21 days in Japan & China Itinerary

21 days in Japan & China Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan & China Itinerary

Start: Culver City, United States
Drive + Fly:  20​h
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto, Japan
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
3
Nara, Japan
— Few hours
train:  30​min
4
Osaka, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
5
Beijing, China
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
6
Xi'an, China
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 15​min
7
Shanghai, China
— 4 nights
Fly:  21​h 30​min
End: Los Angeles, United States


Learn more about your trip

3
nights
Tokyo, Japan

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.
Get some cultural insight at Ginza and Imperial Palace. You'll explore and learn at Tokyo National Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Mt. Takao in Hachioji, about 1 hour away. And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Tsukiji Market, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sensō-ji, wander the streets of Odaiba, and shop like a local with Harajuku Takeshita-dori.

To see maps, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read Tokyo online itinerary creator.

Culver City, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You'll lose 17 hours traveling from Culver City to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Culver City, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Tokyo, ranging from highs of 54°F to lows of 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Mt. Takao
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 3:
Highlights from your plan
Ginza ©
Ginza
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

4
nights
Kyoto, Japan

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.
Get some historical perspective at Kiyomizu-dera and Nijo Castle. Let the collections at Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto National Museum capture your imagination. There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Gion, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, trek along Philosopher's Walk, and get your bearings at Fushimi Inari Taisha.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Kyoto custom trip planner.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Kyoto, with lows of 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Apr 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Gion
Gion
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

few
hours
Nara, Japan

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tōdai-ji, and finally see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center.

To find other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Nara vacation trip planner.

Nara is very close to Kyoto. In April, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Apr 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center ©
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center

3
nights
Osaka, Japan

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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Fri): shop like a local with Dotonbori. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Museum of Oriental Ceramics, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Osaka travel itinerary creator.

Osaka is very close to Nara. April in Osaka sees daily highs of 67°F and lows of 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Beijing.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Find places to stay Apr 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

3
nights
Beijing, China

Beijing ©
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
The Great Wall at Badaling and Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Nanluoguxiang and Wang Fu Jing Da Jie. There's still lots to do: explore the galleries of The Palace Museum, steep yourself in history at Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang), hunt for treasures at Panjiayuan Antique Market, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park).

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Beijing trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Osaka to Beijing takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and train. The time zone changes from Japan Standard Time (JST) to China Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Osaka in April, expect slightly colder with lows of 46°F in Beijing. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Xi'an.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Apr 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
The Palace Museum ©
The Palace Museum
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) ©
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Great Wall at Badaling ©
The Great Wall at Badaling

1
night
Xi'an, China

Xi'an ©
Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
On the 14th (Fri), take a stroll around Dayan Tower Cultural and Leisure Scenic Resort, steep yourself in history at Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta), and then delve into the distant past at Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang).

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Xi'an itinerary maker.

Fly from Beijing to Xi'an in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In April, daytime highs in Xi'an are 72°F, while nighttime lows are 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Xi'an

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta) ©
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta)
Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang) ©
Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang)

4
nights
Shanghai, China

Shanghai ©
With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
Get some cultural insight at The Bund (Wai Tan) and Shanghai Museum. Get some historical perspective at Former French Concession and Xitang Ancient Town. The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road), take in nature's colorful creations at Yu Garden (Yuyuan), take in panoramic vistas at Shanghai World Financial Center, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Fuxing Park.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Shanghai holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Xi'an to Shanghai takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Shanghai when traveling from Xi'an in April, with lows around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Shanghai

Shopping Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Xitang Ancient Town
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
The Bund (Wai Tan) ©
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan) ©
Xitang Ancient Town ©
Xitang Ancient Town

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