39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Komatsu Airport / JASDF Komatsu Air Base, Drive to Kanazawa
1
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Matsue
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train to Hakata, Fly to Yakushima-cho
5
Yakushima-cho
— 4 nights
Fly to Ishigaki, Ferry to Iriomote-jima
6
Iriomote-jima
— 4 nights
Ferry
7
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly

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Kanazawa

— 4 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Visit Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple and Nomura Family Samurai House for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Nanto (Suganuma Gassho Community & Gokayama), Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Wada House, &more) and Hataya Memorial Hall Yumeole Katsuyama (in Katsuyama). And it doesn't end there: cruise along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Oyama Shrine.

To find photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip planner.

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 14 hours. Traveling from Newark in November, Kanazawa is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:

Kyoto

— 4 nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tofuku-ji Temple and Walking tours. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple for their historical value. There's lots more to do: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, go for a walk through Gion, and don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip website.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 52°F in December, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Tours · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:

Matsue

— 4 nights
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse and Former Taisha Station are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Hinomisaki Shrine and Miho Shrine for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Matsue: Izumo (Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo & Susa Shrine), Adachi Museum of Art (in Yasugi) and Oki Chibu Red Cliff (in Chibu-mura). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Yaegaki Shrine, steep yourself in history at Matsue Castle, explore the activities along Shinji Lake, and admire the masterpieces at Shimane Art Museum.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Matsue trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by flight from Kyoto to Matsue takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Matsue are 49°F, while nighttime lows are 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 5 — 9:

Hiroshima

— 4 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Popular historic sites such as Daishoin Temple and Itsukushima Shrine are in your itinerary. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Yamato Museum. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Miyajima (in Hatsukaichi), Senkoji & Senkoji Park (in Onomichi) and Mt. Misen (in Miyajima). The adventure continues: examine the collection at JMSDF Kure Museum, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Hiroshima visit app.

Getting from Matsue to Hiroshima by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 39°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 13:

Yakushima-cho

— 4 nights
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Step out of the city life by going to Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Oko no Taki Fall. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yakusugi Land and Seibu Trail. It doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center and don't miss a visit to Taikoiwa.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Yakushima-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train and ferry. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Hiroshima in December, with highs in Yakushima-cho at 60°F and lows at 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:

Iriomote-jima

— 4 nights
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Ida no Hama Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Pinaisara Falls and Funauki Village. There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Iriomote Island, take in the dramatic scenery at Nara no Taki Falls, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and go for a walk through Ruins of Amitory Village.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Yakushima-cho to Iriomote-jima takes 10 hours. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in December, expect Iriomote-jima to be a bit warmer, temps between 72°F and 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to catch the ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:

Ishigaki

— 3 nights
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.
Get outdoors at Cape Hirakubozaki and Kayaking & Canoeing. Relax by the water at Kondoi Beach and Yonehara Beach. And it doesn't end there: find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, and explore the gorgeous colors at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Ishigaki travel route builder tool.

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in 1.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to fly to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:

Miyakojima

— 4 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Toguchi no Hama and Yabiji. Visit Aragusuku Beach and Tomori Imugya Beach for some beach relaxation. There's still lots to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hora Gyoko no Hama Beach, and don't miss a visit to Boraga Limestone Cave.

To see photos and tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip planner.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2.5 hours. December in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 71°F and lows of 64°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:

Tokyo

— 5 nights
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.
Let the collections at Samurai Museum and Ghibli Museum Mitaka capture your imagination. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Edo-Tokyo Museum and Asakusa Shrine. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, don't miss a visit to Imperial Palace, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, and get curious at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary maker site.

You can fly from Miyakojima to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. When traveling from Miyakojima in December, plan for little chillier days in Tokyo, with highs around 54°F, while nights are colder with lows around 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.