39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour itinerary builder

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Route & dates

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly:  19​h 15​min
1
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
+3
train + taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h 45​min
3
Matsue
— 4 nights
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
+3
train + subway + Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
5
Yakushima-cho
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
6
Iriomote-jima
— 4 nights
ferry:  1​h
7
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h
8
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  15​h 45​min
End: Newark

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple and Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory. Let the collections at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and D. T. Suzuki Museum capture your imagination. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Wada House, & more), Hataya Textile Factory Memorial Hall (in Katsuyama) and Nanto (Suganuma Gassho Community & Gokayama). And it doesn't end there: cruise along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Oyama Shrine.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Kanazawa day trip planning site .

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 14 hours traveling from Newark to Kanazawa. Traveling from Newark in November, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 45°F in Kanazawa. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto, Katsuyama, Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum ©
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory ©

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.
Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu-dera Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Ginkaku-ji Temple for their historical value. The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, contemplate the long history of Tofuku-ji Temple, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and take a stroll through Gion.

To find ratings, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip itinerary planning site .

Getting from Kanazawa to Kyoto by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 52°F in December, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Tours Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Oki Chibu Red Cliff and Shinji Lake. Get a sense of the local culture at Adachi Museum of Art and Yaegaki Shrine. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Matsue: Izumo (Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, & more) and Takuhi Shrine - Takubi Shrine (in Nishinoshima-cho). There's lots more to do: make a trip to Matsue Castle, explore the world behind art at Shimane Art Museum, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seiganji Temple.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Matsue road trip planning app .

Getting from Kyoto to Matsue by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and taxi. In December, daytime highs in Matsue are 49°F, while nighttime lows are 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

Side Trips

Izumo, Takuhi Shrine - Takubi Shrine, Shinji Lake, Adachi Museum of Art, Oki Chibu Red Cliff
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine
Former Taisha Station ©
Former Taisha Station

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 discover tucked-away gems like Mt. Misen and JMSDF Kure Museum. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Itsukushima Shrine and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Senkoji & Senkoji Park (in Onomichi), Hatsukaichi (Miyajima & Daishoin Temple) and Yamato Museum (in Kure). There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Museum of Art, and don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip planner .

You can drive from Matsue to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure, Senkoji & Senkoji Park
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.
Visiting Yakusugi Land and Oko no Taki Fall will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Seibu Trail. Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Wilson Stump and examine the collection at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Yakushima-cho trip planner .

Do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Hiroshima in December, expect Yakushima-cho to be a bit warmer, temps between 60°F and 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Outdoors
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.
Get in touch with nature at Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Ida no Hama Beach. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Iriomote Island and Pinaisara Falls. There's still lots to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, identify plant and animal life at Funauki Village, and don't miss a visit to Heritiera Littoralis Tree of Nakama River.

To find traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yakushima-cho to Iriomote-jima. In December, Iriomote-jima is somewhat warmer than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 72°F and lows of 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Kayaking & Canoeing

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 in touch with nature at Kondoi Beach and Kayaking & Canoeing. Explore hidden gems such as Cape Hirakubozaki and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. There's lots more to do: stroll through Yonehara Beach, see the vivid underwater world at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, and take in panoramic vistas at Maesedake Observation Site.

Make your Ishigaki itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in December, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
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 enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Sunayama Beach and Toguchi no Hama. Discover out-of-the-way places like Yonaha Maehama Beach and Yabiji. There's much more to do: stroll through Aragusuku Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Hora Gyoko no Hama Beach, make a trip to Boraga Limestone Cave, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Miyakojima trip maker tool .

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Miyakojima takes 2 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) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Miyakojima

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

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.
Popular historic sites such as Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa Shrine are in your itinerary. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tokyo National Museum and Odaiba. Change things up with a short trip to Ghibli Museum Mitaka in Mitaka (about 44 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, get curious at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, and ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo trip maker site .

Traveling by flight from Miyakojima to Tokyo takes 4.5 hours. When traveling from Miyakojima in December, plan for little chillier days and cooler nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 54°F by day to 39°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

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

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