan

Now that you have some ideas for your own one month in Japan itinerary, here are some tips and tricks to help make your visit as smooth sailing as possible!

Purchase a pair of Comfortable Sneakers

One thing I noticed while spending one month exploring Japan, was that we walked a lot. My phone has an inbuilt pedometer (as do) and there were multiple days where I walked over 20,000 steps. If you enjoy exploring new places on foot like us, you’ll definitely need to invest in a good quality pair of sneakers or walking shoes. There are tons of different styles available for both men and women.

Invest in a good Backpack

Japan is one of the best places in the world for day trips. You can explore so much more of the country, simply by taking the Shinkansen Bullet Train to smaller towns, from major cities across Japan. If you’re keen on doing some day trips during your time in Japan, you’ll need a good quality backpack, or daypack, to keep all the essentials.

Don’t Forget Your Camera

Almost everywhere you travel to across Japan, is incredibly beautiful and worthy of the millions of photos you’re going to want to take. Before arriving in Japan, consider purchasing a good quality camera (if you don’t have one already). I have the Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and I love it. It takes incredible photos and has a whole bunch of awesome features and settings that I’ve had lots of fun testing out. If you’d prefer to try your hand at being a professional photographer (that’s the dream!), consider a DSLR like this beautiful Canon EOS.

Bring Plenty of Entertainment for the Bullet Train

If you plan on traveling between cities and prefectures in Japan, you’ll be catching the Shinkansen Bullet Train quite a bit. Depending on the distance you’ll be traveling, you could be on the train for two or more hours. Just think of it as a much more comfortable and more enjoyable plane trip. I like to have plenty of options available when it comes to keeping myself amused like a good book, my laptop to watch movies or get some writing done, or a Kindle filled with an endless amount of classics to read.

So there you have it, our one month Japan itinerary. Like I’ve mentioned, there is a lot to see in Japan. One month is definitely not long enough to see everything. But it’s still a good amount of time to cross a lot of awesome places off your Japan bucket list. Use this guide as a starting point to plan an amazing and memorable visit to the wonderful Japan.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Japan: Know Before You Go
Related: Japan Travel Tips & Advice: Tips For First Time Visitors to Japan
Need some ideas for one month in Japan? Here is an awesome suggested itinerary! #japantravel Click To Tweet

Have you been to Japan before? What was your favourite city? Tell me in the comments!

Did you like this post? Pin it or share it with your friends!

One Month Japan Itinerary: Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit One Month Japan Itinerary: Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

  • Jo

    OOO nagano looks so exotic. I would love to spend a lazy day there and def do Japan soon.

  • Bri

    I have always wanted to visit Hiroshima and Toyko! And Japan in general lol

    • I hope you get there one day! Hiroshima is definitely a must-see! 🙂

  • Wow, this is great! I’ll definitely be taking hints off of this post for my trip to Japan. Osaka is on the top of my list. Thanks 🙂

  • So many places to see!!!!

  • This is great! I love Japan and I plan to visit the whole country, like you <3 I will follow your guide!

  • This is such an amazing guide! I have always wanted to visit Japan and this has made me want to book a flight riiiight now.

    Lucy x

    • Haha my goal exactly! Japan’s amazing, you should definitely visit one day soon 😀

  • Wow, what a comprehensive post! Having never been to Japan before, but really wanting to go, I found this super inspiring but honestly a bit overwhelming 😀 Will have to take a much closer look when I actually plan a trip someday (hopefully). Also because I’m a big fat weirdo for Harry Potter I will totally go check out your post on Osaka now 🙂 Cheers and safe travels, Maria

    • Haha yeah I’ve included a lot of information, best to read it in stages! lol
      Thanks so much though! Harry Potter World was amazing 😀

  • This is a really useful guide with lots of detail. It’s amazing that you could spend a month there! The snow in Hakana looks wonderful!

    • Thank you! The snow was beautiful! First time seeing it, so I’m glad I could do that in Japan 😀

  • So jealous that you got to spend a whole month there! We are so excited for our trip in August. Thanks so much for sharing your Disney tips with me. I now feel ready to brave the crowds and give it a go. If you really want to see snow, come to see us in Canada!

    • No worries at all, glad I could help! 🙂
      Yes! Canada is definitely high on my bucket list 🙂

  • Rhiannon,

    Spending one month in Japan?! What a dream! Can I ask you the best time to visit and how much, roughly, did you both spend?

    Telma @ Blank Canvas Voyage

    • Hi Telma! We visited during the end of Winter, beginning of Spring (cherry blossoms, yay!) and I think that was a good time. I don’t know what Japan is like during the summer, how hot it gets etc but it’s generally much busier during the warmer months. Spring is a good and bad time to visit, mainly because of the amount of people wanting to experience the cherry blossoms in full bloom!
      As for how much we spent, including flights and accomodation, food etc was probably just over AUD $5,000. Hope this helps! 🙂

      • Of course cherry blossoms, people would rather visit during that time of the year. Well I guess it’s the best. I also hate crowds, always try to visit during off-season. Good luck to us, as we are going to Portugal during July and August!
        Regarding the budget, ok Japan is not a budget friendly destination but if people can get a good deal with the flights and average accommodation, I guess it would be fine 🙂

        • It can be if you’re happy to stay in hostels or capsule hotels, we wanted regular hotels so that made it a bit more expensive! Food is relatively cheap though, so you can save money in that aspect! 🙂

  • I have never been to Japan, but I would love to go one day! I didn’t know they had a Noodle & Ramen Museum. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be paying those a visit. Also, I’m not sure why it never crossed my mind that it snows in Japan. That would be cool to experience! I also learned that Tokyo has cities within its city. That’s pretty cool!

