39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour itinerary builder

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
3
Matsue
— 4 nights
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
5
Yakushima-cho
— 4 nights
6
Iriomote-jima
— 4 nights
7
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
8
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights

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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.
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen will appeal to museum buffs. Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple and Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Kanazawa's surroundings by going to Hataya Textile Factory Memorial Hall (in Katsuyama), Shirakawa-mura (Wada House, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, &more) and Nanto (Suganuma Gassho Community & Gokayama). There's still lots to do: take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, steep yourself in history at Oyama Shrine, see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, and admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa sightseeing planner.

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of car and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 14 hours traveling from Newark to Kanazawa. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Kanazawa when traveling from Newark in November, with lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum ©
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

4
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tofuku-ji Temple and Walking tours. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji for their historical value. The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eikando Zenrinji Temple, wander the streets of Gion, and don't miss a visit to Nijo Castle.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Kyoto day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Tours · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

4
nights
Matsue

Matsue ©
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.
Adachi Museum of Art and Hinomisaki Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse and Former Taisha Station for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Matsue: Oki Chibu Red Cliff (in Chibu-mura), Izumo (Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo & Susa Shrine) and Takuhi Shrine (in Nishinoshima-cho). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Miho Shrine, explore the activities along Shinji Lake, step into the grandiose world of Matsue Castle, and admire the masterpieces at Shimane Art Museum.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Matsue trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Matsue takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 49°F, and evening lows to 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine
Susa Shrine ©
Susa Shrine

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©

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 Senkoji & Senkoji Park. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Miyajima (in Hatsukaichi), Mt. Misen (in Miyajima) and Kure (JMSDF Kure Museum & Yamato Museum). There's lots more to do: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, and make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

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:
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum

4
nights
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
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 Yakusugi Land. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Oko no Taki Fall 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 5.5 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 · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall

4
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Pinaisara Falls and Funauki Village. Take a break from the city and head to Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Mizuochi Falls. Next up on the itinerary: step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island, take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, kick back and relax at Ida no Hama Beach, and paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Iriomote-jima trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Yakushima-cho to Iriomote-jima takes 11.5 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Yakushima-cho in December: high temperatures in Iriomote-jima hover around 72°F and lows are around 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village

3
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.
Get outdoors at Cape Hirakubozaki and Kondoi Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Tamatorizaki Observatory. There's lots more to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, take in panoramic vistas at Maesedake Observation Site, see the vivid underwater world at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, and kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach.

To find maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki sightseeing website.

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in 2 hours. December in Ishigaki sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 64°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
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 Scuba & Snorkeling. Visit Aragusuku Beach and Yonaha Maehama Beach for some beach relaxation. There's still lots to do: explore the gorgeous colors at Yabiji, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama 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 travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach

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.
Let the collections at Edo-Tokyo Museum and National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan capture your imagination. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Samurai Museum and Asakusa Shrine. There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, don't miss a visit to Imperial Palace, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, and admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo driving holiday tool.

Traveling by flight from Miyakojima to Tokyo takes 6 hours. When traveling from Miyakojima in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Tokyo, with highs around 54°F, while nights are colder with lows around 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine

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