39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour itinerary builder

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+2
Drive to Newark Liberty International Airport, Fly to Komatsu Airport / JASDF Komatsu Air Base, Drive to Kanazawa
1
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Matsue
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train to Hakata, Fly to Yakushima
5
Yakushima-cho
— 4 nights
Fly to Ishigaki, Ferry to Iriomote
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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4
nights
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 D. T. Suzuki Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple and Suganuma Gassho Community are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Kanazawa's surroundings by going to Hataya Textile Factory Memorial Hall (in Katsuyama), Shirakawa-mura (Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, &more) and Gokayama (in Nanto). There's lots more to do: cruise along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, steep yourself in history at Oyama Shrine, and take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa trip planner.

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of car and flight. You'll lose 14 hours traveling from Newark to Kanazawa due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Kanazawa, with lows of 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:

4
nights
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 Eikando Zenrinji Temple. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple for their historical value. There's much more to do: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, contemplate the long history of Sanjusangendo Temple, and visit Gion.

To find maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip maker website.

Drive from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 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:

4
nights
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: Takuhi Shrine (in Nishinoshima-cho), Oki Chibu Red Cliff (in Chibu-mura) and Izumo (Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo & Susa Shrine). 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:

4
nights
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 Senkoji & Senkoji Park are in your itinerary. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Hiroshima Museum of Art. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Mt. Misen (in Miyajima), Hatsukaichi (Miyajima & Itsukushima Shrine) and Kure (JMSDF Kure Museum & Yamato Museum). There's more to do: get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

For photos, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima attractions planner.

You can drive from Matsue to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 13:

4
nights
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 Oko no Taki Fall. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yakusugi Land and The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center. It doesn't end there: trek along Seibu Trail 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 · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:

4
nights
Iriomote-jima

Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Pinaisara Falls and Iriomote Island. Take a break from the city and head to Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Nara no Taki Falls. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Funauki Village, kick back and relax at Ida no Hama Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, and make a trip to Heritiera Littoralis Tree of Nakama River.

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:

3
nights
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 Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Relax by the water at Kondoi Beach and Yonehara Beach. And it doesn't end there: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, 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 2 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 travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:

4
nights
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 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, 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:

5
nights
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 Ghibli Museum Mitaka. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, make a trip to Imperial Palace, get engrossed in the history at Tokyo National Museum, and get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To see traveler tips, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Miyakojima to Tokyo takes 6 hours. Traveling from Miyakojima in December, you will find days in Tokyo are slightly colder (54°F), and nights are colder (39°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to travel 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 · Historic Sites
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.