    • Oh yes, Japan loves their delicious food museums haha! Snow in Japan is beautiful! Well, I’m sure it’s the same snow as everywhere else in the world, but I hadn’t seen snow before so it was wonderful haha

  • Hey Rhiannon,
    You know what, if I was planning a trip to Japan I’d stop today and just print this blog article to go with.
    Thank you for the detailed post.
    Btw I’m also a travel blogger with extensive posts about Africa (


    • Aww thank you! I’m glad you liked it 🙂
      I’ll check your blog out! 🙂

  • Kelly

    Great itinerary. I only spent a week in Japan and really only spent time in Tokyo. I would love to use this itinerary and explore what else Japan has to explore. Thanks!

    • Thanks! What did you think of Tokyo? 🙂
      There’s so much to see and do, and so many places that are the total opposite of Tokyo’s craziness!

  • Wow! This is a really in depth post! I like that you included food to try too. It looks like you had a fantastic time.

  • Awesome! I visited for 3 weeks and missed some of these places, but I definitely will be back!

    • It’s so easy to miss places in a country with so much to see and do! But missing things also gives us a chance to return! 😉

  • I hope someday I could even just spend one week here. A month long trip looks fab! Thanks for sharing your helpful insight in the planning process!

    • A month is a great length of time, just pretty tiring! I’m glad you found my post helpful 🙂

  • The post is so good and complete! I have just saved in my favourite to check it again just before my trip to Japan.
    Congratulations for the cool website, it looks really beautiful!

    Lots of love! xx

    • Aww thank you so much, I really appreciate it! Enjoy your trip to Japan, you’ll have an amazing time! 🙂

  • I feel, that should we make it over to Japan, we should not go for less than 3 weeks, 4 would be awesome! IThere’s so many beautiful places to see and it’s so far, plus, I was born in Okinawa, so I’d want to make a trip there too! #blogpostsaturday (Ps. Come join us for TheWeeklyPostcard link up I mentioned before!)

    • Four weeks is definitely a good amount of time! Oh wow that’s awesome, I hope you make it there one day soon 🙂

  • I went to Japan about five years ago and only spent two weeks there — I really hope to go back and visit it properly. Only had time for Tokyo, Kamakura, Fuji, Kyoto, and Osaka – would love to see Nagano and Hiroshoma/Fukuoka in the south!

    • Wow you fit in a lot in just two weeks, impressive! 🙂
      Yes if you do go back, make sure you add Hiroshima to the very top of your list! A must-see city for sure 🙂

  • Such a great itinerary, I can’t get enough of Japan!! One month travelling this crazy beautiful country would be incredible 🙂

    • Thanks! Japan is amazing 🙂 So easy to fall in love with the place in just a couple days, after one month we didn’t want to leave! 🙂

  • Megan Johnson

    This sounds like an amazing trip! I want to go back to Japan so bad, it’s crazy. When I do go, I’ll definitely be back to this!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you liked it 🙂 I hope you get there one day soon 🙂

  • What a lovely post! Makes me feel all so nostalgic of when I first went to these cities. I too loved Hiroshima and on my next trip I purposely have added an extra day as to be honest it’s my favourite <3 Thanks for letting me know about Nagoya, I've never been but might not make the effort this time since you said it wasn't worth the hassle 🙂 I'll also take note of that restaurant in Hiroshima that is really cheap! I'll try to spend a lot of time in Osaka too since you loved it so much (but I'm based in Kyoto this time as I can't help but love it<3)

    Also I loved all your photos, off to go read the other posts :3 !

    • Sophie! 🙂 Hiroshima is a beautiful city, definitely my favourite too! 🙂 Nagoya wasn’t as enjoyable because we messed up the opening days for the only two attractions we wanted to visit, oops! But I just didn’t find it to be anything special compared to Hiroshima where we had just visited. Kyoto is probably my second favourite when it comes to relaxing, beautiful places in Japan. So I’m jealous you’re based there! Have an amazing time, dear! 🙂

  • Great post! I have always wanted to go to Japan and can’t wait to get myself there 🙂 Will definitely looks towards your post when I do since you managed to go through so much detail 🙂 I’ve really wanna see the cherry blossoms, I hear they are absolutely beautiful!

    • I tried to include as much as I could without it being too detailed! 🙂
      The cherry blossoms are beautiful. Unfortunately we had already left Japan when they started falling (which looks amazing!) so if you plan a visit definitely try and get there for the first couple of weeks in April. It will be a bit busier, but if you’re keen on seeing cherry blossoms in full bloom, that’s the best time to go! 🙂

  • We are in Japan for the n-th time and we are here for a month. lovely to see that you guys spent a long time in Japan as well. Such awesome place.

  • Great post! Hope you enjoyed your time in Japan – I haven’t been to Yokohama yet but will definitely check out the Ramen museum when I do!

  • Meg

    I’d love to visit Japan and want to make sure that when I finally get there I have enough time to explore. I’ve heard from many sources that you just cannot rush Japan! Your trip sounded fantastic and I’m glad you got to tick off all the things you wanted to do. I’m sure it was fun travelling by train too and that helped you to see the country as you travelled. I’m excited to visit for the food and the culture so I will save this for future inspiration.

    • You definitely shouldn’t rush it. It can be done, but you won’t see as much and won’t be able to enjoy each city as much, in my opinion. There’s so much to see and do, and most of the cities are so big! It’s hard to see everything at the best of times. The Bullet Trains were awesome! I hope you get to visit one day soon! You’ll love it 🙂

  • Wow, I’m so jealous you were in Japan for a whole month! Taking lots of notes for my next trip there, thanks for the guide! 🙂