23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan travel route planner

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Route & dates

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly + Drive:  16​h 45​min
1
Nakijin-son
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly:  45​min
3
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  4​h 30​min
4
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
5
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
6
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
7
Hakodate
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
8
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train + bus:  3​h 30​min
9
Hakuba-mura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
10
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
11
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Fly:  15​h
End: Brisbane

1
night
Nakijin-son

Nakijin-son ©
Steeped in Ryukyuan history, Nakijin-son tourism centers around the ruins of an ancient stonewall castle.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): step off the mainland to explore Kouri-jima Island, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Okichan Theater, and then contemplate the long history of Nakijin Castle Remains. Keep things going the next day: shop like a local with Onna Station Nakayukui Market, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then take in the pleasant sights at Cape Manzamo.

To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Nakijin-son route maker app .

Brisbane, Australia to Nakijin-son is an approximately 17-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Brisbane to Nakijin-son. Traveling from Brisbane in December, things will get little chillier in Nakijin-son: highs are around 24°C and lows about 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Nakijin-son

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Onna-son, Okichan Theater
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Nakijin Castle Ruins ©
Nakijin Castle Ruins
Scuba & Snorkeling
Onna Station Nakayukui Market ©
Onna Station Nakayukui Market

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, kick back and relax at Aragusuku Beach, and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Atarasu Ichiba. On the 13th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, then take in the views from Irabu Bridge, then step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, and finally explore the activities along Toriike Pond.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima trip itinerary maker tool .

Getting from Nakijin-son to Miyakojima by combination of taxi, bus, and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Traveling from Nakijin-son in December, plan for a bit warmer nights in Miyakojima, with lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

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 14th (Fri), contemplate the long history of Ishigaki Yaima Village, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, and then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Yurateiku Market, kick back and relax at Kaiji Beach, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach.

For reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Ishigaki online trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in an hour. In December, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Taketomi-cho
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

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 16th (Sun): pause for some photo ops at The Cenotaph, get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden, then see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum, and finally examine the collection at Yamato Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senjokaku, and then take in the views from Kintaikyo Bridge.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Hiroshima tour itinerary tool .

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Ishigaki to Hiroshima takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and ferry. Traveling from Ishigaki in December, things will get colder in Hiroshima: highs are around 13°C and lows about 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kure, Hatsukaichi, Kintaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Nanzen-ji Temple, make a trip to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, then contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tenryuji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Yasaka Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tofuku-ji Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Byodoin.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kyoto trip builder website .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. In December, daytime highs in Kyoto are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Byodoin
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Nanzen-ji Temple ©
Nanzen-ji Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

2
nights
Osaka

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 20th (Thu): look for gifts at Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street, wander the streets of Midosuji Street, then make a trip to Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street, and finally wander the streets of Minami (Namba). Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the views at Arima Onsen, wander the streets of Chinatown (Nankinmachi), and then wander the streets of Kobe Harborland.

To find photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Osaka trip itinerary builder website .

Osaka is just a stone's throw from Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Hakodate.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Kobe
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Minami (Namba) ©
Minami (Namba)
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland

2
nights
Hakodate

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
On the 22nd (Sat), wander the streets of Motomachi, then steep yourself in history at The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, then look for gifts at Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Hakodate Morning Market. Here are some ideas for day two: glide through natural beauty at Hakodate Nanae Snow Park.

For reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Hakodate trip itinerary maker website .

Getting from Osaka to Hakodate by combination of train and flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of subway, train, and flight; or do a combination of subway and train. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Osaka in December: high temperatures in Hakodate hover around 3°C and lows are around -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakodate

Winter Sports Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Hakodate Nanae Snow Park
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hakodate Nanae Snow Park ©
Hakodate Nanae Snow Park
Motomachi ©
Motomachi
The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward ©

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): wander the streets of Omotesando, admire the masterpieces at Ghibli Museum, and then wander the streets of Minato Mirai 21. Keep things going the next day: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, browse the different shops at TOKYO Solamachi, then browse the different shops at Ikspiari, and finally see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum.

For maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo itinerary maker website .

Getting from Hakodate to Tokyo by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Hakodate in December; daily highs in Tokyo reach 14°C and lows reach 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Ikspiari, Minato Mirai 21, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

2
nights
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): hit the slopes at Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort. On the 27th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: fly down the slopes at Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kashimayarigatake.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Hakuba-mura day trip planning website .

Do a combination of train and bus from Tokyo to Hakuba-mura in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Tokyo in December: high temperatures in Hakuba-mura hover around 7°C and lows are around 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trip

Kashimayarigatake
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Hakuba Jump Arena ©
Hakuba Jump Arena
Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden ©

2
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
On the 28th (Fri), browse the eclectic array of goods at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, then examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, and finally get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hit the slopes at Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha, then steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, and then pick up some local products at Okuhida Fukuji Onsen Asaichi.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Takayama trip website .

Traveling by car from Hakuba-mura to Takayama takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Takayama

Winter Sports Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninja Temple, contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House, then take a stroll through Nagamachi District, and finally steep yourself in history at Oyama Shrine.

To see reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kanazawa takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December in Kanazawa, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Ninja Temple ©
Ninja Temple
Oyama Shrine ©
Oyama Shrine
D. T. Suzuki Museum ©
D. T. Suzuki Museum

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