36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  13 h 15 min
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
3
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Train:  45 min
4
Himeji
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
5
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
6
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  4 h 15 min
7
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h
8
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  4 h
9
Zamami-son
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
10
Nakijin-son
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
11
Naha
— 3 nights
Fly:  15 h 15 min
End: Sydney

5
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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo day trip website .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Tokyo. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Sydney in April; daily highs in Tokyo reach 22°C and lows reach 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Apr 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Venture out of the city with trips to Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, &more) and Takayama (Takayama Jinya, Sanmachi Suji, &more). And it doesn't end there: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, and admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

For maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kanazawa trip planning site .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in April, Kanazawa is little chillier at night with lows of 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Takayama
Find places to stay Apr 27 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Castle ©
Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden

5
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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, take a stroll through Gion, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple.

To see reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto itinerary tool .

Take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In May in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay May 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Get out of town with these interesting Himeji side-trips: Okayama Korakuen Garden (in Okayama), Asago (Takeda Castle Ruins, Old Official Residence of Ikuno Mine, &more) and Tarumino Ozakura (in Yabu). Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Himeji Castle, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Takamikura, steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple, and admire the natural beauty at Koko-en.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Himeji road trip planner .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in an hour. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Kyoto in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Himeji: temperatures range from 25°C by day to 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Asago, Mt. Takamikura, Yoneda Taishiji Temple, Okayama Korakuen Garden, Tarumino Ozakura
Find places to stay May 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hiroshima: Mt. Misen (in Miyajima) and Hatsukaichi (Mikasahama Beach & Miyajima). There's much more to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, pause for some photo ops at Peace Bell, and get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima road trip planning tool .

Getting from Himeji to Hiroshima by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In May in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay May 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Osaka: Nara (Kofuku-ji Temple, Kasuga Grand Shrine, &more). There's much more to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, get your game on at Sunset Owl Cafe, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, and observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Osaka attractions planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Osaka takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In May, plan for daily highs up to 29°C, and evening lows to 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Nara
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
On the 16th (Sun), don't miss a visit to Boraga Limestone Cave, take in the views from Kurima Bridge, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, then take in the views from Ikema Ohashi Bridge, then snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, and finally explore the gorgeous colors at Yabiji. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take some stellar pictures from Shimojishima Airport RW17 End, contemplate the waterfront views at Toriike Pond, head off the coast to Irabu-jima Island, enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, then make a trip to East Henna Cape, and finally enjoy the sea views from Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima trip site .

Fly from Osaka to Miyakojima in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Osaka in May, Miyakojima is a bit warmer at night with lows of 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Irabu Ohashi ©
Irabu Ohashi
Ikema Ohashi Bridge ©
Ikema Ohashi Bridge

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 18th (Tue), head outdoors with Cape Hirakubozaki, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, then kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach, and finally visit Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal. On your second day here, don't miss a visit to Ishigaki City Tokusan Hambai Center, make a trip to Euglena Mall, explore the fascinating underground world of Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave, then walk around Banna Park, then stroll around Kabira Park, and finally explore the activities along Kabira Bay.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Ishigaki itinerary app .

Fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in May, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Zamami-son.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay May 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal ©
Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal

2
nights
Zamami-son

Zamami-son ©
The village of Zamami-son in the western Kerama Islands spans four of the islands in the group, one of which remains uninhabited.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): kick back and relax at Hizushi Beach, snap pictures at Aka Bridge, pause for some photo ops at Statue of Shiro, then enjoy the sand and surf at Furuzamami Beach, then take in panoramic vistas at Takatsukiyama Observatory Deck, and finally head off the coast to Zamami Island. Keep things going the next day: take in panoramic vistas at Ajanamutu Viewing Platform, kick back and relax at Aka Beach, kick back and relax at Nishibama Beach, then head off the coast to Kerama Islands, then head outdoors with Ama Beach, and finally don't miss a visit to Statue of Maririn.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Zamami-son trip website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Ishigaki to Zamami-son. When traveling from Ishigaki in May, plan for slightly colder days in Zamami-son, with highs around 30°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Nakijin-son.

Things to do in Zamami-son

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Kerama Islands
Find places to stay May 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Zamami Island ©
Zamami Island
Hizushi Beach ©
Hizushi Beach
Kerama Islands ©
Kerama Islands

2
nights
Nakijin-son

Nakijin-son ©
Steeped in Ryukyuan history, Nakijin-son tourism centers around the ruins of an ancient stonewall castle.
On the 22nd (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Tiinuhama Beach, take in the views from Kouri Ohashi, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kouri Beach, then steep yourself in history at Nakijin Castle Ruins, and finally kick back and relax at Akabaka Beach. Keep things going the next day: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Okichan Theater, then identify plant and animal life at USS Emmons, and finally relax in the rural setting at Aiai Farm.

To find more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Nakijin-son day trip planner .

Getting from Zamami-son to Nakijin-son by car takes about 3 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Naha.

Things to do in Nakijin-son

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Outdoors

Side Trip

Motobu-cho
Find places to stay May 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Kouri Ohashi ©
Kouri Ohashi
Okichan Theater ©
Okichan Theater

3
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
On the 24th (Mon), don't miss a visit to Makishi Public Market, make a trip to Yachimun Street, don't miss a visit to Kokusaidori, make a trip to Heiwadori, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Shurijo Castle, and finally don't miss a visit to Shrikinjocho Stone-Path Road. Keep things going the next day: take an in-depth tour of Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, then make a trip to American Village, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Naha online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Nakijin-son to Naha takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Naha can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nanjo, American Village
Find places to stay May 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Kokusaidori ©
Kokusaidori

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