12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + Drive:  16​h 30​min
1
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
3
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  5​h 15​min
4
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
5
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly:  15​h 15​min
End: Sydney

1
night
Ise

Ise ©
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
On the 14th (Sat), observe the fascinating underwater world at Toba Aquarium, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine, then make a trip to Oharai-machi, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sarutahiko Shrine, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku.

To plan Ise vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Sydney, Australia to Ise is an approximately 16.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Sydney in December, plan for cooler days and little chillier nights in Ise: temperatures range from 11°C by day to 9°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Toba Aquarium
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine

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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple for their historical value. Get a sense of the local culture at Dotonbori and Nijo Castle. Take a break from Kyoto with a short trip to Osaka Castle in Osaka, about 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Eikando Zenrinji Temple, contemplate the long history of Sanjusangendo Temple, and wander the streets of Gion.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Kyoto driving holiday planning website .

Traveling by car from Ise to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Ise in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Kyoto, with lows of 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

2
nights
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 18th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, then see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then examine the collection at Yamato Museum. Keep things going the next day: explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, and then steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Hiroshima attractions planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Yamato Museum, Itsukushima Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

2
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
On the 20th (Fri), find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, and then enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory. On the next day, stroll through Yonehara Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and then stop by Yurateiku Market.

For more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Ishigaki travel planning tool .

Do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Ishigaki in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. While traveling from Hiroshima, expect somewhat warmer days and much hotter nights in Ishigaki, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): stroll through Yonaha Maehama Beach, snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, then kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, and finally take in the views from Kurima Bridge. On the next day, stroll through Toguchi no Hama, then enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, and then enjoy the sea views from Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Miyakojima vacation planner .

Fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Miyakojima can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

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